With nothing else to do tonight I grudgingly drove back to Central Catholic’s field to watch the game between #1 Central Catholic and #1 West Lafayette. Who am I kidding? When I realized that I would be in town this weekend I knew that I would be at this game. Two of the top schools in the state going head to head is not something to miss. When they are on opposite sides of the town that you live in you have to go.
I got off of work and ate a quick dinner before driving to the stadium. The stands were already packed an hour and half before the start of the game. I was going to sit on the West Lafayette side, but the stands were full. I sat on the Central side for a while before realizing that I had a big camera with me. That pretty much means that I can stand on the sidelines. I love being back down in the action, and back in the smell. If you have ever stood on the sideline of a footballgame you know what I am talking about. Paying way too much for a camera has some perks I guess. Nobody really questions you if you act like you have been there before.
Both crowds were amped up for the game. West Lafayette ran the ball right down the field to take a 7-0 lead on the first possession. I am wondering if Central was rethinking the strategy of giving the ball up after winning the toss. That was the final score of the first half. Just because there was only one score does not mean that it wasn’t exciting though. Both teams seemed a little loose with the ball. In a tight game you want to make a big play, but if you chicken wing the ball you make a big play for the other team.
Both teams moved the ball a little in the second half, but could not put it in the end zone. Danny Anthrop who had scored a touchdown on a third of his touches was being shut down. To make matters worse he started cramping up, and had to be helped back to the huddle on several occasions. He never left the field though, and played through the pain. I wonder if it felt weird for him playing in the second half of a game? With Anthrop hurting Central Catholic really needed a big play. It was the Red Devils who got it though. They blocked a punt and Ben Thomas ran it back for the score to make it 14-0. The crowd seemed to think the game was over, and so did I. With points so hard to come by a fourteen point deficit seemed tough to overcome.
Anthrop and the Knights didn’t give up though and scored to start the fourth quarter. After trading more turnovers Anthrop picked off a Sean Busch pass to give the Knights great field position. They capitalized to score with about two minutes left in the game. At this point I had moved to the Red Devil sideline because it offered a little more room than the CC side. The talk on the sideline was that they could win the game with the two minutes left. In my mind I thought that you could lose it as well. The Red Devils seemed to be on their way into field goal range when Busch threw into double coverage. Travis Smith stepped in front of the pass and took off down the sidelines. The pick six for Central Catholic with about thirty seconds left gave Central the win, and kept their win streak alive at 39 games now.
This was truly a great game to see in person. It was the kind of toe to toe game that you would expect from two really good teams. The turnovers were a bit surprising to me, but this was a big stage. Before I go I want to mention Jacob Matson in this post. He really seemed to own the line of scrimmage today for CC. He is a defensive tackle, but he really was making plays all over the place. During the game I kept wondering if anyone else was paying attention to the effort he was giving. I guess this is my small way to pay that effort back. I had a great vantage point for most of the game so I may have another post tomorrow with some of the pictures that did not make it into this post.
Now I have a decision to make. I have been to three games since I moved down here. I have seen West Lafayette, Rensellaer, and Central Catholic all play twice amongst each other. I really should see some other teams play, but the Red Devils and Knights have been fun to watch. I guess I have a week to make that decision.