Wednesday, November 02, 2011

An Offensive Explosion

Eli 10.3s flag football team started play in their postseason tournament yesterday.

They've had a tough go of it since Eli got hurt, with three straight losses, including two in the final plays of the game. It's been brutal to watch.

They were the #7 seed in the tournament (out of 8 teams), so they played the #2 seed, who had beaten them handily earlier in the season.

In the first half, his team was backed up against their own goal line almost the entire time. Somehow though, the other team couldn't score.

Halftime: 0-0.

"Watch that other team," I told Eli. "They think they're supposed to win, and the longer you guys hang around, the more nervous they're going to get. Nobody expected your team to win, so there's no pressure on them."

Indeed, the volume from the coaches of that other team seemed to go up every five minutes, and their kids no longer looked confident and assured.

After 6 interceptions, three goal line stands, and enough wackiness to make a series of Warner Bros cartoons, regulation play ended 0-0.


In flag football, overtime has a unique set-up. Each team gets two plays-- a two point conversion attempt, and a one point attempt (the ball is closer to the goal line for the play to be run, as there is no placekicking). At the end of each round, points are tallied for successful conversions, and if there's no winner, they play another round.

In the first overtime, Eli's team failed on both their attempts. They stop the other team on its first attempt, but on the second, their best player (by far) was wide open in the end zone with a perfect pass headed his way.


Except the ball bounced off his hands like they were made out of stone. Unbelievable.

In the second overtime, one of Eli's best friends dropped a two-point conversion attempt in the end zone, but on the second, another kid made a terrific catch and they scored a point.

The other team had two attempts left. The first was a panicked lob pass that fell harmlessly to the ground. On the second, Eli's best friend intercepted at the goal line and took off. No one realized the game was over, and he was running faster than I've ever seen him run before, trying to score. He almost made it, too, not having his flag pulled until after he'd passed midfield.

A wild celebration ensued. Final score: 1-0.

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