Remember the scene in "The Natural" where Roy Hobbs hits a home run and the stadium lights explode? Well, Georgia got to witness the high school football version of that episode on Friday night during a game between Marietta (Ga.) High and Walton (Ga.) High.
Someone should have cued the soundtrack for the movie version of "Friday Night Lights," performed by (you guessed it) Explosions in the Sky.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Michael Carvell and the Marietta Daily Journal, the lights on the right side of one of Marietta Northcutt Stadium's end zone exploded while the Marietta Blue Devils celebrated a first-quarter touchdown with just six seconds remaining in the period. Sparks flew everywhere, providing the impression that fireworks were exploding to celebrate the Marietta score.Given the fact that it was senior night in Marietta, that idea wasn't completely far fetched, either.
"There were sparks everywhere, it looked like a celebratory fireworks display -- in fact, there were several kids who thought that was what was happening," Marietta coach Scott Burton told the Journal-Constitution.
Those in attendance were equally shocked by what happened.
"It was bedlam," photographer Johnny Walker, who provided the photos you see in this post, told Prep Rally. "It really was out of a movie. The stadium announcer was just finishing saying 'Touchdown, Marietta!' and the lights just exploded. There were sparks flying all over the place."
After another minute or two, the entire stadium went dark, with all power shutting down. With no lighting in the stadium, some fans retreated to cars or below the stands, while the remaining fans used cell phones to light up small pockets of the stadium like bursts of fireflies.
"It was pitch black," Walker told Prep Rally. "It took about 10 minutes or so for your eyes to adjust and then you could see a little again. But it really was dark."
The local electrical company had to be called to the field to provide emergency repair work, causing a two-hour delay. By the time the second quarter of the game started it was already 10 o'clock, with the final whistle of Walton's 59-28 rout pushed off until nearly midnight.
"That's certainly not a situation you prepare for or imagine [as a football coach]," Burton told the Journal Constitution.
Nevertheless, the explosive end to the first quarter made for a lasting memory for fans and players alike.
"I'll tell you, that's a game we won't forget for a long time," Walker told Prep Rally. "We certainly didn't see it coming."
- Marietta Daily Journal