When Bryan Station and Henry Clay were ringing up touchdowns like a pinball machine early in Friday night's city showdown, the wiseguys in the press box cracked that the first team to get to 80 points would win.
That prediction almost came true.
Host Henry Clay beat Bryan Station 70-63 in a wild and crazy game at Heber Field.
The Blue Devils and Defenders, both rated in the top 10 in the state, combined for 19 touchdowns and 1,233 yards. Their defenses didn't rate much of a chance.
No. 10 Henry Clay did most of its damage on the ground, rushing for 559 yards.
Joquise Buford, a speedy junior who's the leading rusher in Class 6A, carried 37 times for 334 yards and eight touchdowns.
"It was a hard dog-fight game," Buford said. "We just came out and played a little harder."
Austin Bledsoe, Buford's backfield sidekick, ran 19 times for 175 yards and a TD.
"Bryan Station was bringing their ends on the outside, so we decided to go up the gut and take it to them," Bledsoe said.
He then credited Henry Clay's offensive line: Michael Blythe, Jordan Vaughn, Sullivan Simpson, Jordan Forsythe and Derrick Thomas.
C.J. Tackett threw for 95 yards and a TD for the Devils.
No. 9 Bryan Station did most of its damage through the air.
Junior quarterback Andre Davis, the leading passer in 6A, completed 28 of 40 passes for 369 yards and seven TDs. He left the game late in the third quarter with a groin injury and did not return.
C.J. Walker had 11 catches for 146 yards and a score. Marcus Floyd had nine grabs for 99 yards and four TDs. Rafael Few had two TD catches, and Tequan Claitt had one.
Davis lit up Henry Clay for 304 yards and six TDs in the first half to give the Defenders a 42-28 lead.
Devils Coach Sam Simpson said he told his team at halftime that he wasn't mad. He knew Bryan Station's air game was hard to stop.
"I told them let's don't beat up on ourselves. Let's go out, score on the first drive of the second half, and after that if we get three stops, we'll have a chance to win the game."
Henry Clay took its first lead at 56-49 on a Buford run (of course) with 4:53 left.
Bryan Station tied it on back-up quarterback Dallas Bruton's 10-yard TD toss to Marcus Floyd with 3:12 left.
Henry Clay needed 34 seconds to regain the lead when Buford ripped off a 59-yard scoring run to make it 63-56.
The Devils' then forced a turnover, with Jack Jackson intercepting Bruton.
"I just had to go out and make a play for my team," a giddy Jackson said.
Buford stretched Henry Clay's lead to 70-56 with a 25-yard TD with :44 left.
As it turned out, Bryan Station was still alive.
Bruton's 20-yard TD pass to Floyd cut the deficit to 70-63 with :16 left, and the Defenders recovered an onside kick. But the scoring was over as Henry Clay's defense held.
After the game, Simpson was still feeling the effects of the wild and crazy game.
"My heart feels like it's pounding 100 beats a second," he said with a smile.
Henry Clay 70, Bryan Station 63
Bryan Station 21 21 7 14 — 63
Henry Clay 14 14 14 28 — 70
BS—Rafael Few 23 pass from Andre Davis. (Anthony Lopez kick). HC—Joquise Buford 5 run (Taylor Dunbar kick). BS—Tequan Claitt 22 pass from Davis (Lopez kick). HC—Colby Barnes 62 pass from C.J. Tackett (Dunbar kick). BS—Marcus Floyd 21 pass from Davis (Lopez kick). BS—Few 9 pass from Davis (Lopez kick). HC—Buford 25 run (Dunbar kick). BS—C.J. Walker 28 pass from Davis (Lopez kick). HC—Buford 34 run (Dunbar kick). BS—D'Andre Mack 18 pass from Davis (Lopez kick). HC—Buford 4 run (kick failed). BS—Floyd 4 pass from Davis (Lopez kick). HC—Buford 1 run (Buford run). HC—Austin Bledson 6 run (Dunbar kick). HC—Buford 19 run (Dunbar kick). BS—Floyd 10 pass from Dallas Bruton (Lopez kick). HC—Buford 59 run (Dunbar kick). HC—Buford 25 run (Dunbar kick). BS—Floyd 20 pass from Bruton (Lopez kick).
Records—Bryan Station 6-3; Henry Clay 7-2