Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Our Season's Over

Yep, other than turning in equipment next week, the JV's season is over. We lost a tough game on Monday against Eudora. The Cardinals scored on the opening drive without us putting up much of a fight, so I was really worried. But our speedy tailback got us down the field on a scoring drive with only about 5 plays or so. But we dropped the first of 3 fumbled snaps and missed the 2 point conversion.
Our defense stiffened up (thanks to some 8th graders we brought along to counter their huge 8th grade 0-line) and we shut them out the rest of the half. Toward the end of the first half, we were driving down into their redzone, when we fumbled the snap again and Eudora recovered the fumble.
At halftime, our QB was really upset that the center wasn't getting him the ball with the usual zip on the snap. The center told me he didn't know what was wrong, but he was really tired. But since our back-up center has little experience, we stayed with our starter and I told him we needed him to play like his usual self.
The second half started with Eudora taking the 2nd play from scrimmage to the house. I don't know what went wrong, but it seemed like the running back had been stopped at the line but after everyone quit, he outran them down the field. These kinds of goofy things happen a lot in young kids fb games. But we held on the PAT, so we were only down 8 and were still in the game. At halftime, I challenged our kids to leave everything on the field. It was their last half of football and they needed to be giving 100% on every play and leaving the field exhausted.
But disaster struck on the kickoff. A knuckle ball kick took a funny bounce and we couldn't get to it and Eudora recovered the kickoff. After a big play, they had a first-and-goal from the 8. But in the most exciting series of the game, our defense held them on downs. It was an awesome effort and I was screaming my head off. The kids and parents were so pumped!
We ended up having to punt it away, though, so Eudora got the ball back at about the 50. But on the first play of Eudora's drive, we stopped them at the line and as the play was ending a dad next to me said, "Jake took the ball, my boy stripped the ball." I didn't see it, but he was right.
So we had the ball at midfield at the end of the 3rd quarter, down by just a TD. Our boys were playing tough and we had the momentum. But just a couple plays later, we fumbled the center-QB exchange again.
Our boys still didn't give up, though, Eudora eventually had a first and goal but we pushed them back to forever and goal. After we ran them out of bounds on third and really long, it looked like we'd get the ball back with one more shot, but an 8th grade linebacker was called for a late hit out of bounds on that play rather than 4th and goal from the 30, they had it inside the 10 and ended up adding a final touchdown.
This was the hardest I'd taken any loss this year. I was really frustrated. I sat pretty quiet during the bus ride home. Our kids had played hard and deserved to win. If it hadn't been for a "tired" center, we probably would've won. I kept asking our center what was wrong, if he took some medication or stayed up all night, but he couldn't figure out why he was tired. I was disappointed that his being tired cost us a game.

The next day I bought them pop, pizza and brought some cookies my wife made and threw them an end of the year party. While we ate, we watched a DVD of two of our wins put together by a kids' dad. He let me keep the DVD and I enjoyed watching myself go crazy during some big plays.

During the party, our center wanted to take a picture of me to remember me by because he's going to be moving in about a week. He then told me that he thinks the reason he felt so bad on Monday was because he had just found out he'd be moving and it really upset him. That really upsets me, poor kid. I don't know the circumstances, but it seems that parents often make choices that they think are best for them without thinking about how it affects their kids.

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