I left the stadium in Mishawaka with the same feeling in my gut that I had 14 years ago. LaPorte had the game in hand, but Mishawaka scored a touchdown with 17.8 seconds to go in the game to win it. We had Mishawaka pinned deep with about a minute left, and I could hear people talking about our matchup with Penn next week. We let Mishawaka get to midfield, and then the madness happened. On a 4th and 3 play Mishawaka went 43 yards to win the game. We got the ball back, but could not complete a pass. If we could have shown some imagination on offense we might not have been in that spot. We had a couple of plays out of the ordinary and they worked. Other than that it was run on 1st down, run on 2nd down, run on most 3rd downs (draw). We were a very predictable offense that was easy to defend. When we did pass on third down we put a young kid in a bad situation. What the offense lacked tonight in terms of play calling was made up for by the defense. They took control of the game in the second half and made a win possible. Bryan Willis was all over the field tonight. That includes the sideline for some reason on the final two plays. He played his guts out, and we will be happy to see him back next year. Jawaun Marshall also had a great game going both ways. He made some plays at safety tonight that had me wondering where he had been all year. He was a playmaker that we could have used in a couple close games.
The kids who played their last game tonight are in agony. It is a feeling that I know all too well. They are at rock bottom right now on the bus ride home. It will take some time to pass, but they will leave LaPorte knowing that they were part of the best Slicer football team to take the field. Teams have been fielded by the high school since 1901, and no team played like last years team did. This team did not have a chance. They followed a Cinderella story. I saw a lot of kids not wanting to quit tonight. I saw men fighting to play another week. As they have all year long, the breaks just did not go their way tonight. I wish these guys nothing but the best, and look forward to seeing them in the stands in the years to come. Come sit up next to the press box with us and watch the draw on third and long.