I really just didn't care about a shut out, I just wanted a Win by our name in the paper on Saturday.
But knowing Josh, he wanted a win too, but his goal was to be the best defense on the field or he wouldn't be satisfied. (at least in my opinion:)
Anyhow, I told him good luck with that and went on about my business of praying that God gave us better athletes come Friday night.
Looking ahead at Liberty Hill would have been something I normally would have done last year, but I ran out of time. Good thing too, because I would have been an even bigger ball of nerves than I was already.
Liberty Hill made the playoff's last year and just barely lost to Navarro by 21-20 in OT. Navarro went on to play 4 more rounds deep into the playoffs last year.
They had 6 offensive and 6 defensive players returning. Not to mention they have won several state championships in the past- not that that means anything at all, but it does mean that they have Varsity winning experience, which is something we lacked.
Panthers won the coin toss and elected to receive and thanks to Sergio- they get the ball on their own 20! Not a bad way to start.
I hid my eyes because in the first 3 drives, the Panther Offense kept gaining yards. On the 3rd down, I pretty much hid my eyes, thinking "Here we go". But thank you to our Daulton Moore, we got a fumble recovery and our Offense takes the field.
Botello starts out at QB and hands off to Logan and we gain a few yards, but on the 2nd down, we got a pass interference call and lost 15 yards. But it went in our favor because on the very next down, Logan Kinder takes it down and scores! Sergio nailed the PAT-- 7-0 in our first drive on Offense.
I literally had tears already at this point, just seemed too easy I guess!
And here we go again on defense and we hold em and get the ball right back, but they held us too, so punt team comes out and kicks it to the 10 yard line! Panthers have 90 yards to go!! Thank you for the bad field position for the Panthers! They take it to the 50, but that is all they get because our freaking defense holds them and force them to punt. The poor Panther Offense was forced to punt several times throughout the 1st and 2nd quarters. Our defense was just holding them each down.
with about 3minutes, left in 2nd, on 4th down, Jordan Vise forced the offense to break up and the pass was incomplete and we got the ball on the 35 yard line, we couldn't get too far, but on 4th down and 6, we went for it and unfortunately we didn't get it, but the Panthers got the ball on the 38 yard line. Score is still 7-0. Our defense was on FIRE and we forced a fumble, and recovered the ball on the 43 yard line.
**For those of you that are not aware of this- our defense led the district in forced fumbles last year:)
So our offense takes over on the 43 and on the first play of that drive, #12 Botello, takes it to the endzone and kick was good. 2 minutes left in the first half, we were leading the score 14-0.
The next drive with the Panthers on offense, looked to be a little scary for a second. I can't remember the kids name, but it appeared that he was going to make a breakaway and go score. But guess Sean Hallberg came out of nowhere and squashed that Panther. HUGE play for Sean. HUGE momentum play for the defense. I realize that the Panthers picked up quite a few yards on that play, but stopping that breakaway seemed pretty big to me. Our defense was just gaining confidence play by play and GUESS WHAT- AVERY SCHEFFLER comes up with another Raider fumble!!!! For those of you that don't know Avery-get used to hearing his name!
Clock buzzes to zero and the crowd cheers the players all the way to the locker room to end the first half and we are 14-0.
What the hell???
Is this the calm before the storm?
I am still not convinced that we have the game in the bag. I have been to TOO many games where the losing team comes back to win the game. Do I need to remind you of the 2003 Wichita Falls/ San Angelo game? We were losing 35-7 at half and came back to win 68-35.
So 14 points wasn't real convincing to me.
At this point, I will just skip to what I really want to get to...
We WON!!! Not only did we WIN, but we SHUT THEM OUT!!!! I am SO thrilled to be able to say that I was WRONG! WHOOHOO!!! 21-0!!
As I made my way down to the gate, I didn't have a thought in my head except- get to the gate and video the end. The last 1 minute lasted an eternity....an ETERNITY!!! The last time I headed down to the gate was the Vandegrift game last year and I was waiting on the sidelines for the clock to buzz and to run out and congratulate Josh and the team. As you all know, it was not a celebratory moment. But this time it was in the bag. We had that game won, NO CHANCE of them scoring 3 TD's in 30 seconds.
The clock finally buzzed.
I guess I underestimated how I would feel in that moment. It never once occured to me that I would cry. I don't cry- ever and ESPECIALLY in public. I rarely cry at funerals. But I cried. I think it was the road that we had to travel to get to that moment. I know the sacrifices that the players and coaches have made.
I stayed by the gate to watch the end, then the boys ran to the locker room to meet up with Josh.
That moment was something that will FOREVER be engraved in my mind,
I don't know what I was expecting. I really don't and I really can not put into word that moment that I came around the gate and saw Jace run into Josh's arms, I was frozen- or wanted to be. I stepped back and was just watching the scene in front of me. It literally felt like I was watching a movie. To any random person, you probably would think we had won the state championship instead of a non district football game. But that is literally what it felt like. There were coaches and wives crying. People laughing, the players were cheering. The scene lasted just a few minutes because the next thing that happened was Josh taking Charlie into the locker room and EVERYONE in the locker room was cheering so loud.
It made me cry all over again.
We haven't been able to experience this yet and now were.
I have some video that i will post later, but for now, I am going to post the 2 pictures that Chad Taylor took that really capture the moment that i am talking about. I will never forget Friday night as long as I live.
It wasn't just Rouse's first Varsity Win, but it was also Josh's first Varsity Win as a Head Coach, Instead of being 0-11, he is finally 1-11 and we will hopefully add to the win column as the season progresses.
Congrats to our 2011 Rouse Team.
I couldn't be prouder of you if I tried. Keep it up-- we can do great things with this team...
I would also like to say Good Luck to Liberty Hill in the rest of their season. They have always been a great opponent and have had great teams. Beating Liberty Hill was a fantastic accomplishment for us Raiders.