"Thayer Bobcats -- Second in state."
That was the headlines in the Springfield News-Leader on Nov. 29, 2008.
The writer of that story said the game was incredible.
He also said Thayer Head Coach Billy Webber acknowledged Orrick as the winner but quoted him as saying, "I'm not sure we lost it."
The game in the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis on Nov. 28 between Orrick and Thayer is the most exciting game in the history of the Missouri playoffs and many said it was the most exciting game they had ever seen.
With seconds left in regulation play, Bobcat quarterback Jacob Eckman threw the ball for a 62-yard touchdown to Lance Schneider, who eluded three tacklers on his way to the end zone. It tied the game at 14-all with zero seconds on the clock.
That's the stuff of legend.
The final score was Orrick 34, Thayer 28, in two overtimes.
Us Old Bobcodgers say "Congratulations" to the players, coaches, the school and everyone associated with it.
We know it hurts to lose the game, but playing in the Dome in a championship game and to be on television in several states, is a rare privilege.
To see the school's name plastered up on the scoreboard and in the newspapers was awesome, too.
The Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA) started a football playoff system in 1968, 40 years ago.
Thayer High School, based on enrollment, is a Class 1 (small) school (In 2008 there were 64 Class 1 schools).
Larger schools are in Class 2 through 5, with the largest in Missouri assigned to Class 6.
Obviously, the percentage of schools who have been in the championship game is low.
Mountain Grove has been in the playoffs 12 times and has not played in the finals. Stockton, with 16 playoff appearances, has never finished as high as second. Kirkwood, with a great football tradition, has made the playoffs 15 times and never played in the championship game.
Salem, is similar to Thayer in that they have finished second twice, without winning the title game.
It's difficult to win a state championship, at any level.
Thayer High School's only state title was in track in 1934.