Battling Expectations

Our tickets

Our tickets

The last time I wrote about Sam Houston State football, the Mister and I were not watching the SHSU Family Weekend game. The weather had conspired against us, unfortunately, and we opted to spend more time with our younger son instead of sitting on the wet bleachers after a long lightning and storm delay.

Still wanting to see the Kats in action as well as, hopefully, our beloved personal Bearkat, I bought two tickets to the annual Battle of the Piney Woods clash last Saturday at Reliant Stadium (home of the Houston Texans). This time any rain would be a moot point due to the retractable roof.

Tickets only were sold for the lower bowl (26,000 attended).

Reliant is an impressive stadium.

Fortunately, it was a spectacular fall day, and the roof was open. The Mister and I settled into our seats near the end zone and prepared for a shootout. Before this season, we didn’t know much about the intense rivalry between SHSU and nearby Stephen F. Austin State University, home of the Lumberjacks (as in “axe ’em, Jacks!”), now in its 88th year. We may be hicks from the sticks, but our sticks are bigger than Huntsville and Nacogdoches.

Big head or little hat? Or both?

Big head or little hat? Or both?

I had read that when these two teams meet, the scoreboard operator is busy. No kidding! SFA quarterback Brady Attaway (great last name!) is the nation’s second-best passer. In this game, his impressive stats included 505 passing yards and five touchdowns. Add about 240 rushing yards, and you’ve got a boatload of offense.

Brian Bell makes the handoff.

Brian Bell makes the handoff.

However, the Bearkats aren’t too shabby when they have the ball either. Quarterback Brian Bell accounted for 339 passing yards and four touchdowns. The team gained 218 yards, too.

Sammy dances for the crowd.

Sammy dances for the crowd.

In the end, the Jacks’ four turnovers in their first four possessions in the fourth quarter doomed them, despite an impressive, late rally. The Kats won 56-49 and lead the series 51-35-2. Way to eat ’em up, Kats!

Our son should be here somewhere.

The kid should be somewhere among the orange.

And what about our son? For some reason he decided he’d rather sleep late and stay on campus rather than root for his team and see his loving parents. He missed out on a thrilling victory, while the Mister and I didn’t get the chance to spend time with him.

Guess you can’t win them all.

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