Monday, December 12, 2011
State Bound Loboes...
Well, for the third week in a row I was following Cisco, this week in the state semifinals against Mildred at Vernon Newsom Stadium in Mansfield. Normally when I go to shoot high school games I try to get to the stadium at least an hour early, it allows me to get all my stuff set up, type in code replacements and just kind of unwind and clear my head before the game.
Well, every once in a while I can't get to the game when I would like to for one reason or another. Last Friday was one of those nights. I had to go shoot an assignment in Dublin on my way there and ended up getting a late start. Then my GPS ended up taking me a different way than I had planned and I didn't notice until it was too late and ended up getting stuck in traffic. Ironically, the last time I shot Cisco in the state semifinal game a few years ago I ended up getting stuck in traffic and got there 15 minutes before the game, just like this time. So, maybe that was a good sign, for the Loboes, at least.
It ended up taking me much of the first quarter to finally get my head straight to where I could totally concentrate on the game, plus for much of the first half Mildred was keeping Cisco in check. The zone read wasn't working, Mildred was stopping them on every play and the passing game wasn't working either. Then during the second quarter it looked like Cisco was putting things together and threw a long pass that got intercepted. Then two plays later the Mildred running back got stripped of the ball and the Loboes recovered. A couple plays later Cisco scored right before the end of the quarter and the momentum shift was pretty obvious.
Cisco got the kickoff in the second half and came out looking old school lined up in the I-formation and pounded it up the gut. It wasn't really pretty, but really effective. There were getting 4-6 yards a carry and just dominating the line of scrimmage. On defense, the momentum was carrying over and the Loboes were making great stops then turning it around with long, clock-killing touchdown drives. Going up two touchdowns with four minutes left it looked over. Mildred though, didn't believe that. Marching down the field and scoring a touchdown with less than a minute left. Then Mildred recovered the onside kick down only seven with less than a minute left in the game. It certainly added excitement to the game, but the defense was able to hold. It turned out to be a really great game, Cisco did what they needed to do to make adjustments at halftime to win. The photo we ran as the lead on sports was the fumble which was pretty much the defining point of the game. After Cisco scored from that turnover they never looked back.