Big plays in big games: They can come from anywhere.
A decision to go for two - even though you're already up by seven.
An end-zone interception - that not only stops a drive, it becomes a pick six that changes the momentum of the game.
Of course, some times, there are the more traditional outcomes - last-second scores and defensive stops.
The numerous matchups of teams in the RivalsHigh Top 100 produced them all Friday night. Here's a closer look:
No. 26 St. Xavier 17, No. 8 Colerain 14
A common battle of Cincinnati powers had an uncommon result.
At least in Colerain, where the Cardinals lost on their home field for the first time this century.
Nick Roemer's 21-yard field goal with 3:51 gave St. Xavier a 17-14 victory and ended Colerain's 61-game home winning streak.
Colerain missed a 45-yard field goal attempt in the final minute.
"This is what a kid grows up dreaming about," St. Xavier running back Conor Hundley told the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Hundley had a dream night of his own, rushing for two scores.
Oh, and by the way, the last team to beat Colerain at home? St. Xavier, in the final game of the 1999 regular season.
RivalsHigh take: St. X called all three of its timeouts to ice the Colerain kicker and it apparently worked. The kick was makeable but not a gimme by any means. These two teams will likely see each other again in the playoffs. There could be four teams from the Cincinnati area in the Top 30 come Monday.
Don't be confused by the final score, the latest version of the Backyard Bowl - annually the biggest regular-season game in Oklahoma - was just like so many before it, a close title battle.
This one turned right before halftime.
Jenks (Okla.) High was down 20-13 but seemingly getting ready to go for a game-tying touchdown right before halftime. Then Tulsa (Okla.) Union linebacker Kyle Crutchmer stepped in front of a pass on the goal line, picked it off and returned it 100 yards for a game-changing score with 1:40 left in the second quarter.
"I saw a slant coming across so I just dropped back a little bit," Crutchmer told the Tulsa World. "Luckily it came right to me. I really didn't know who was behind me. I kept on thinking that (Jenks') Alex Ross is fast and he's probably going to catch me sometime.
"Someone asked me was that a dream come true? Yes. I always thought about it and kidded with my teammates about it, about catching an interception and scoring a TD. It was surreal for it to actually come true."
Especially in a game that features the two teams that have combined to win the last 15 Class 6A titles.
RivalsHigh take: Jenks had been doing a good job of winning the regular season battle while Union has been owning the state titles in recent years. The Redskins have taken another step forward and Jenks has not. Union, if it can win next week against Broken Arrow, could be making a major move up the rankings.
For more on Oklahoma high school football, check out OKVarsity.com.
No. 32 Bellevue 31, No. 90 Skyline 17
A lesson in halftime adjustments - or just a lesson that defense wins big games.
Both were on display in Sammamish, Wash., as Bellevue used a stingy defense to pull out a victory in a game that was tied at 17-17 at halftime.
Bellevue (Wash.) High forced four second-half turnovers to triumph.
"Our defense saved us," Bellevue coach Butch Goncharoff told the Bellevue Reporter. "I think the kids' heart was great."
The defense produced the final points, too.
Ahead 24-17, Sean Constantine returned an interception 45 yards for a touchdown that put the game out of reach.
RivalsHigh take: Bellevue has recorded back-to-back victories over ranked opponents and there are still some in Washington that think that Lakes is a better team. Bellevue has been winning with the same formula for a long time and this is just another example of it.
Ahead 27-20 after a touchdown with less than five minutes remaining, would you go for two? Ventura (Calif.) St. Bonaventure coach Todd Therrien did and it produced the winning points in a big Southern California matchup.
"It was a good call for them," Centennial coach Matt Logan told the Ventura County Star. "It obviously won the game for them. It was a great, gutsy call and it worked for them."
The running game of Zach Green and Shaun Wick helped, too.
Green went for 114 yards and a score; Wick had 111 yards and a TD of his own to help bring the key road victory in Corona.
RivalsHigh take: This was expected to be a solid game and it was. The worry is that it may not have been two Top 50 teams on the field. Many reports from Southern California this year have been pretty flat and this is another in that case. Both teams could be dangerous in the playoffs or both could be bounced.
Covington (La.) St. Paul's quarterback Patrick Duncan threw the game-winning touchdown in a battle of Louisiana powers.
His feet, however, may have been the difference.
Down 14-9 with the ball on the 24 and less than a minute to go, Duncan scrambled to the right. When nothing was there, he scrambled back left.
It was then that he found Kris Brumfield, who caught a pass and scampered through the Acadiana defense for the winning points.
Duncan went 17-for-29 for 218 yards and that game-winning TD pass.
St. Paul's wrapped up the victory in the final minute on an interception by Mason Cole.
RivalsHigh take: St. Paul's used defense and a solid kicking game to keep this game close and then gutted out a game-winning drive. The two teams were as evenly matched as the final score - and national rankings entering the game - indicated. This was a solid display for Louisiana depth.