Friday Night Legends Game Recap
Friday Night Legends is a football board game that uses actual team statistics, play calling and some luck to determine the outcome – kind of like real life! In this series, we will take some of these great teams we have compiled and give you a write-up of how the two played using Friday Night Legends.
St. Thomas: In 2010 the Raiders won their 6th Florida high school State Championship. In addition, the private school took home the hotly debated title of National Champions..
Odessa Permian: The Panthers of Friday Night Lights fame won the state title the year after the movie was made. This team won with a strong running game and a defense that held opponents to 7 or less points 11 times
St. Thomas Aquinas met Odessa Permian at a neutral site to determine which was the better team Both teams came into this game giving up less than one TD per game while scoring right at 40 points… something had to give.
The Raiders of St. Thomas won the toss and elected to receive. The Panthers of Permian wasted no time bringing the fireworks as they’d returned the opening kick from their 14 out to their 49. The first play from scrimmage was a big 15 yard gain and it looked like the Panthers were going to make short work of Aquinas.
They managed only two yards on their next three plays. Facing 4th and 8 in no man’s land between a punt and a field goal, they elected to go for it Another Permian explosion saw a pass down to the 10 yard line. Again the St. Thomas defense stiffened and gave up only 3 yards on the next three plays. Facing 4th and goal, with six of their eight plays having gone for less than a yard, Permian elected to take the easy field goal and the 3-0 lead.
On St. Thomas’ first drive, they drove to their 47 before stalling. A punt that was fair caught at the 14 pinned Odessa deep. A short drive later, they too punted – this one to the Aquinas 36.
Again, St Thomas drove, again to their 47. Facing 4th and 1 they elected to go for it and came up inches short ending the drive. Permian took over and responded with a drive to the ST 37. On 4th and 2 Permian chose once again to go for it. This too came down to a measurement but unlike the Raiders’ turnover on days was, it was good. St Thomas again responded by sending Permian backward on three plays. Again, stuck in no man’s land, Permian went for the 4th and long – no good… turnover on downs.
Aquinas 0 – Permian 3
St. Thomas began the 2nd with a fizzle. They managed only negative yardage on three plays and punted the ball away. Odessa Permian responded in identical fashion managing only negative yardage and another punt.
St. Thomas’ offensive game plan really started to click when they started their next drive with only 1 yard of total offense thus far. The Offensive Coordinator seemed unable to make a mistake as it appeared it didn’t matter what the Permian DC called. The best drive of the game saw the Raiders on the scoreboard for the first time when they connected on a 17 yard TD score. St Thomas took the lead 7-3 with 5:10 to go in the half.
Permian couldn’t answer the call as they went three and out once again. With the ball back in their hands, the Raiders put together another drive that ate up the clock and saw them facing 4th and goal with just seconds remaining. Rather than press their luck, they attempted the short field goal, it it WAS BLOCKED! The Permian defender fielded the ball and looked to be sprinting for paydirt but was caught at the St. Thomas 30.
With ten seconds left in the half, Permian had one play. In no man’s land for the third time of the game, they once again elected to go for the score but the deep pass down the right sideline bounced in and out of the Panther receiver’s hands.
Aquinas 7 – Permian 3
St. Thomas Aquinas
Rushing 13 carries, 103 yards
Passing 3 of 9, 34 yards
4th down conversions 0 of 1
Penalties 0, 0 yards
Big Plays 0
Rushing 16 carries, 32 yards
Passing 4 of 10, 59 yards
4th down conversions 2 of 2
Penalties 1, 5 yards
Big Plays 1
Permian began the second half down by 4. Their first drive however, stalled out once again in no man”s land but this time they decided to punt. The brilliant punt pinned Aquinas down at their 6. The Permian defense again forced a three and out.
The Panthers took over at their own 48 and it looked like they were finally getting their offense going. After driving to the ST 31, the Raiders D stiffened. A few plays later, Permian faced 4th and long at the 41 (once again in no man’s land) and again they decided to try their luck with the punt. The St. Thomas return man settled under the high kick at his 11 and MUFFED IT! Permian recovered the turnover – 1st and 10 just 11 yards from the lead.
The next three plays were -2 yard rushing, -5 yards, and an incomplete pass. The Aquinas D was not going to make this easy. On 4th and 17, Permian connected on the field goal and cut the lead to 7-6.
St. Thomas ran out the remainder of the 3rd quarter on a drive that saw them get their first penalty of the game.
Aquinas 7 – Permian 6
In a game that was dominated by defensive play, just one point separated these two storied programs. The St. Thomas drive which had begun before the teams switched direction, stalled out at their own 35. Looking to get the defense back on the field, Aquinas lined up for the punt. The punter took a high snap and spied an opening. Rather than kick, he elected to run the ball despite needing 5 yards for the first down. The Raiders coach was screaming, “No No No….N….. YES!” as the scramble turned into a 14 yard gain and a first down. Permian’s D didn’t break however as St. Thomas again went three and out – this time completing the punt which Permian fielded at their 24.
Down by 1 with 9:50 left in the game, it would soon be crunch time for the Permian offense. They managed a nice drive to the Aquinas 47 before being forced to punt again. This time to the ST 8 yard line. There was only 6:40 remaining.
There was still too much time remaining for St. Thomas to start burning clock. They simply needed to find a way to make first downs and hopefully score again to give themselves a little breathing room. It was looking good until the wheels fell off. What appeared to be a first down brought a gasp from both crowds as the runner inexorably dropped the ball without being touched. The field turned into a rugby scrum as it appeared that more than 22 guys all piled on the loose ball. When the zebras finally pulled everyone off the pile, a Permian Panther came up with the ball and their stands erupted with joy!
With 5:50 still remaining, Permian had a 1st and 10 at the Aquinas 18. Surely, they could manage a field goal and regain the lead?
First down, -2 yards
second down, -1 yard
third down, +3 yards
on 4th down, the Panther kicker knocked through the 35 yard field goal (with the help of a couple coaching points.)
The Panthers took the lead 9-7 as St Thomas took the kickoff and rambled to the Permian 46. There was 3:20 remaining in the game and the Raiders trailed by 2 with 3 time outs remaining.
A drive that featured a 4th and 11 conversion ended with St .Thomas lining up for a 35 yard field goal of their own to win the game. Again the coach was a factor as his conversation with the kicker just before the attempt was just was he needed. The field goal was good as the final buzzer sounded on the St. Thomas Aquinas victory!
Aquinas 10 – Permian 9
St. Thomas Aquinas
Rushing 25 carries, 144 yards
Passing 6 of 13, 63 yards
4th down conversions 2 of 3
Penalties 2, 10 yards
Big Plays 4
Rushing 33 carries, 53 yards
Passing 6 of 14, 98 yards
4th down conversions 2 of 2
Penalties 4, 30 yards
Big Plays 4
NOTES: This was a defensive struggle as both D’s held the powerful offenses in check. The SPECIAL plays were a huge factor in this game as St. Thomas’ TD scoring drive (the only TD of the game) was greatly helped by a series of plays where only their result counted. Despite the luck of the SPECIAL play results, their 3 turnovers at key moments kept it very close. Both teams played a very clean game with only 40 combined penalty yards. Big Plays too were few and fair as each had four. Both teams also each needed to use Coaching Points to make their key FGs at in the 4th quarter. 4th down conversions were crucial as early on St. Thomas missed some important ones while Permian made theirs. Just like the score though, that changed late. In fact, 4th down was consistently the deciding factor in the game as it accounted for 4 of the 5 scores and many of the turnovers.