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Football story from the fall

Discussion in 'Writers' Workshop' started by Rhody31, Feb 24, 2009.

  1. Rhody31

    Rhody31 Well-Known Member

    Wrote the story on deadline a few months back. Haven't thought to post it, but wanted to get some feedback, mainly because I don't have an editor to give me any.

    WEST WARWICK – The Cumberland football team heard the talk. A team with a losing record? They don’t deserve a playoff spot. They’re going to be one-and-done. Put the eight best records in, not four from Division II-A, four from II-B.
    The Clippers heard the talk loud and clear.
    “All practice we were saying we don’t deserve it, playoffs with a question mark,” senior defensive back Barry Greaves said after the Clippers 14-6 win over West Warwick Saturday. “So we just came here, proved everybody wrong and proved why we should be in the playoffs.’
    It was validation for the Clippers, who finished the regular season 3-4 in Division II-B, 4-5 overall. It was worst record of any of the eight D-II playoff teams, which stood out even more when Woonsocket (5-4, 5-2 Division II-A) fell out of the postseason after a tiebreaker that gave West Warwick the No. 1 seed in II-A.
    With all eyes on them, the Clippers balanced their offense on a day where the weather wasn’t fit for any sport. Wind gusts made passing a guessing game and good footing was an endangered species.
    The weather was so bad that it postponed the other D-II playoff game – Tolman at Cranston East – scheduled for Saturday night.
    “We were hoping we would play (Saturday),” said Cumberland running back David Elkas, who ran for 75 yards on 24 carries and scored the game-winning touchdown. “We knew (West Warwick’s Russell Strickland) is a great quarterback and he has a lot of good numbers and we knew they have a good attack. They have a very good team and I believe the weather worked in our favor.”
    Up 6-0 after quarterback Dan Canavan’s 21-yard touchdown pass to Joe Vecchio 53 seconds into the second quarter, Cumberland caught its biggest break when Strickland – West Warwick’s do-everything quarterback – was hit and brought to the ground on the Wizards’ first series of the second half.
    While Strickland hadn’t been dominating, he made up a majority of West Warwick’s offense to that point, rushing for 73 yards and passing for 39.
    The injury stalled the drive, but Canavan threw a pick on the ensuing drive where West Warwick took over at the Cumberland 43. On its first play, backup quarterback Reuben Paygai was injured and Charles Parent came in to take the snap.
    He handed it off to John Morrison, who went 42 yards for the game-tying touchdown that stood after the missed extra point.
    “The reality is when No. 7 went down, it was a big turn of events,” Cumberland coach Rick Reetz said. “I think we let down a little when he went down. They have some other guys who can play though.”
    On Cumberland’s first possession of the third quarter, it took the ball 69 yards on 13 plays for a score, helped by a pass interference call on 4th-and-goal from the 17 on a pass from Canavan to Vecchio.
    After a loss of one brought it back to the 10, Elkas ran a counter to the right for the score and Canavan’s pass to Vecchio made it 14-6.
    “Sometimes they overload on one side and if we get they’re sending to our strong side, we counter,” Elkas said. “That had a lot of success for us.”
    West Warwick did nothing with the ensuing possession and Cumberland gave the Wizards the ball back on their own 36 with 2:16 left, but the Clipper defense sacked Paygai twice and on fourth-and-11, Greaves picked off the pass and went to the ground, clinching a win no one saw coming.
    “We knew that. We heard everyone was saying that,” Elkas said. “Woonsocket was upset and they definitely had a reason to be. They had a great record but we knew we had to win this game or everyone would think we didn’t deserve it.
    “We had to prove we deserved it and that’s what we did (Saturday).”
    Cumberland’s next game will be Thanksgiving against a Woonsocket team out for blood, but the game itself means nothing. The Clippers will continue the Division II playoffs at either Tolman or Cranston East on Dec. 2.
    Whoever they meet in the semifinals will be a heavy favorite and expected to go the Super Bowl, which is fine by Cumberland.
    “Playoffs baby. That’s it,” Greaves said. “We’ll prove them wrong. You’ll see us there.”
     
  2. jlee

    jlee Active Member

    WEST WARWICK – The Cumberland football team heard the talk. A team with a losing record? They don’t deserve a playoff spot. They’re going to be one-and-done. Put the eight best records in, not four from Division II-A, four from II-B.
    The Clippers heard the talk loud and clear.
    “All practice we were saying we don’t deserve it, playoffs with a question mark,” senior defensive back Barry Greaves said after the Clippers 14-6 win over West Warwick Saturday (This info deserves its own sentence above the quote). “So we just came here, proved everybody wrong and proved why we should be in the playoffs.’
    The Clippers finished the regular season 3-4 in Division II-B, 4-5 overall. It was worst record of any of the eight D-II playoff teams, which stood out even more when Woonsocket (5-4, 5-2 Division II-A) fell out of the postseason after a tiebreaker that gave West Warwick the No. 1 seed in II-A.
    With all eyes on them, (A bit much) the Clippers balanced their offense on a day where the weather wasn’t fit for any sport. Wind gusts made passing a guessing game and good footing was an endangered species.
    The weather was so bad that it postponed the other D-II playoff game – Tolman at Cranston East – scheduled for Saturday night.
    “We were hoping we would play (Saturday),” said Cumberland running back David Elkas, who ran for 75 yards on 24 carries and scored the game-winning touchdown. “We knew (West Warwick’s Russell Strickland) is a great quarterback and he has a lot of good numbers and we knew they have a good attack. They have a very good team and I believe the weather worked in our favor.”
    Up 6-0 after quarterback Dan Canavan’s 21-yard touchdown pass to Joe Vecchio 53 seconds into the second quarter, Cumberland caught its biggest break when Strickland – West Warwick’s do-everything quarterback – was hit and brought to the ground on the Wizards’ first series of the second half.
    While Strickland hadn’t been dominating, he made up a majority of West Warwick’s offense to that point, rushing for 73 yards and passing for 39.
    The injury stalled the drive, but Canavan threw a pick on the ensuing drive, and West Warwick took over at the Cumberland 43. On its first play, backup quarterback Reuben Paygai was injured and Charles Parent came in to take the snap.
    He handed it off to John Morrison, who went 42 yards for the game-tying touchdown that stood after the missed extra point.
    “The reality is when No. 7 went down, it was a big turn of events,” Cumberland coach Rick Reetz said. “I think we let down a little when he went down. They have some other guys who can play though.”
    On Cumberland’s first possession of the third quarter, it took the ball 69 yards on 13 plays for a score, helped by a pass interference call on 4th-and-goal from the 17 on a pass from Canavan to Vecchio.
    After a loss of one brought it back to the 10, Elkas ran a counter to the right for the score and Canavan’s pass to Vecchio made it 14-6.
    “Sometimes they overload on one side and if we get they’re sending to our strong side, we counter,” Elkas said. “That had a lot of success for us.”
    West Warwick did nothing with the ensuing possession and Cumberland gave the Wizards the ball back on their own 36 with 2:16 left, but the Clipper defense sacked Paygai twice and on fourth-and-11, Greaves picked off the pass and went to the ground, clinching a win no one saw coming.
    “We knew that. We heard everyone was saying that,” Elkas said. “Woonsocket was upset and they definitely had a reason to be. They had a great record but we knew we had to win this game or everyone would think we didn’t deserve it.
    “We had to prove we deserved it and that’s what we did (Saturday).”
    Cumberland’s next game will be Thanksgiving against a Woonsocket team out for blood, but the game itself means nothing. (In terms of the playoffs, maybe, but it probably means something to someone) The Clippers will continue the Division II playoffs at either Tolman or Cranston East on Dec. 2.
    Whomever they meet in the semifinals will be a heavy favorite and expected to go the Super Bowl, which is fine by Cumberland.
    “Playoffs baby. That’s it,” Greaves said. “We’ll prove them wrong. You’ll see us there.”

    Good gamer. A little tightening here and there wouldn't hurt, but I'm guessing this was a deadline situation, no?

    Sorry this didn't get a reply sooner.
     
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