Friday Louisville-area high schools Butler and Pleasure Ridge Park played to a finish reminiscent of what some think is the most famous football play of all time.
(Top: Pleasure Ridge coach, players thought ref whistled Butler player down)
Using a series of laterals much like California did to defeat Stanford on the final play of the game in 1982, Butler somehow scored as time expired in its game against Pleasure Ridge Park.
Remember the Stanford “band on the field” as the Cardinal yielded the game-winner to its PAC-10 rival? Friday’s Kentucky high school game finish had the same feel as Pleasure Ridge Park players left the bench during Butler’s game-winning play - thinking they had already won the game.
But even after scoring with no time left, Butler actually did the Cal Bears one better.
After the stunning touchdown to end regulation time, Butler scored on a subsequent two-point conversion to claim a miracle 42-41 win over its rival.
Butler Coach Scott Carmony told Bob White of the LOUISVILLE COURIER-JOURNAL after the game: “It was California-Stanford and Kentucky-LSU all over. It was just unbelievable. Lucky? We’ll take all the luck we can get any day of the week.”
Perhaps part of that luck involved what was apparently a phantom whistle by one of the officials on the kickoff return, a whistle that Pleasure Ridge Park Coach Jason Hiser claimed is what caused his players on the field to stop defending the play - and Pleasure Park Ridge players on the sideline to rush the field.
“We saw the sideline judge blow his whistle and we went on the field to celebrate. But the officials said no one blew their whistle. I heard it. We went from feeling really great … to feeling pretty down.”
To Hiser and PRP’s credit, there was no bellyaching after the game, despite the fact that officials could’ve also easily called a celebration penalty against Butler following its incredible kickoff return for a touchdown.
Hiser: “Butler’s kids fought hard all night. You can’t take anything away from them.”
Thankfully, the officials didn’t.