星期一, 十一月 18, 2019

Thepre-gameceremonyatRanchoCotateHighhonoring27yearHeadCoachEdConroy。

(photobyBrittanyBoitanophotography)

ByDaleWatkins



ThebittersweetendofanerawoulddescenduponRanchoCotateHighSchool,aslegendaryCougarheadcoachEdConroywashonoredpregamebeforehewouldcoachinhisfinalgameofanillustrious31-yearcareer。

Onegamewoulddecideitall,asthe6-0Cardinalsandthe6-0CougarswouldcollideFridayeveninginwhatwouldbeanepicwinner-take-allshowdownforNorthBayLeaguesupremacy。

Inanexhilaratingback-and-forthgamewheretheteamswouldconstantlytradepunches,itwasCardinalNewmanwhoemergedvictoriousintheend,survivingalatescarebytheCougarstotriumphinovertime,35-34。

Trulyonefortheages。

Ranchodrewfirstbloodmidwaythroughthe1stquarter,asa38-yardcompletionfromQBJakeSimmonstoJaelenWardwouldsetupSimmonsjustshyoftheendzone。

Simmonsthenjumpedoverthepileandreachedtheballoverthegoal-linetoputtheCougarsup7-0。

CardinalsquarterbackJordanBrookshireheadlinedascoringdrivewithnumerouskeepersforhugeyardage,pickingaparttheCougardefenseallthewaydownfield。

HewouldthenscoreinthesamefashionSimmonsdid,launchinghimselfoverthepileandtumblingintotheendzonetoeventhescorewith7:10leftinthe2ndquarter。

Attheendofthehalf,drivingdownthefield,KyleCarinallibobbledanddroppeda40-yardpassfromBrookshirethatwouldhavebeenaneasytouchdown。

Nonetheless,theCardinalsgotintogreatfieldpositionandsentoutJackMurraytoattempta41-yardfieldgoal。

EdConroypulledouthisbagoftricksandcalledtimeouttotrytoiceMurrayanditworked,asMurraywouldthenmisswideleftasthefirsthalfended。

MarkBoschettiturnsthecornerfortheCardinals。

MichaelDalywouldkickoffthesecondhalfofplaywithanimpressive22-yardcatch-and-runfortheCardinals,bouncingoffseveraltacklers。

StarrunningbackTannerMendozathengaveNewman?

a14-7leadbyfindingabighole,rushingintotheendzoneuntouchedfora1-yardscore。

TheCougarsrespondedinstantly,asAJVallejospickedup56yardsonhisowncatch-and-runtoputRanchoinbusinessinsidethe5-yardline。

Thebigfella,TanieluGuerrero,finishedthejobandbolted4yardsrightuptheguttomakeit14-14。

RanchosMasonHeinsewouldinterceptBrookshiretobeginanexciting4thquarterofaction,asNewmancommittedtheirfirstturnoverofthenight。

JakeSimmonshandeditofftoPeytonWhetstoneontheirveryfirstplay,asWhetstoneblastedstraightupthemiddleandintoanopenfield,leavingbehindtheentireCardinaldefenseinhiswake。

Aresounding65-yardtouchdownrunthatseemedtoswingmomentumentirelyintheCougarsfavor。

ButitwasJordanBrookshirewhowouldputtheteamonhisback,runninglikeamanpossessedasausually-stellarCougardefensewasjusttakingabeating。

ItwasallBrookshireonthisparticulardrive,cappedoffwitha1-yardplungethroughthepiletotiethegameat21allwith4:47remaining。

TheensuingRanchopossessionwouldresultinafailed4thdownconversionasSimmons(alsothekicker)fakedthepuntandtriedtofindWardcuttingacrossthemiddle,butJasonMoranknockedtheballloosewithabighitonWard。

NewmangottheballbackandBrookshirecontinuedtowreckhavoconthegroundwitha20-yardgainavoidinganumberoftackles。

DamianWallacetookthesweeppassandburstittotheoutsideforthego-aheadtouchdown。

Withjusttwominutestogo,itwascrunch-timefortheCougars,indireneedof7points。

JakeSimmonswouldanswerthecall,asherearedbackandcatapultedonedownthesidelinetoastreakingLoganReese。

ReesewouldleapandsnagthepassrightovertheoutstretchedarmsofDamianWallace,managetostayonhisfeet,andthenjoggedintotheendzoneforanemphatic70-yardgame-tyingscore。

Itwas28apieceandwewereheadedtoovertime!

Eachteamwouldgetapossessionfromthe10-yardline,asNewmanwouldreceivetheballfirst。

JordanBrookshirewouldkeepithimselfonthefirstplayandnotbedenied,bulldozingoveraCougarandintotheendzone。

JackMurraysextrapointwouldmakethescore35-28。

ItwasnowtheCougarsturn,andJakeSimmonswouldhitAJVallejosonaslantroutetoscoreontheirownfirstplayfromscrimmagetomakeit35-34。

ButtheraucouscapacitycrowdgotupontheirfeetastheysawEdConroykeephisoffenseonthefield,electingtogofor2andthewin。

Conroywouldnothaveitanyotherway。

AfalsestartpenaltywouldmovetheCougarsbacktothe8-yardline,makingthepotentialgame-winningplayevenmorerisky。

Simmonswouldthentakethesnap,rollouttotheright,scramble,andtargetawide-openLoganReeseinthebackoftheendzone。

ButthepasswasunderthrownandbouncedjustshortinfrontofthedivingReese;thegutsygamblehadbackfired。

TheCardinalswoulderuptinjubilationastheirfansstormedthefield。

CardinalNewmanisyour2016NBLchampion!

JordanBrookshireprovedtobeamanamongstboys,playinghisbestgamewhenthestakeswerehighest。

Willinghisteamtovictory,herantheballagargantuan48timesfor296yards,toaccompanyhis142passingyardscompleting12of23attempts。

BrookshireenduredhitafterhitafterhitbyaruggedCougarfront-linefrequentlyrunningtheball,ledbystarsophomoreEliasRantessi。

Helldefinitelybefeelingthisoneinthemorning。


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