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Football Gamer, Yes Another One

Discussion in 'Writers' Workshop' started by deviljets7, Oct 13, 2007.

  1. deviljets7

    deviljets7 Member

    Any and all advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

    North Bergen answers the bell, and just in time

    After losing its last two contests, North Bergen knew the defense had to step up. The Bruins came out and answered the bell - literally.

    With bells ringing on the North Bergen sideline, a potential game-winning drive by Emerson came to a screeching halt as North Bergen's Paul Pino sacked Eddie Gonzalez on a third-and-four at the Bruins' 27-yard line. The sack, the next-to-last play of the game, resulted in a loss of 14 yards as North Bergen held on for an 8-7 victory at the Midtown Athletic Complex.

    "I knew I had to step up, so I stepped it up big," Pino said. "I made a move and I got right to him."

    The Bulldogs' Edwin Frias was stopped for a 5-yard loss on fourth down as time expired.

    This week, the Bruins (3-2) instituted the ringing of bells on the sidelines during third downs after struggling in recent weeks to stop opponents in that situation. In last week's loss, they had allowed 13 third-down conversions on 17 attempts.

    "In practice the whole week, we started ringing the bell on third down because we used to come up weak," Pino said. "This time, on that last series, we started ringing the bell from play one. Everybody just stepped it up, so I knew that I was a big part of that line and I had to step it up myself.

    The strategy worked as the Bruins limited Emerson to just two third-down conversions on eight attempts, making several big plays on defense. On a night when they scored only eight points, North Bergen needed every one of those stops.

    "When they hear the bell, they know," North Bergen head coach Vincent Ascolese explained.

    Playing their first home game since Sep. 14, the Bulldogs jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead, scoring on their initial possession. Emerson capped off the five-play, 62-yard drive when Gonzalez rolled out to the left and connected with a wide-open Juaquin Benitez for a 22-yard touchdown.

    From that point, the Bruins' blitzing defense put the clamps down on the Emerson offense, limiting them to just 97 yards total the rest of the way. Frias, the Bulldogs' standout running back, was limited to just 66 yards rushing on 18 carries. The passing game was also held in check as Gonzalez completed just three of 10 passes for 53 yards.

    Senior Deshawn Sloan registered a sack and an interception in the second half for the Bruins. Sloan, who was playing with a broken finger on his right hand, was a workhorse on offense, carrying the ball 20 times for 60 yards. Seven of those carries came in the fourth as North Bergen continued to eat away at the clock.

    "Deshawn is a workhorse there's no doubt about it," Ascolese said. "He's a tough kid."

    Bernard Castano provided the lightning to Sloan's thunder, gaining 21 yards on the ground to go along with 33 yards on three receptions.

    While the Bruins were making the big plays on defense, the Bulldogs continued to keep them off of the scoreboard. Emerson's defense forced North Bergen to turn the ball over on downs twice in the red zone in the first half.

    With 2:31 left in the first, Castano was stopped at the Emerson 13 on fourth down, four yards short of the markers. Just 4:03 later, a Bruins' drive stalled out at the 10 after a pair of incomplete passes by Thomas Guaschino.

    Gaushcino and the North Bergen offense finally broke through with 34 seconds left in the first half. Gauschino rolled out to his left and Steven Palma for the 12-yard touchdown. Palma jumped in front of the Emerson defender to catch the ball in the front corner of the endzone.

    Sloan ran the ball in for the two-point conversion that turned out to be the difference in the game. With their regular kicker sidelined with a concussion, the Bruins had little choice but to go for two in the situation.

    "We did enough to win and that's good enough to me," Ascolese said.

    The win was a much needed confidence booster for North Bergen, which was coming off of losses to St. Peter's Prep and Bayonne.

    "We lost twice and to come back from that says a lot about the character of this football team," Ascolese said. "Tight game and we came back."

    The bell rang and the Bruins answered, and it came at a time they needed it the most.
     
  2. hockeybeat

    hockeybeat Guest

    I think your lead is cliched. There's got to be something better than "North Bergen answered the bell."

    Talk about Paul Pino's sack. Did he overpower a lineman? Sprint in unmolested?

    Screeching halt. I hate that phrase. There's a better way to North Bergen stopped Emerson's drive.
     
  3. Angola!

    Angola! Guest

    I'm OK with the lead, but you say there were bells ringing on the sideline. Why? You have to explain that for this lead to work for me.
     
  4. deviljets7

    deviljets7 Member

    I'm not trying to come off as a jerk, but did you read paragraphs 5 and 6? In those paragraphs it explains the bells ringing.
     
  5. Angola!

    Angola! Guest

    Completely my fault. I somehow missed that. I don't have a problem with the lead then, it is cliched, but not really because they actually were ringing bells.
     
  6. TyWebb

    TyWebb Well-Known Member

    I agree with Angola. At first, I thought the lede was going to be cliched, but since there actually were bells, I thought it worked. One of the rare times "answering the bell" won't be a total cliche.

    You could have added some detail here, though. In my mind, I imagined each player on the sideline rattling a cowbell, but you left it to my imagination. Was it a single bell? Did the fans participate? How loud did it get?

    It sounds like Pino's sack was the play of the game, so some more description here would add a lot. You could go as in depth as how he tackled him: Take out the legs? Throw him down? Shoulder pad in the gut? In a gamer, I've always been a fan of pulling out one play to really describe to the reader.

    Also, your ending sounds forced. There really is no transition from the quote above it to the final line. It is good that you are trying to wrap up the story where you started it, but it needs to be a little smoother.

    Other than that, good stuff. Good job of avoiding "Then this happened, then this happened."
     
  7. jlee

    jlee Active Member

    I'd avoid using "step up" in the lede when you have a quote using that phrase twice already. Same with "workhorse" later on.

    Lose the last sentence.

    Good stuff. I enjoyed it.
     
  8. deviljets7

    deviljets7 Member

    Thanks for the comments. I'll admit, I didn't even realize I used "step up" that many times.
     
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