Smash and his boys are leading a giant pep rally through Dillon. The press is buzzing. The town is going nuts. The girls are dancing. The streamers are flying. It's a banner day in West Texas, ladies and gentlemen, and it's just getting started.
Lyla is ignoring her father. Jason is staring at Lyla and barely forming sentences as he speaks. Tyra sidles up to Landry and tells him that even though it's against her religion to go to this game, Tim gave her tickets on the 50-yard-line, so if Landry wants to go... Matt has run away from the media to make out with Julie in a corner.
A little while later, we see Tami at the doctor, where she's talking to Smash's mom, who's a nurse. She asks how pregnant Tami wants to be... "Because you extremely pregnant!" Wow!
The team sees Texas Stadium for the first time. It's plastered with Dallas Cowboys stuff, and in the locker room, their names are triumphantly posted with little Dillon helmets above the lockers. The boys are grinning and laughing, totally in awe of what's happening, and reminded what this game is all about.
This wondrous moment is shattered by the arrival of the Vikings. Reporters start interviewing the players yet again. Matt doesn't have much to say about Ray "Voodoo" Tatom, but Voodoo tells them simply that he's going to squash Matt Saracen like a moth. Damn, son.
A small army of reporters surround Coach, who says that Dillon's had a hard year and they deserve a win. Then a woman asks: "So how does it feel to be leaving?" Coach tries to sidestep the question, but she keeps pressing and he's forced to admit that he took the TMU position. The boys on the team watch and listen in disbelief.
As Buddy introduces Coach to the crowd at dinner that night, Coach tells them that he's going to cut the crap and explain why he took the job. He says they all have dreams, and he will do anything to help them achieve those dreams. But he has dreams too. It's compelling.
Voodoo pulls Smash aside that night and tells him he's been watching his tapes. He tries to persuade Smash to come over to his team, because with their powers combined, they'll take Texas by storm, and every college in the country will want them. Smash can even live with him.
Voodoo says they don't treat us (black people) like second-class citizens in his town.
Coach returns to his room. Tami apologizes for not coming to the dinner. He sighs and shrugs it off, then heads to the balcony. Tami joins him and says he is a good man. And she's pregnant! The shocked, suppressed and elated look on Coach's face pretty much sums it up. They celebrate.
On the way to Big D, Lyla's car breaks down and she gets a ride with Landry (Jesse Plemons) and Tyra (oh, and Tyra's family, singing loudly, to Landry's displeasure) who happen to drive by. The Lyla-Tyra feud that has been brewing all season finally comes to a head. It doesn't go well, but perhaps they will finally be ready to move on, too.
It's game time and the Panthers are coming apart at the seams. Meanwhile, the Vikings are on fire, grabbing a 26-0 lead at the half. The announcers state that the Dillon players have lost the fire. You can see it in their eyes - they just can't get past the controversy over Coach leaving.
It is silent in the locker room at the half. It's time for a big motivational speech from Coach, and he delivers. The energy is palpable and you know this team is not going down quietly.
The second half comes and it's a whole new team! Smash Williams (Gaius Charles) scores and puts Dillon on the board. The Vikings fumble and Panthers score again! As Jason coaches his heart out and the team scratches and claws its way back into the game, it's 26-21 Vikings when Smash comes up hurt.
He has a dislocated shoulder. The doctor can pop it back into place, but he wouldn't advise Smash to go on playing. Of course, Williams is having none of that and returns to the game, shoulder back in its socket, with under a minute to go.
Matt tries to run a play, but he keeps the ball a little too long and gets demolished. The Panthers take a time out with six seconds left. Matt goes right up to Coach and describes a play to him. Mac says it'll never work, but Jason has Matt's back, and the boys say that they can do it.
"You run it," Coach says.
The ball is snapped. Matt passes to Tim, who runs it and is tackled - but, at that instant, he laterals into the hands of Smash! It's the old hook and ladder! As the crowd roars, Smash takes off in the other direction and runs all the way for a touchdown. It's 27-26, Dillon, with zeroes on the clock.
PANTHERS WIN STATE! PANTHERS WIN STATE!
Back in Dillon, Coach walks into the locker room to see Street giving the team a speech about next season. The title defense begins today, he says, everyone will be gunning for them and this championship just made their lives a lot harder. They'd better be ready to work. Coach walks in, and is greeted by slow, but resounding applause. No words are spoken.
Fade to black.
"A few will never give up on you. When you go back out on the field, those are the people I want in your minds. Those are the people I want in your hearts."Eric Taylor
- Permalink: A few will never give up on you. When you go back out on the fi...
"When Jason Street went down the first game of the season, everybody wrote us off. Everybody. And yet here we are at the championship game. Forty thousand people out there have also written us off. But there are a few out there who still believe in you."Eric Taylor
- Permalink: When Jason Street went down the first game of the season, every...