Stevens: Technology brightens Friday night lights

tstevens@newsobserver.comNovember 11, 2013 

Friday night’s collection of high school football games might have been the best I can remember, and because of Twitter accounts and online coverage I could track a dozen games at once.

Years ago, the only way to get high school scores on a Friday night was to call the newspaper. Later, radio station WPTF began a Friday night high school scoreboard show. Television stations added shows later.

But technology has changed to the point that you can get play-by-play results in almost live time. By 11 p.m., full accounts of most of the biggest games already are posted at www.newsobserver.com/sports/preps/.

For example, take a look at three of the most exciting games from Friday night as reported on the PrepsNow Twitter account:

8:19: South Johnston 21, Smithfield-Selma 0 5 minutes to play 1st half

8:52 p.m.: Wakefield 20, Leesville Road 17. End of 3rd qtr.

8:53: Sanderson 34, Millbrook 24 entering the 4th

8:59: Leesville's Malcolm Hitchcock runs in a 1-yard score on fourth and goal. Leesville Road 24, Wakefield 20 with 9:09 remaining

9:10: Chris Samuels gets Smithfield-Selma on the board with an 8-yd TD run and two-point conversion. Spartans trail South Johnston 21-8 3rd qtr

9:19: Football: Wakefield 27, Leesville Road 24 w/ 3:03 remaining. Brabrand runs in a 4-yard Wakefield score to give Wolverines the lead. # cap8

9:30: This is what Millbrook vs. Sanderson is all about. 41-40 with 1:44 in the 4th Quarter on Sanderson's Senior Night. # WildcatPride # RIVALRY

9:36: Wakefield 34, Leesville Road 31 with 50 seconds remaining. Wolverines score on a Brabrand to Dennis pass. # cap8

9:37: South Johnston 21, Smithfield-Selma 15. Raequan Smith with the 3-yd TD run for Spartans. 8:33 left 4th quarter

9:46: Football: Wakefield 34, Leesville Road 31. Final. Wild ending here. Wakefield wins first outright # cap8 title since 2005.

9:46: Millbrook survives as Sanderson misses last second field goal to take 41-40 win

9:54: South Johnston fumbles the ball, Smithfield-Selma recovers. Trojans lead by six with 3:38 left

10:03: Chris Samuels finds Raequan Smith for 33-yd TD pass with 1:29 left. XP gives Smithfield-Selma 22-21 lead over South Johnston

10:12: South Johnston comes up short on FG attempt. Smithfield-Selma will break 40-game losing streak – states longest – with a 22-21 WIN

Add Southern Durham’s wild 54-41 win for the Big Eight 3A title and Southeast Raleigh’s rally past Clayton, plus Shawn Stankavage’s seven touchdown passes for Cardinal Gibbons, and it was quite a night.

And instead of waiting until the next morning, the N&O had stories online from 13 games before 11 p.m. Eventually, 577 pictures from seven games were posted.

News & Observer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service