The biggest upset in my 25 year broadcasting career

TyIt’s taken 2 days to process, and it’s really just settling in, but Friday night I had the honor to broadcast one the biggest upsets in my 25 years of broadcasting. And, I’m not sure I even fully appreciate it yet.

Here’s what happened. Most know that I do the play-by-play for North Myrtle Beach High School football on the radio and internet.

The Chiefs are coming off their best season in history, but this year they have struggled. Going into the game Friday night, they sat 3-6 on the season and it looked like they wouldn’t even make the playoffs. They would face Myrtle Beach High School in the season finale, and they would need to win to get in.

But, Myrtle Beach sat as the defending state champions. They were undefeated on the season, ranked number 1 in the state, playing on their own field, on senior night. The Chiefs hadn’t defeated MB since 2006. Heck, very few teams have defeated MB since 2006.

Few people thought the Chiefs had a chance. But, I won’t forget the conversation I had with MBHS Athletic Director John Cahill as we walked to the press box before the game to unlock the door.

We discussed if the Chiefs had a chance, and he said, “It’s high school football, you never know.”

You never know, indeed.

The Chiefs held the Seahawks to just a field goal on the opening drive. Then they held them again, and again, and again. The Seahawks have a high powered offense and are capable of putting up points quickly, so there was always the thought that they would just turn it up at some point and pull away. Over my 8 years of calling the North Myrtle Beach games, I’ve seen it time and again.

When the Seahawks scored with 3:30 left in the game, putting them within 3 points of tying the game, I figured the Seahawks would come out, stop the Chiefs and roll down the field for a score. I turned to my broadcast partner Wayne White and said the Seahawks would put up a field goal, tie it, and we’d go to overtime.  The Chiefs have played in two overtime games this season, and this one had a similar feel.

But, it was not to be. Myrtle Beach did get the ball back. The Chiefs held on defense, and with just a few seconds remaining, the Seahawks ran their final play and time ran out.

I was so shocked, I blew the call on the radio. As a broadcaster, you have to think of the future. You’ll need the clip at some point for a highlight reel, so you want it to be exciting, and informative, uninterrupted, and complete. A snippet of 10 seconds or so is what you are looking for. There was some confusion at the end, and my call was incomplete. I tried to recover before I went to break, but I ended up overly excited and nearly screaming. If you were listening, I apologize. I’ll regret that forever.

Now, two days later, the Chiefs are seeded second in the region and will host a home playoff game for the second year in a row. They went from fourth, to possibly third, to second overnight.

How big was the win for the Chiefs? It was huge! Head Coach Blair Hardin said it best, it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish. And the Chiefs finished with a BANG! Those kids believed that they could do it, and they came out and played with heart and passion on every down. They showed that you should never count a team out, and I’m still a bit stunned by the win.

It’s the biggest upset I’ve ever called and a game that I’ll remember forever, even if I try to forget the blown call on my part.

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