Sunday, November 01, 2009

Joliet Steps Up... Somehow

Anthem Line Up
Originally uploaded by mdt1960
Typically reports on the details of a small town high school football game usually don't appear here, but today’s shootout between Joliet and Scobey might merit such a departure. But above all else, it truly was a picture-perfect day in Joliet for a football game, period.

I’ll be the first to admit it, I had my doubts about Joliet. And after two early turnovers in the first quarter that lead to Scobey touchdowns, it started to look like a blow-out. Honestly I wasn’t too surprised to see these early events unfold. After all, Scobey has been a rich-in-tradition football team that has a state title or two in their trophy case, while Joliet hasn’t been one of the stronger teams since I-don’t-know-how-long.

Nevertheless, the J-Hawks success seemed to improve with the appearance of the sun because once it came out, Joliet sprung to life.

I heard more than one J-Hawk fan say, “They’re a slow-starting team.” Indeed they were—almost slow in starting like the-first-game-of-the-year slow, where very basic mistakes are the norm.

Yet, despite Joliet’s turnovers, Scobey managed to make a few of their own and the J-Hawks slowly clawed their way back into the game. Late in the second quarter, Joliet managed to take the lead, but with time running out on the last play of the half, Scobey found an open receiver who in turn found the end zone giving the Spartans an abbreviated halftime lead.

Another oddity about this particular game, two safeties were recorded—one by each team. That doesn’t happen very often, does it?

Open Field
Originally uploaded by mdt1960
Given the number of blunders and turnovers, several times I found myself saying, “Whoever wins this game won’t stand a chance in Drummond next week.” Yet, I suspect this year’s Drummond lineup isn’t composed of immortals like their teams earlier in the decade. As it turned out, the Trojans may have struggled a bit themselves in their 38-20 victory over Stanford. So, who knows? I counted out Joliet once already and they proved me wrong, maybe they can do it again.

On another note: one thing is known for sure in this year’s eight-man semi-finals, the Longhorns will be playing. And next week’s quarter-final showdown between the Longhorns of Wibaux and the Longhorns of Fort Benton will determine which one. Yeee-Haaa!

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