By Nick Gholson
Sunday, June 12, 2011
Lee Clubb did it all for Texas on Saturday night. He ran seven times for 36 yards. He caught six passes for 56 yards. Then in overtime, the Iowa Park star was asked to do one more thing — hold for kicker Chad Hedlund.
“Coach just said do it, and I said ‘yes, sir,'” Clubb said.
So he took the snap, set the ball down and watched Hedlund nail the 39-yard winner to give Texas a 17-14 overtime win over Oklahoma in the 74th Oil Bowl.
“I was so excited. I can’t even explain it,” Clubb said of the feeling he had watching the ball sail through the upright. “I was just happy we beat them. I wanted to go out with a bang.”
Now the big question is was this Lee Clubb’s last football game? He has a football scholarship to Colorado State, but this past week he was taken by the Kansas City Royals inthe 27th round of the Major League Baseball Draft. So, Lee, what are you going to do?
“That’s a secret,” he answered with a big grin. “You’ll know soon.”
I’m betting on baseball only because longtime Royals scout Dennis Cardoza was at Memorial Stadium sitting with the Clubb family. That, to me, was more than a hint.
But this night was all about football,and Clubb was the most exciting player on the field. He got the start at quarterback when Colleyville Heritage’s Jeff Calvert aggravated a knee injury and had to go home. Tyler Park of Keller replaced him, but he didn’t report until Thursday evening and had just one practice Friday.
When Park finally got some rhythm going, Clubb asked to switch positions. He wanted to play slot receiver, one of three positions he was used to during practices. “Slot puts me in a position to make plays,” Clubb said. “I told coach I thought I could make something happen.”
He kept his promise. Down 14-8 and facing fourth-and-6 at the Oklahoma 39, Texas called Clubb’s number. Park tossed him a short pass and he made something happen by breaking several tackles and picking up 23 yards and a big first down. Two plays later, he caught another 9-yard pass from Park that took Texas to the Oklahoma 4, where Doug Gentry took it in for the typing touchdown.
“I told my team if anything happens, I would go all out. I think I was a leader today, and my team played big,” Clubb said.
This was the first time the Oil Bowl has ever gone to overtime. It also was the first time that they didn’t take a vote for the game’s MVP. I would have voted for Lee Clubb.
Sports editor Nick Gholson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 940-720-3447.