By Skip Leon
Hereford Brand Sports Editor
Caprock defeated Hereford in the Herd’s annualHomecoming football game at Whiteface Stadium Friday night,31-28 in overtime. It was the first time the Longhorns havebeaten the Whitefaces in 24 meetings.But the loss on the gridiron was dwarfed by the loss of a member of the Herefordfootball team's extended family.The younger brother of senior wide receiver Zack Lopez was hit by a vehicle inHereford shortly before game time. He was flown to an Amarillo hospital foremergency surgery, but passed away at the hospital later Friday night.News of the young man's death unleashed a torrent of emotion after the game among players, coaches, parents and friends. Outside the Herd's locker room moms and dadshugged their sons and daughters amidst agonized wails and oceans of tears.I'm not going to pretend to write a football story about Friday's game. The tragic deathof a youngster rendered what happened on the field inconsequential. The teamscombined for 753 yards in total offense and 59 points in a game that will go down inthe annals of Panhandle football history as a classic. But in the final analysis, the only number that matters is 1 life lost.I don't know what the correct words are to make it better -- or if there even are wordsthat can soften the sting of such a tragedy.It is a given that there will be peaks and valleys throughout our lives. But to soar sohigh and plummet so low all within a 24-hour period is a difficult path to negotiate foranyone.The pep rally at the Stadium after the Homecoming Parade Thursday night was a highpoint of the season. The Herd players turned it into a dance party in the middle of thefield.