What Steve Said: Steve Bubalo 9/8

Steve Bubalo

By Steve Bubalo PrepsKC Senior Writer
Posted: September 8, 2017 - 3:33 PM

Hype in sports feels like it’s something that can be played up a little too much and feel manufactured. It seems like nearly every Saturday of the college football season or just about every day of the college basketball season has some silly name attached to it to get you excited.

Showdown Saturday! Bracket buster weekend! Marvelous Monday!

OK, so I made that last one up, but you get the idea.

With the idea of hype in mind, it was nice for a game to 100% live up to it. That’s how I felt after I left the Blue Springs-Fayetteville, Ark., game this past Friday night.

The resumes for both teams spoke for themselves. The Bulldogs were the two-time defending Arkansas Class 7A state champs. Blue Springs won back-to-back title in 2012-2013, was a runner-up a season ago and came into the game ranked No. 1 in the state. They are one of the early favorites to hoist the championship trophy by season’s end in Class 6.

The game would have all you could ask for. There were crucial turnovers that led to points. There were multiple lead changes, three in all. There were some big offensive plays and some bruising, physical hits on defense. There were big players making big plays.

The last few drives of the game had four fourth-down conversions, two by both teams, but the biggest of all came from the Bulldogs, when quarterback Darius Bowers threw a pinpoint pass on fourth-and-10 for what turned into a 28-yard go-ahead touchdown.

I was on the sideline where the play happened and I must admit to letting out an audible, ‘wow, what a pass’, as the play unfolded. It was a perfect pass by Bowers and a great display of focus by his wide receiver, Frank Morgan.

Not surprisingly, in a game that had just about everything, Blue Springs made a late charge down the field, getting into Bulldog territory before an interception ended the game. After which, a collective breath was released by everyone in attendance.

I was ready for the rematch next week.

Alas, I’ll have to settle for just this one game between the two foes.

Blue Springs had every shot to win this game. They led for most of it, and I can’t help but wonder if the running game would’ve had a little more success had starting tailback Cade Musser not gone down with an injury in the first quarter. Aveion Bell and Michael Warmack filled his shoes admirably, but Musser is a key cog to what the Wildcats do on offense.

Regardless, head coach Kelly Donohoe didn’t want to make excuses afterward. And he didn’t have to. Even in defeat, the Wildcats showed why they are as dangerous as anyone in Class 6 this year.

It was only Week 3, but this game had playoff-type tension. And in the end, it may not mean much for either team, as there was no conference or district championship at stake, but you could tell this game meant a lot to both of them. I looked on as the Bulldogs rushed the field after time expired, as there were plenty of hugs and flying chest-bumps to go around.

During the game, a photographer and I were chatting and on multiple occasions he looked at me with a look of amazement and said, “man, this is just a great game.”

Yep, it sure was. The hype was real.