I went to cover the Butler-Independence game tonight at Independence -- here's my column about it -- and it was definitely one of the sports highlights of my year so far. Butler's 31-24 win wasn't decided until Independence fumbled the ball away inside the Butler 20 with about two minutes to go.
The game was chockful of big plays -- 3 touchdown passes of 65 yards or longer, a key turnover about every 5 minutes, one or the other team close to scoring on just about every play.
For the 4,250 fans lucky enough to get a $6 ticket to a game where no tickets were sold at the door, this one was worth a lot more than that. In fact, I saw Bruce Springsteen perform earlier this week in Charlotte and I'd even say that this game was...
OK, I'm getting a little carried away here. It wasn't better than Springsteen.
But for high school football, it was just about as good as it gets. Butler was stronger, more balanced on offense and more disciplined. Independence was down 24-7 and 31-10, but Independence QB Anthony Carrothers had a wonderful second half after throwing four interceptions in the first and nearly got the Patriots all the way back.
Indy coach Tom Knotts told me after the game: “I hope we play them once more in the playoffs. Because they won’t beat us again. I’m sure of that.”
I'm not sure of that at all -- Butler head coach Mike Newsome and his staff had a team with more discipline and more overall talent Friday. But I'm with Knotts on part of that statement: I sure hope the two of them play again -- and at a much bigger venue next time. Because that was something.