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(Rick Hickman / American Press)

(Rick Hickman / American Press)

Notebook: The most exciting ending I never saw

Last Modified: Wednesday, December 05, 2012 1:46 AM

By Johnathan Manning / American Press

Maybe you were like me Friday night.

Maybe you were driving around Carlyss, killing time while waiting for the football game on the radio to come to an end.

A football game that wasn’t on TV, thus was only available on the radio or in person.

Yes, maybe you were like me and, with 11 minutes left in the game, walked out of Barbe’s historic 49-48 comeback win over West Monroe that propelled them to the second state championship game in their history and their first in the Superdome.

This wasn’t entirely my fault. When West Monroe went ahead by 27 points and Barbe was completely unable to stop their running game, the outcome seemed inevitable.

When West Monroe scored on a 75-yard run to go ahead by four touchdowns, my buddy Steve looked at me and said, “Let’s go.”

I didn’t argue. After all, it appeared a foregone conclusion that West Monroe — the mighty Rebels and their eight state championships — were headed to another title game.

But Barbe found a way to do it without dealing with West Monroe’s running game. The Bucs got the ball back on a fumble and kept it away from the Rebels on two recovered onside kicks.

While I cruised Carlyss, the announcer said over the radio something to the effect of, “four minutes until Barbe’s season ends.”

A little over two minutes later his tune had changed, “a minute and 17 seconds until one of these teams’ season ends.”

I covered high school sports for 12 years, and that was the most exciting ending I’ve ever seen. Check that: It would have been the most exciting ending I’d ever seen.

As I walked in to the game, I saw Lake Charles Deputy Police Chief Mark Kraus and told him, “This is the first high school football game I’ve been to in two years.”

I was excited. I’ve been to plenty of semifinal games (including a cold-weather game between these two teams in West Monroe in which us foreign sports writers were relegated to the far corner of the end zone to freeze) and I knew this standing-room-only crowd was going to be a great atmosphere.

It turned out to be. I just didn’t stick around to find that out, leaving me to search for a video of what I paid to see in person.

I’ll tell you what, Bucs. I’m not particularly superstitions, but I’ll do you a favor Saturday night: Early in the fourth quarter I’ll get up and walk out of the Superdome and leave you to win that state title you’ve waited so long for.

Posted By: P.Q. On: 12/3/2012

Title: hey who me....

He was not there to report the game.He was only there to see a game.By reading the story, was it REALLY that hard to figure that one out? geez

Posted By: David Hoogland On: 12/3/2012


As a WM fan with a son competing on the field of play, it was the greatest comeback I have, or will ever, witness. I believe most everyone in the stadium including most of Barbe fans and most of our fans thought it was over. I was high fiving and "cautiously" feeling like we had it. i honestly CANNOT say that crazier things have happened. They have this... As a gut wrenching defeat (just sickening) as it was for me, my son, our boys,coaches, and fans, my hat is off to Barbe for the improberable comeback. Though it did not go our way, I can say that I watched the greatest game (comeback) in La. highschool football history. Good luck in the dome. I will be rooting for you.

Posted By: D Eccles On: 12/2/2012

Title: Game was filmed and shown live by streaming online.

Game was filmed and will be on Suddenlink channel 60 this Wednesday night (possibly will be on Tuesday night) at 7pm. It was shown live on Ustream video online by

Posted By: Roland Hebert On: 12/2/2012


This reporter along with me and 100's of others.4th quarter began with WM ahead by 27 points and the tempo going their way. It was a route, or seemed to be. Glad the boys on the field didn't give up!

Posted By: who me On: 12/2/2012

Title: Stay to the end

Maybe you should try another profession. Sorry but you should not be allow to cover the game in the Superdome. Who knows where you would go in New Orleans.

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