Sudden Death: halftime

6 Oct



Sudden Death


By L. Stewart Marsden


Everyone on the team was incredulous, going about high-fiving each other and slamming lockers.

“Whooooooooo! Yeah! We can DO IT!” screamed Kajil Moore, dancing about link a puppet on strings.

The locker room erupted for the umpteenth time: “Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey!”

Coach Hutchison blew his whistle loudly several times, gradually calming the riotous football team.

When the din finally subsided, Hutchison stepped in front of a white board, and wrote the halftime score in bold red letters:

Trinity – 17
Tech – 20

He grinned.

“It’s pretty much of a cliché that I remind you we have 30 more minutes of football to play. You can bet Tech is getting a tongue-lashing in their locker room, and that Jamaal Salem is madder than a hornets’ nest.

“But I tell you guys that the nation is watching, and we can finish this!”

The room exploded in cheers once again.

“Mr. Salem promised 400 yards passing offense against us. He has 75 yards.”

Another explosion of cheers.

“Mr. Salem promised three touchdown passes. He has none.”

More cheers.

“Outside of the opening fumbled kick-off, and the pick-six run back, you guys have held the number one team in the nation to 180 first-half yards. Their offense has had only five first downs!”

“Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey!”

“AND, our defense has busted through their line to sack Mr. Salem three times for a total of twenty-five yards lost.”


“That’s not all. Our quarterback has thrown for more than 250 yards, including a touchdown throw of 85 yards.!”


“You know, Jimmy Valvano told his championship basketball team throughout the season: just be in a position to win. And that’s what you’ve done. Nobody figured the Trinity Devils would be three points down at the half. They figured 30 points.

“Nobody figured our defense would shut down Jamaal Salem and the Techtronics machine.

“Nobody thought we’d be able to do what we’ve done offensively — especially with a quarterback who hasn’t taken a snap in a game this year.

“But see? Nobody asked us!”


“So — so — so guys! You’ve made one helluva statement so far. you need to finish this story. Stay focused, offense and defense. Special teams — don’t get cute — do your jobs.

“Now let’s go out there and show the world that this is no fluke! Go beat the ever-livin’ HELL out of TECH! One-two-three . . . ”


* * * * *

Copyright © by Lawrence S. Marsden, 6 October, 2014




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