A transformer blew about an hour before the Greenback Cherokees' second-round TSSAA playoff game, leaving Cooper Field dark for about 10 minutes before the power and the lights came back.
And just as the field was dark only briefly, brief, too, was the Cherokees' deficit against fourth-seeded Copper Basin Friday night. Greenback didn't enjoy the results of its first drive, but it enjoyed the results of nearly the rest of them.
After spotting the Cougars a 7-0 lead with an interception, the Cherokees fully unleashed their offensive power in response, sprinting to a 62-25 win in the Class 1A second round.
No. 1-seed Greenback is in the state quarterfinals for the first time since 2008, and second-seeded rival Coalfield, a 38-14 victor over Cloudland, will come to Cooper Field on Nov. 16.
"We've got to really work hard and come prepared, because they're going to come in here ready to play," said Cherokees' coach Justin Ridge.
"It's going to be real physical, real tough, and we've got a lot of history with them."
The last time the Cherokees faced Coalfield, it was in the second round in 2010, and Coalfield handed Greenback a 41-14 end to its postseason.
Richard Seymour, who dominated to the tune of 24 carries for 241 yards and four scores, is just taking it one day at a time before the showdown for the quadrant.
"Sunday we're going to go watch film. We'll worry about Monday when Monday comes, Tuesday when Tuesday comes, Wednesday, and so on until that game," said the Cherokees' senior standout. Greenback (10-1) had to extend its first drive of the game with a fake punt, and that drive ended when the Cougars' Bryce Nicholson tipped and intercepted an Eric Anderson pass, then sprinted back 93 yards the other way, giving Copper Basin the early 7-0 lead.
But Anderson and the Cherokees steadied immediately, using a methodical eight-play, 55-yard drive that Anderson capped off with a 10-yard toss to Hunter Cope to tie the game. Later in the first quarter, Anderson kept on the quarterback choice and sprinted 50 yards on the first play from scrimmage that possession, juking a defender near the end zone and waltzing in to put Greenback up 14-7.
"That guy (Nicholson) just made an athletic play," said Anderson of the mistake he quickly atoned for.
"I just came out, kept playing the way we could play, and we won."
Then Seymour took over in the second quarter, following up a 39-yard run to start the short drive with a 2-yard plunge for a 21-7 lead and the first of his four scores running. On the next possession, Seymour burst through a huge lane in between the hashes for 59 yards to make the Greenback lead 28-7.
Seymour got his third score of the first half by capping off the drive after a Cougar muffed kickoff with 3-yard run for a 35-7 lead. Seymour amassed 167 yards on 14 carries before the teams hit the lockers.
Copper Basin (8-3) had come off a 49-10 win over Lookout Valley in the first round, and the Cougars - who did not have a first down until almost two minutes left in the first half - did their best to make it interesting for a while in the second half, which the Cherokees opened with a 63-yard post strike from Eric Anderson to his brother Jordan.
The Cougars responded with a 9-play, 80-yard drive, capped by a shovel pass to running back Denzel Brown for their first offensive touchdown. Copper Basin scored again on their next drive after an Eric Anderson fumble to close the gap to 41-20.
But the Cherokees wrested momentum back after the ensuing kickoff, which Seymour took into Cougar territory. Seymour then ran six straight times, the last his fourth touchdown for the 48-20 lead, and Copper Basin never seriously threatened again.
"We made it through them (Copper Basin) and now we've got a really good shot to come out and play well next Friday night and do something we haven't done in a pretty long time," Ridge said, looking ahead in the playoffs. "We can't think anything past that right now, so we're just glad to be in the third round and looking to make the best of it."
Perhaps an omen for the Cherokees' larger goals: Greenback's 1987 title team started its postseason campaign against Copper Basin with a 12-0 first-round win. In that win the star back - Brian Hanley, whose son Tanner is on this team - was held out of the end zone for the first time that season despite another 100-plus yard game rushing, but quarterback Shane Edmonds threw for two scores and the Greenback defense recorded three interceptions and nine sacks.
Greenback will host Coalfield 7 p.m. Friday in the quarterfinal.