AW

A Fight to the Finish

In Family, Life, Sports on March 28, 2011 at 6:51 pm

When fall pee wee football ended in November, the long wait until spring football began.  After four months off, we finally had our first game of the season this weekend.  As anxious as the kids were to get back on the field, I think that the coaches were even more excited for the season to start.

Because of spring break, we didn’t get to practice as much as we would have liked, but every coach faced the same challenge in getting their teams ready for the first game.

Even though the boys are still very young, the competitive juices in all of us were flowing, and we wanted to start the season off with a victory.

Our team controlled the ball for most of the game, but somehow we still trailed by a score of 6-0 with less than five minutes to go in the fourth quarter.  Every time we came close to scoring, we were turned away.  Although our struggle to score can be partially attributed to our opponent rising to the challenge, mental errors, missed opportunities and a key injury played a much bigger role in keeping us out of the end zone.

Aside from one broken play where our opponent scored on an 85-yard touchdown run, our boys did an outstanding job on defense.

With less than five minutes to go in the game, it was starting to look like our dominance on the field was not going to be enough to secure the victory.

To the credit of a team playing their first game together, none of our boys ever gave up.  They never looked defeated, and they continued to play hard on every single play.  Despite the fact that one of our top running backs was injured, no one made any excuses.

Our other starting running back had never played the position in a regular season game before this weekend, and yet he ended up having to shoulder most of the load for the entire second half, while also playing a key role on defense and special teams.

With the clock winding down, we needed to make something happen quickly.  In a game that was filled with frustrating moments, we finally got the break that we needed when our defense caused a safety and cut the lead to 6-2.

We got the ball right back and marched down the field, but time was not on our side, and we only had two timeouts remaining.  With less than 30 seconds to play in the game, we finally punched it into the end zone, and took an 8-6 lead, but our defense still needed to come through one more time to secure the victory.

After the kickoff, our opponent had about ten seconds left to go 60 yards.

They snapped the ball and my son blasted through the line and made a solo tackle in the backfield.  As an elated coach and proud parent, I jumped in the air and started to run onto the field to congratulate him and the rest of the team.  But then I realized that our opponent had called a timeout with two seconds left on the clock, giving them one more play.

On the final play of the game, their running back took the handoff and quickly blasted through a hole in our defense.  But as he started gaining momentum, our boys stepped up and made the stop before he could break free and score.

It was only the first game of the season, but this hard-fought victory felt as good as winning a playoff game, and it set the stage for what promises to be an exciting season.

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