Thursday, November 26, 2009

Football- With All The Trimmings

Having followed the Longmeadow Lancers more or less throughout this football season, we had to see their game vs. equally potent rival East Longmeadow Spartans, for the AA conference championship. Parking lots were brimming over, the stands were full, and the field was ringed with onlookers on this Thanksgiving morning.

Longmeadow got ahead first, scoring two touchdowns to lead for all of the first quarter, until East Lonmeadow came back with a TD early in the 2nd.

The plays were well executed, and each of these two nearly undefeated teams pulled out all the stops to try to bring home the AA championship.

Support staff worked feverishly behind the scenes to keep their respective teams running smoothly...

The first half cruised by quickly and during half time the kid and I found an opening in the bleachers, where sat ourselves right behind the band members. This gave us a good insight into the inner workings of the all-important, moral-boosting musical component of the game.

The band was pretty good and surprisingly well led by a couple of the students, rather than faculty. The cheerleaders worked perfectly in sync with whatever ditty they chose to put out.

The second half resumed, and the play got grittier...

The Spartans scored again to close the gap, but Longmeadow responded with another TD of their own. The Spartans suffered a couple of setbacks in the third, including a turnover in the Lancers' favor...

...and an important, close-but-failed fourth down conversion, that was close enough to bring out the chains.

Still the Spartans hung in there; playing great defence throughout the 4th until finally scoring again in with about 4 minutes remaining. Then they followed that score with a successful, crucial onside kick, keeping them alive as the Spartans' side of the field erupted in cheers.

But the high point of the game was to come in the final seconds.

The Spartans were now down by 2 points, and had worked their way to easy field goal range for an almost definite win. But then they were pushed back several yards on third down with a sack on a seemingly totally unnecessary pass play. This brought out the field goal kicker for a now questionably long 45 yarder...

Everyone was on their feet for this one.

This kick was a good one, straight on...

...but just missed.

The Lancers had won.

It was a hard-earned win, in a close game between two well-matched teams.

Good Thanksgiving stuff.

It was time to go home, and enjoy the rest of the holiday...

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