(10/25/2007)
By Dan Cosgrove

The season is over! Now what?

I found out that football is a family affair. It seemed like the whole week was centered on "the game." Going to work was just a way to pass the time until Thursday night came around—game time.

School sports is also an opportunity for parents to rekindle friendships with folks they haven't seen in awhile, and to make new friendships.

I was able to do both this season.

There seems to be a bond, or an understanding between parents who have children on the same team. Hopefully, we will run into each other over the next year.

THE GAME

Calhoun traveled to Nicholas County to play the Summersville Middle School's Bears. This was the first time Calhoun played on artificial turf, and combined with heavy rain, kids on both teams were slipping, sliding, and fumbling the ball.

The Bears kicked to Calhoun to start the game. The Red Devils went 4 and out and had to punt the ball. The Bears started on their own 42-yard line.

Although there were some goods stops by Cory Metz, Nathan Cosgrove, and Jared Haught, the Bears were able to move the ball for 7 consecutive downs, finally punching it in the end zone for a touchdown. They also made the two-point conversion and led 8-0.

Calhoun got the ball back and again went 4 and out. The Bears got the ball back to end the 1st quarter still leading 8-0.

The Bears quickly went through their 4 downs and had to turn the ball over when they didn't make the 10 yards. Calhoun got the ball back and moved down field on 14 downs until they were finally stopped.

The Bears got the ball back to end the half. No one scored in the second quarter, so the Bears still held an 8-0 edge. Calhoun kicked to the Bears to start the 3rd quarter. They moved the ball down field and were able to score in just over 2 minutes.

Cory Metz had a nice run back of 46 yards on the next kickoff. However, they couldn't move it further, and turned it over on downs. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as on the very next play the Bears fumbled and Calhoun recovered on the Bears' 19-yard line.

Calhoun took advantage of the fumble. After moving to the 8-yard line, Quarterback Justin Yoak was able to run it in for Calhoun's first touchdown of the night. Calhoun was within 8, down 6-14.

Calhoun kicked an on-side kick to end the 3rd; Bears would start the 4th quarter on their own 48-yard line.

It gets interesting in the 4th quarter.

It took the Bears exactly 2:00 minutes in the 4th quarter to score their next touchdown. Leading 20-6, with only 6 minutes left, the fans on the other side of the field were getting excited.

After the kick, Calhoun would start on their own 38-yard line. On the first play they fumbled and the Bears recovered. However, in a couple of plays the Bears fumbled and Calhoun got it back.

Derringer Fluharty broke it open for a 59-yard touchdown. They also made the 2-point conversion and were back in the game, down 6 points, 14-20.

With just over 3-minutes in the game, Metz tried an on-side kick. The Bears would start on their own 49. Calhoun's Defense was tough and held them. The Bears had to punt.

Calhoun started on their own 23-yard line--a long 77 yards to the goal. Apparently it really wasn't that far as Fluharty took the ball and ran the 77 yards on first down. A tied game (20-20) with 1 minute and 40 seconds left.

Calhoun kicked to the Bears who would start their drive on Calhoun's 49- yard line.

They moved the ball down field and with 20 seconds left, were able to run it in for a touchdown. It looked like it was over with the Bears ahead 26-20 with 7-seconds left. The Bears' fans were ecstatic.

Both teams had kicked on-side kicks most of the night. The Bears must of thought with only 7 seconds left, the best thing would be to kick it as far as possible.

That was a big mistake as Fluharty was waiting, and ran it back 75 yards for the touchdown. The game was tied at 26 apiece. The difference was the 2-point conversion.

Calhoun ran it in and took the lead and the game. Final score was Calhoun 28, the Bears 26.

What a way to end the season--a winning season, 5-3.

Fluharty went over 2,000 yards for the season in 7 games). What an amazing athlete.

The team, cheerleaders and parents celebrated at Applebee's after the game. I wish you could have seen and felt the excitement—it was great experience and a very rewarding feeling for these kids that have worked so hard for nearly 3 months.

The cheerleaders will continue working hard getting ready for their own competition in early November.

I think it is impossible to be involved in middle school sports and not see all the hard work the boosters do. A special thank you to the boosters for allowing Calhoun to have a quality sports program.

Coaches have a major influence on the athletics under their charge. We were lucky to have three of the best.

Coach's Rex Yoak, Kevin Cunningham, and Tracy Haught did an outstanding job this season. I attended many of the practices and all the games.

From the very first meeting with the team in early August, the coaches had the right attitude and focused on teaching the fundamentals and what it meant to be a team.

Only about nine months until next season ...


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