The Friday night football game between Oak Ridge and Anderson County was delayed because of lightning, and it will resume at 7:30 p.m. Monday at Anderson County High School.
It will be free and start where it ended, with Oak Ridge leading 7-0 at 1:28 in the first quarter, Wildcats Coach Joe Gaddis said Saturday.
He said lightning was last spotted at about 9:30 p.m. Friday at ACHS. A 30-minute delay is required each time lightning is spotted, meaning the game could not have restarted any earlier than 10 p.m.
But if officials had observed more lightning before the restart, they would have had to wait another 30 minutes, Gaddis said.
“It kept happening over and over,” he said.
Players and fans had already evacuated the field.
The Monday night game will resume where it ended Friday. Leading by seven, Oak Ridge had just punted, and Anderson County had a first down near its own 20-yard line.
Gaddis, who thought the Wildcats and Mavericks might have been able to finish the first half, said officials have total control of the game once it starts, and coaches don’t control weather delays. Still, you don’t want to take chances with lightning, the coach said.
While officials control the weather delays, coaches control the rescheduling, although it’s ultimately up to the home team. A few rescheduling options were considered and ruled out for the weather-delayed Oak Ridge-Anderson County game. Many players are taking ACT tests this morning, so rescheduling for Saturday morning wasn’t an option, although it would have been ideal otherwise, Gaddis said.
Coaches didn’t want to interfere with the University of Tennessee football game this afternoon, so Saturday afternoon was also ruled out. A Sunday game was also ruled out.
Most other teams played on Friday, and because of the Monday night game, Oak Ridge and Anderson County will now play two games in one week.
Gaddis said weather-delayed games like Friday’s are rare but not unprecedented. He said it’s probably happened to him two to three times in 40 years.
“It doesn’t happen very often, but it does happen,” he said.
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