Editor’s note: The “In Case You Missed It” feature will publish each Monday during the high school football regular season, taking a closer look at a significant element from the previous weekend’s action.
Imagine the indignation Jonny Louiver felt when asked by an official prior to kickoff of last Friday’s Spring Hill and Silsbee contest if he objected to the use of a running clock.
“I can’t tell you what I told him,” said a somewhat amused Louvier.
A running clock before a game even kicks off is the height of disrespect.
Louiver, understandably, was taken aback.
“It was pretty nonchalant to ask that before a game. I was kinda mad at first,” Louiver admitted. “I just wanted us to play good. Win or lose, I wanted us to take a step forward. We dealt with some adversity this week and it was the best thing for us.”
Spring Hill made the three-hour haul to Silsbee light five defensive starters. The Panthers were to face a Tiger team that just last year advanced to the Class 4A DII state semifinals. This coming on the heels of playing Class 3A DI state finalist Malakoff a week earlier.
Turns out the only team that could’ve used a running clock was Silsbee. Senior Panther QB Gage White threw for nearly five football fields and a half dozen touchdowns in their surprising 41-27 taming of the Tigers. The game was actually called with 45 seconds left in the third quarter due to severe lightning.
“We had kids that should’ve been on the bus but weren’t. But we had other kids to step their game up. If we want to change something about Spring Hill football, a win like this will be what could change it,” Louiver said. “Part of my job as a coach is to be honest with the kids. I told our seniors before the game that this was their chance to change the persona of Spring Hill and be the group that turned it around.”
White’s final numbers read like a Madden game. He completed 20 of 27 for 461 yards and six touchdowns. His preferred pass catcher was Jay Rockwell, who pulled in six passes for 130 yards and four touchdowns. Tyrese Jones added 150 yards on four catches with a touchdown.
The Panthers set the tone that they weren’t there to be a sacrificial lamb when White and Rockwell teamed up on a 99-yard rainbow score. The score came after Spring Hill’s defense forced a Silsbee fumble at the one-yard line.
“What I was most proud of is just to see the kids step up. We could’ve went down there and laid down. Because of the situation with having all those starters out,” Louiver explained. “But this group simply refused to lose. We’re gonna piece it together whatever we can.”