Present at The Beginning

#886?

A FAN-tastic trip?

Perhaps because my ears have gotten bored, I've been tuning in more and more to WXPN out of Philadelphia. Over the past few days, they did a countdown of the 885 road trip songs. My initial thoughts had me thinking about what songs would make it onto my playlist. Later thoughts brought me back to what may be my favorite road trip to date.

It was 1989, and emotions were likely a bit mixed in my home. While our high school's football team had been upset in our district semi-finals, a local college that would eventually become the alma mater of myself and two of my siblings had earned an invitation to their division's playoff tournament. So we were all a bit surprised when our Dad asked all of us if we would like to head to the opening round game in Kentucky.

Needless to say we accepted, and early on a Saturday in late November, we packed the family station wagon and headed off. We managed to arrive with a few hours to spare for the evenings game.

The game itself was a memorable as the trip. Down 10-0 early in the game, we rallied a bit and trailed 24-14 at the end of the 1st half. Those 24 points would be all the opposition would score for the rest of the game.

In the third quarter, we'd take control. We held the ball for 14 minutes and scored 14 points to start the final quarter ahead 28-24. But the game was far from over; late in the final quarter, our defense was looking at a 4th and one. Rather than go for a short gain, the other team tried a sweep. The play was dead on arrival, and led to a big loss, and a turnover on downs.

The game came to an end with Youngstown State University winning their first playoff game since 1979 and handing Eastern Kentucky their first home loss in over 30 games.

Youngstown State would lose it's second-round game, but there would many more playoff games in the years to come. From 1989 until 2000, when their coach left to take over at Ohio State; they would win four national championships, in a playoff even, finish runner-up twice, and make eight playoff appearances.

And my family can say they were there for the beginning!

1 comment

Jeremey profile image

Jeremey 6 years ago from Arizona

Brings back memories of a middle of the night awaking by my father, he loaded us in the van at around two in the morning and we headed from Western New York off to Michigan's Flint area to visit an uncle......... its always good to be reminded of once forgotten memories! Thanks.

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