Friday nights 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
9:36: 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 Durhams wild 54-41 win for the Big Eight 3A title and Southeast Raleighs rally past Clayton, plus Shawn Stankavages 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.