BEEVILLE – Remember, remember, the sixth of November.
Surely not a soul who was inside Veterans Memorial Stadium that night will forget what they saw when the Beeville Trojans hosted the Miller Buccaneers.
What those in attendance will remember is watching the fourth-highest scoring 11-man football game in Texas high school football history.
They’ll remember watching a game that featured more than 150 offensive plays, 1,300 offensive yards and more than 50 combined first downs.
The Miller faithful will remember it fondly, while the Beeville faithful will look back in agony on a game that the Buccaneers won 86-76 on the Trojans’ home field.
“It’s up there at the top for sure,” said Trojan coach Chris Soza about where the game ranks in his list of most memorable moments of his coaching career.
“... No one gave us a chance tonight; no one except for these kids, those 27 guys in the locker room and the coaching staff. I’m just so happy that we were able to play to our capabilities and potential.”
That potential showed a team that could go toe-to-toe with perhaps the most dynamic offensive team in the state.
Beeville racked up nearly 600 yards of total offense against the Buccaneers, including a season-high 433 passing yards.
Senior quarterback William Harper, who had 432 of the team’s 433 passing yards, rifled six touchdown passes to four different receivers on the night.
Jalen Spicer caught three of them – with grabs of 76, 70 and 68 yards, respectively, all in the second half – and had 231 yards receiving on nine catches.
He also led the team in rushing yards with 81 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries.
He was responsible for the other passing yard as well with his lone completion on a trick play.
Victor Gonzales, Leroy Gonzales and Andre Trevino each caught touchdown tosses from Harper as well. V. Gonzales finished with three catches for 88 yards, L. Gonzales caught two balls for 53 yards and Trevino’s lone reception was a 29-yard TD.
The scoring summary for the game read like War & Peace with 23 combined touchdowns between the two teams.
For much of the first half, Beeville had the advantage. Midway through the second quarter, Miller took its first lead at 35-28.
After that, the game was tied twice – at 35-35 and 63-63 – but the Bucs never trailed again.
The turning point came midway through the fourth.
Following Spicer’s 70-yard TD catch that made it 70-69, the Trojans went for two to take the lead.
The pass fell incomplete, though.
On the ensuing drive, Miller scored on a 5-yard TD run – part of its 469-yard rushing performance – and added the two-point conversion.
That left Beeville trying to play catch-up.
The Trojans got back within two, 78-76, with 4:51 left, but Miller answered with another rushing TD, then its defense stopped Beeville on fourth-and-long with less than two minutes left to seal it.
“I’m so proud of these guys,” said Soza. “I know it’s a loss, but I think the seniors will still remember how well and how hard they fought.
“... Tonight, we just challenged them to come out and just play the way they are capable of playing and have fun.”
It was a memorable game to end a season that most Beeville fans would rather soon forget.
In Soza’s second season back in charge, the Trojans went 2-8, the worst single season mark of the coach’s two-decade-long career.
The loss also marked the end of the prep careers for a group of seniors who Soza called “special guys.”
“They came every day to work,” he said. “We talked about checking in and checking out, and these guys didn’t check out. ...
“That’s the best thing about these guys. Hopefully they set an example for the rest of these younger guys.”
The tears flowed from both Spicer and Harper after the loss.
“I just appreciate everybody who stuck to it, and I appreciate the coaches too,” Spicer said afterward. “... I love all my friends. These are my brothers for life. I’m proud of them.”
The tears, Harper said, weren’t tears of sadness.
“I’m just proud of my team,” he said. “It’s bittersweet. It’s sweet because I got to play one more football game with my team, and it’s bitter because we didn’t go out the way we wanted to.
“I don’t feel sad. It’s more tears of joy and tears (because) I’m just going to miss my team.”