1. Welcome to SportsJournalists.com, a friendly forum for discussing all things sports and journalism.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register for a free account to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Access to private conversations with other members.
    • Fewer ads.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

5A Texas Football State Final gamer

Discussion in 'Writers' Workshop' started by bballscribe, Dec 27, 2006.

  1. bballscribe

    bballscribe Member

    Hey guys, here's a gamer I did on last weekend's final. I'm not the strongest at football, so any help would be appreciated


    SAN ANTONIO -- Trailing Cedar Hill, 24-10, with 3:29 remaining in the first half of Saturday's Division II 5A State championship, Cy-Falls coach David Raffield was satisfied with where his team stood.
    But before Raffield could start considering halftime adjustments, the Longhorns drove 76 yards in 11 plays, and ballooned their advantage to 31-10 just seconds before the half ended
    That drive proved to be the turning point of the contest as the Eagles never recovered, surrendering to Cedar Hill, 51-17, before 8,723 at the Alamodome
    "It was disappointing right before the half when we got within two scores that they went down and scored again," Raffield said. "We knew we had the ball coming out in the second half, and that it could easily be just a seven-point game after that first drive. But they scored again right before the half, and that was the turning point for us."
    Playing in just their second postseason at the 5A level, the Longhorns scored within the first 28 seconds of the game-covering 80 yards in two plays-on senior William Cole's 63-yard touchdown run.
    Longhorn senior Cody Powell contributed a 39-yard field goal, and senior Dezmon Briscoe's 19-yard touchdown reception with 24 seconds remaining in the first quarter gave Cedar Hill an early 17-0 lead.
    The Golden Eagles, however, were finding no consistency on offense. The Longhorns' aggressive defense forced Cy-Falls into two punts and a turnover on its first three offensive possessions.
    "They played us physical," Eagles senior Jeff Welch said. "They were good at pressing and we did some short passes, but they played us tough. Everyone knew their responsibilities and they played an error-free game.
    Cy-Falls finally got on the board on senior Jack Freeman's 3-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter.
    But just when it appeared that the Eagles were starting to come around, Cole (14 carries for 290 yards and 3 TDs) called for a quarterback draw, and sprinted 75 yards for another devastating score.
    "He's probably the best individual who can change a game offensively," Raffield said. "We've been able to slow down and contain teams who've had just one great player but there was no stopping him tonight."

    Missed Opportunities

    Cy-Falls had another opportunity to close the deficit once more when Welch (15 of 26 passing for 212 yards) connected with Freeman (five receptions for 112 yards) on a 69-yard pass that put the Eagles at the Longhorns' 11-yard line.
    That would be as close as they would get to the end zone.
    Junior Shane Turner (22 carries for 122 yards) rushed for no gain twice, and then rushed a final time that resulted in a loss of two yards as Cedar Hill displayed its strength and resilience defensively.
    What should have been a touchdown that cut the Longhorns' advantage to 24-14 instead ended up a 20-yard field goal by senior Lane Bailey.
    But even with that disappointing turn of events, all was not lost on the Eagles.
    "Our shortcomings offensively in the first half really didn't hurt us, as crazy as that might sound," Welch said. "We're used to coming out in the third quarter and just dominating teams. We knew we were still going to have to score twice to get back into things."
    That easing thought was put to rest with senior Corey Roney's (13 carries for 65 yards and 2 TDs) 11-yard rush up the middle for a 31-10 halftime edge for the Longhorns.

    Eluded dreams

    And when the Eagles failed to score on their opening drive of the third quarter-and Cole answered with another highlight scoring run, this one being a 71-yard rampage through the left tackle-Raffield knew it just might not be the night.
    "When we came out and didn't score on our first second-half drive, we knew it was going to be a battle," Raffield said. "And then they came out and got a cheap touchdown, and that was pretty much our demise."
    Said senior Jerrod Black, of Cole: "He was a huge challenge for us. He's very fast and an athletic player, but we just had poor tackling tonight. We tried to keep him contained, but there was always a small leak, and he always found them. And when he gets through them, he's gone.”
    Roney added his second score of the game on a 1-yard run four minutes later, and junior Imari Thompson added salt to the wound with a 2-yard run that pushed the Longhorns' lead to 51-10.
    Eagles senior Roger Holland's blocked punt for a 25-yard touchdown return early in the fourth quarter aided the final score.
  2. bballscribe

    bballscribe Member


    More than just a game

    Cy-Falls finished its season 12-4, and to fall to a Cedar Hill team that went undefeated in 2006 is no laughing matter.
    As much as Cole was dominant on offense, it was the Eagles' own offense that had trouble sustaining rhythm.
    Cy-Falls completed just 3-of-11 third down opportunities and managed just 3.8 rushing yards per carry.
    Defensively, the Eagles didn't fare much better, allowing 488 total yards by Cedar Hill.
    But for a team that made the first state championship game in Cy-Fair I.S.D history, it will be a season to cherish forever.
    "This is an unbelievable group of seniors," Raffield said. "Last January, they made a goal to get here and they've done everything we've asked them to do. They've overcame outside obstacles all year. We took two early losses this season, and a lot of teams would have laid down. We fell behind in a couple of playoff games.
    "But the day-to-day work ethic and the trust they have within one another, it's an amazing group of individuals."
    As prep sports go, it does not get any better than making consecutive trips to the Alamodome.
    And as Welch reinforced, it was less about the sport than it was about building relationships.
    "I don't think you'll find another group of guys who are this close," Welch said. "We had so much faith in each other, and that was a huge part of our success."
  3. NEVER EVER EVER EVER give a different score before the final score. In any gamer. For any sport. Ever.
  4. Piotr Rasputin

    Piotr Rasputin New Member


    Also . . .that's a LOT of play-by-play for a 51-17 game. A team gets beat by that margin, there really isn't much to say except to pretty it up by noting that making the final is a spectacular season anyway. The last stuff about the building of relationships should have been higher, and expanded.
  5. bballscribe

    bballscribe Member

    Wow, wasn't too aware of that. Thanks.
  6. dustin_long

    dustin_long New Member

    Here's a few things to think about.

    1. I'm glad you're asking for advice whether it is here or in your office. Continue to do that.
    2. It's good that you admit you are not as strong on football stories. Before you can become good at something you must admit a weakness.
    3. In that light, you had a lot of the basics down. Always make sure you have that.
    4. Once you get the basics down and feel comfortable that you can write a good gamer, then go exploring. Try different techniques, different styles and different storylines.
    Previous advice is pretty good. In a lopsided game, you don't need all the play-by-play and stats (that stuff should be left to the boxscore).
    Another thing to think about when covering this particular type of game: You mentioned there were more than 8,000 at the game. My guess that it was televised back to your area or your area had at least a radio station there broadcasting the game. In other words, many people in your area are likely to know what happened by the time your story hits the doorstep (still you need some of those details for folks who missed the game). So, then you're next question should be how can I further this story along? What can I give the reader something they couldn't have gotten from TV or radio in this case? Granted home team getting crushed in the state final is not an easy angle. Was there some kid who had done great things and was playing in his final high school game for the local team? What about the senior class? Had they had a remarkable turnaround in four years or a great record the past few years? Or was this a young team getting hammered? You could always write about the prospects for next season.
    Those are just a few things you want to be thinking about. These are things you can think of when you're doing regular-season games. Just think what can you do to make the story different so the reader feels that they have to read you the next day or they will have missed something even if they were at the game.
    Keep asking for advice. If not here, find someone in your newsroom that you can bounce stories off of from time to time. It doesn't always have to be someone in sports. Sometimes its good to get the perspective of someone not as in tuned with sports.
    Just a few thoughts. Take them for what they're worth.
  7. Editude

    Editude Active Member

    Since the losing team was from your coverage area, I would have made just passing references to the scores of the other team and focus almost entirely on what your team did and what it thought. The opponent was a power, and the team set a goal just to get there. Tell me more about what the kids thought of the climb up the mountain and their take on the view from there, despite the blowout loss.
  8. bballscribe

    bballscribe Member

    Awesome. I appreciate ALL the advice given. I also want to add that this gamer was complemented by a sidebar that read precisely what you all are saying -- what the seniors thought, prospects for next season, etc. I think I do get caught up too much in play-by-play and that's a bad habit. Thanks again.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page