Here’s the simple storyline for Friday night’s game between the Brandies Broncos and the O’Connor Panthers at Farris Stadium. The Broncos (7-0, 2-0) are undefeated and the Panthers (5-1, 2-0) have just one loss outside of district. They’re tied for first place in District 27-6A Zone B. The winner of this game will be in the driver’s seat to win the zone and play for the district championship. Their playoff lives revolve around games like these.
But that’s still not what will make this another classic rivalry game. Here are the real reasons to be excited for it.
1. Too many men on the field
On Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013, the Brandeis Broncos won 12-10 over the O’Connor Panthers at Farris Stadium. But the end of the game involved one of the more unusual sequences in local high school football fans’ memories.
O’Connor kicker Chandler Coleman had just made a 29-yard field goal with eight seconds remaining in the game to give the Panthers a 10-9 lead. Panther fans were rejoicing, figuring they had just beaten their rivals at Brandeis.
After the ensuing kickoff and a complete pass by Brandeis put the ball at their own 26-yard line, all O’Connor had to do was stop one more play, which they did, sort of.
Brandeis quarterback Brandon Chapman hit teammate Larry Stephens with a quick pass, Stephens would lateral to Dayden Wooster, who would lateral to Peyton Hall. With Hall seemingly about to be taken down, the players on the O’Connor sideline started running onto the field in victory.
However, Hall actually was able to execute one last lateral back to Wooster, who was finally brought down at the Panthers 26-yard line.
The referees hit O’Connor with a sideline infraction, meaning that Brandeis got a final play from the 13-yard line, which they turned into a successful 30-yard field goal by Patricio Botello, sealing a comeback win for the Broncos.
This would lead to an even bigger event later that night. But first, here is video of the controversial and strange moments of that game.
That same evening, Whataburger was the site of “overtime” between O’Connor and Brandeis students.
Students from both sides were at the restaurant near Loop 1604 and Bandera Road when a food fight broke out. While it was never pointed out who started it, the impetus for it was the taunting and trash talk between the schools from what had transpired on the field.
Here is the original KENS 5 report on the incident from September 2013:
Even this year, Kens 5 is reporting that Whataburger is taking precautions by planning extra security at the restaurant after the game.
3. Rivalry that burns
Before the famous Whataburger melee, there was the fire incident. Two O’Connor students had ventured onto the Brandeis football field on a Sunday night and used gasoline to burn the school’s initials ‘OC’ into the field.
While it was not related to any recent football game, it still reflected the intensity and sometimes inappropriate levels of pride people have when it comes to high school rivalries.
Click here to read this story.
4. Ending the drought
Brandeis has a 4-2 series lead in a short sample of games. Each team has pushed each other to the limits in those six games, the exception being a 47-9 Broncos win during the 2010-11 season. O’Connor has been on the losing side on some close games the last two years (27-20 in 2012 and 12-10 in 2013).
Streaks like these are made to be broken, while rivalries like this are what Texas high school football is all about.
5. It’s about communities
David Flores’ most recent Super 10 rankings have Brandeis (No. 2) and O’Connor (No. 4) separated by one spot. But his latest story also includes an interview with O’Connor head coach David Malesky, who eloquently explained what this game is all about.
“It’s not just a football game, but it’s a rivalry between the communities as well. I think it kind of helps highlight the good things about high school athletics. It really unites each community. They know us, we know them. It’s just about going out and playing the game of football, and not letting the emotion of the rivalry get to you.”