Wednesday, April 23, 2014
It was shades of 1962 and Abner Haynes at Winslow High School on Saturday afternoon.
Haynes was a running back for the Dallas Texans (later the Kansas City Chiefs) and in 1962, the Texans and Houston Oilers went into overtime in the AFL championship game. Before the overtime coin toss, the Texans coaches told Haynes that if Houston won the toss, “We’ll kick to the clock.”
Instead, Dallas won the toss, but Haynes still said, “We’ll kick to the clock.” The Texans thus didn’t get either the ball or the wind, but they won anyway.
On Saturday, Winslow won the coin toss before the start of the game. Here’s how Belfast coach Chris Bartlett described what happened next:
“I told my speaking captain that we wanted to defer — thinking that we’ve deferred all three games up until now. They’ve all been there, so you defer. If they defer to you, then you take the ball.
“So they deferred, and the first thing that came to his mind was ‘Defer.’ So he says ‘Defer’ and we’re screaming on the sidelines, ‘We want the ball!’ and it’s too late. The officials wouldn’t let him change his mind. When you do the double defer, they get the benefit of it.”
So that meant Belfast had to kick off to start the first half, and kick off again to start the second half. But the Belfast defense held on both drives, and the Lions ended up with a 14-13 win — which, of course, makes the story a whole lot funnier for Belfast than if the Lions had lost.
Travis Lazarczyk has worked at the Morning Sentinel and Kennebec Journal since 2000. He covers football, basketball and baseball. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/tlazarmaine