The routine at the Northwest Byron Nelson football coaches’ offices was the same on Sunday.
Head coach Travis Pride and his staff came to work in the afternoon to break down tape of Friday’s opponent Lewisville. They then started to craft the game plan. But the energy in the building was palpable. It should have been.
This past Friday, Bobcats pulled off the upset of the year in the 2016 Texas High School football season. Then winless, Nelson upset then No. 10 Euless Trinity, 21-20, in overtime at Pennington Field in Bedford.
This may have been bigger than Jimmy Chitwood hitting the fictional game-winning basket as Hickory beat the heavy favorite in the 1951 Indiana state basketball championship in the movie “Hoosiers.”
Call what Nelson did “The Miracle on Turf.”
Not only does this win give Nelson (1-5, 1-2 District 5-6) a positive outcome, the Bobcats are right in the middle of the playoff race. Believe it or not, they control their fate because they hold the tiebreaker against the Trojans, who are also 1-2. A win over Lewisville (3-3, 1-2) at 7:30 p.m. Friday at NISD Stadium in Justin will continue to strengthen their argument.
“It’s a new birth in essence,” Pride said. “We felt that if we were going to be in the hunt and given the status of where the program is, we looked at the [Lewisville] Hebron and Flower Mound games and felt we had to win one of them. After the loss to Flower Mound I was hoping we could just hang on. We got what was not expected to many.”
Pride gave his team the weekend to enjoy one of the landmark wins in the school’s short history. But on Monday, the focus had to switch to the Farmers, who are fighting just as hard to reach the postseason.
If you’re going to create a shocker, you’ve got to collect some breaks. The Trojans committed four turnovers, had more than 100 yards in penalties, completed only one pass and created the worst mistake when they mishandled the snap on their extra point try following their overtime touchdown. The holder was brought down several inches from the goal line.
Nelson helped itself because it only committed 20 yards in penalties and only one turnover. The longer things progressed and Nelson remained in it, the more the Bobcats felt like they had a chance. The game was scoreless at the half.
Once Jordan Joiner scored the second of his two touchdown runs and Tanner Keough delivered the game-winning extra point in the overtime period, bedlam erupted from the Nelson sidelines.
“If you’re not going to enjoy a win, then it’s not worth competing in sports,” Pride said. “But I told them we’re not good enough to get off the bus and show up. We’re a team that has to do the little things right.
“Now we’re going to ask for more from them. This is the time of year that when you’re in the hunt for something, you have to dig deep. Everybody wants to win, but they’re not sure how hard they have to work in order to do it. We have to take advantage of this opportunity.”