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Myrle Greathouse All-Star Classic

Myrle Greathouse All-Star Classic

By Joe Starkey

 

 

 

Myrle Greathouse All-Star ClassicBy Joe StarkeyIt is unusual to attend a football game in June. It is fun to watch a team come back from 21 points down at the half. It is wonderful to watch a hard fought game end on a 55 yard field goal with two seconds left. It is absolutely magnificent to watch 84 young athletes go to their knees in fellowship and praise of the Lord at the end of that hotly contested game.{{more}}West Texas history was honored by the Color Guard who were outfitted in uniforms worn by both the North and South while fighting in Texas during the Civil War. All in the crowd rose for the presentation of the colors and singing of the Star Spangled Banner.The Fellowship of Christian Athletes works through school athletics to develop leaders who display excellence in their physical, mental and spiritual lives. The players, coaches, cheerleaders and fans at Shotwell Stadium exemplified that spirit. Hard play and good sportsmanship were the standard on the field and cheers erupted from the whole stadium for good play by either team. The game was broadcast live over KTAB TV and everybody got to watch the power of the ?Yellow Glove.? Used carefully and with clearly defined time limits on it?s power, the Yellow Glove brought the entire stadium to a halt several times each half. When Mr. Glen McTandless of KTAB would raise his right hand wearing the Yellow Glove, the game was on commercial break and all action stopped on the field.The South team with players from Abilene Cooper and Wylie High Schools dominated the first half. They marched steadily down the field twice behind the power running of Lake View?s Robert Payne who gave the North trouble all night, gaining 183 yards and being named the Gordon Wood Offensive Player of the Game. Former Jim Ned Indian, John Starnes scored the South?s other touchdown on a 35 yard fumble return.At half time, each player and cheerleader was presented with their parents.Riley Spells played both ways for the North. He only gained 14 yards running but was instrumental in shoring up the center of the North defensive line slowed Robert Payne in the second half and caused a fumble that stopped a South drive. After going three and out for most of the first half and part of the third quarter, Sweetwater?s Jeremy Thompson broke loose on third and long for a 74 yard touchdown run. At the start of the fourth quarter, KeKe Balanciere of Cooper tightly defended Corey Kenyon but could not stop him from hauling in a Billy Bob Orsagh pass deep in the corner of the end zone. Matt Adams of Abilene High missed the extra point making the score 21-13. Lane Miller of Abilene High stopped the next South drive by intercepting a pass and returning it to the South 19. The Orsagh to Kenyon combination continued to work, scoring again but the two point conversion failed leaving the score 21-19. North got the ball back with 2:51 left to play and Orsagh ignited the crowd with a 41 pass play to Ryan Kennedy of Abilene High. Willie Kershaw of Abilene Cooper quieted the crowd when he tackled Orsagh behind the line of scrimmage leaving the North forth and seven on the South 38 yard line and two seconds left in the game. Matt Adams of Abilene High returned to the game for the last play with the memories of missing the extra point that left his team behind. Twice as he stepped back from the holder, the South team called timeout to give his nerves a little more time to work. He stepped back a third and final time and thundered a high kick 55 yards thru the center of the goal posts and over the fence behind them. Immediately after the game, both teams met in the center of the stadium to shake hands and congratulate each other on a well played game. After presentation of the Offensive MVP to Robert Payne and Defensive MVP to Albany?s Mike Wilson, the teams, coaches and cheerleaders met in the center of the stadium for prayer. The final mark of this as a Christian experience was the hugs and farewells not just between the teammates of the past week but athletes seeking out new friends from both teams that now share a bond of Christian fellowship.