No Beyonce, no blackout but all the last second dramatics. This week’s “Big Game” certainly did not have the same viewership, but it did have all the makings of a game to be remembered. It started early, with The W.I. taking advantage of their speedy receivers and their accurate quarterback. Time and again they took shots deep and converted on a lot of them in the first half. They jumped out to a 19-0 lead on three straight possessions, while the Cheese Faces were still trying to find their rhythm. Just before halftime however, the Cheese Faces squeeze one in. They are able to convert it, and show some signs of life as they discuss their game plan on the sideline, down 19-7.
Like the real Big Game last Sunday, a huge momentum shift occurred in the second half. The Cheese Heads made an executive decision to put in their backup quarterback and it paid off. They scored on their first possession to cut the deficit to 19-13, while The W.I. made their first mistake on its first possession. However, on the next attempt, as they did so often, The W.I.’s speedy receivers ran past the defense. The Cheese Faces were a little better prepared, but when they tipped the ball in the air, it still found a W.I. receiver on his way to the end zone for a 26-13 lead.
But the Cheese Heads were not to be outdone. With a new quarterback and new life, they marched right down the field and scored again on a fade over the defender to the back corner of the end zone. They added the conversion to make it 26-20. The pressure was on W.I. to extend their lead, but the pressure got to them. They could not convert the first down and turned the ball over to the Cheese Heads. With barely a minute remaining, two quick passes and they tied the game. All they needed was the conversion to take the lead for the first time in the game, and it, along with their hopes and dreams, were dashed along the turf with a definitive spike from a W.I. defender.
Now with under a minute left and a tie ball game, it was W.I. who had the first attempt to take the lead. And they did not disappoint. With an obvious strategy of short, quick passes to get the first down and run as little clock off as possible, the receiver kept running, past one defender, and another, and another, with his flag still securely around his waste. He found himself in the end zone and put his team in front 32-26, as they were unable to convert.
With time against them, the Cheese Faces knew they needed to score. They strung a great drive together, stopping the clock with key first downs and runs out of bounds. After a few attempts at the end zone, they finally found a receiver in the corner of the end zone to tie the game. Now with all the pressure on them, they needed to convert here to take the lead. As the quarterback rolled right and the entire defense flowed with him and his target receiver, he stopped, looked left and through back across his body to a wide-open receiver on the other end of the field. A miraculous catch sealed a miraculous comeback. 33-32 for the Cheese Heads.
The W.I. had no other choice but to throw a few laterals in hope of something incredible happening. The Cheese Heads intercepted the ball and returned it for a final score of 39-32, capping an amazing comeback and their first win of the season.
The team was ecstatic as it was also their first win dating back to last season. A group of sophomores from Sorin included Patrick Power, Dylan Scarpeda, Jameson Androv, Kyle Stant and Mike Juliano, were just out to have some fun. After coming off a tough loss last week, they were just trying to stay competitive. They put up more than a fight. Patrick Power, a key off-season addition, was an incremental piece in their victory Wednesday night. He was all over the field, making both offensive and defensive plays for the Cheese Faces. He said, “It was fun, I’m still learning all the rules.” While they were ecstatic in their first victory, they weren’t satisfied. “We’re going to hit the weights pretty hard. Our verticles were lacking, so definitely some box jumps.” Hopefully they can keep this momentum going for next week.
For The W.I. it was a tough and disappointing loss. After a lot of success last year, making it deep into the playoffs, they were shocked by the defeat. They let the game slip out of their hands when they could have easily put the team away. Chuck Diesel, a junior from Alumni, has his eyes on the prize and is not going to let this minor speed bump get in the way of the playoffs and even a championship run. “We’re looking forward to seeing them again in the playoffs.”
Check Facebook for pictures of the game and follow us on Twitter for Recsports news and updates. Next week's Game of the Week features CoRec Wiffle Ball Feb. 11 at Loftus. Teams and time to be determined. RecSports will provide full media coverage, including photos and a full match report. Come cheer on the two teams, or follow the game via Twitter @NDRecSports.