There are only two instances where it’s news if a high school team loses a football game. The first is if it’s your old school’s cross-town rival, you know, those arrogant bastards at Valley or West or whatever. When your 16-year-olds beat their 16-year-olds, why, it’s a great day for all of humanity, as good is triumphant over evil among even the youth of America.
The other way it could be news is if that high school team hadn’t lost in a while. And by a while, let’s say, oh, 74 games. That was Maryville High, in central Tennessee, who had run roughshod over all opponents for over 5 years. They were one win away from wrapping up the Class 4A title last night, facing Hillsboro, which is a name that you would totally expect from a town in Tennessee.
But the BlueCross Bowl would be unkind to the Rebels that night, as three turnovers doomed their efforts in a 10-7 loss. Head coach George Quarles‘ boys had a chance to tie the game late, but a delay-of-game penalty killed their chance at attempting a 46-yard field goal with under three minutes to play. No word on whether the unforgivable mental breakdown has prompted the purchase of the FireGeorgeQuarles.com domain yet.
To Quarles’ credit, he maintained a great deal of class after the heartbreaking loss:
“You always know this day is coming. I’m sure it’s going to sink in a little bit worse here in a little bit,” Quarles said. “We just didn’t play well, for whatever reason. Defensively, I thought we made some plays. We gave them a couple of plays that we were prepared for. Offensively, we just had a hard time getting in sync. They recovered so well.
“We’d get them going one way, and they’d be waiting for us on the other side. Just one of those nights.”
“One of those nights”? He makes it sound like he got a flat tire or something.
For the next few months, though, all hail the Hillsboro Burros. Yes, that is their real name.