“The Road to Paradise” outline

Chapter 10:The Way the Ball Bounces

HALFWAY THROUGH THE second quarter, the Castle Knights are holding the powerful Hobart Brickies without a first down in a game they are leading 14-7.

With the ball at midfield, quarterback Mike Davis is surprised by the play being sent into the huddle — 600 Flea Flicker.  Hobart no doubt knows it’s coming and might be looking for it at the end of the game, but not here with Castle leading. Davis takes the snap and launches a perfect missile to junior receiver Deon Chester, who flicks the ball effortlessly to senior running back Dave Brosmer streaking by. A few seconds later, Brosmer crosses the goal line for a 50-yard touchdown and a 20-7 lead.

The Hobart side of the stadium sits in silent shock. This is not supposed to be happening.

The Brickies squeak out a wobbly 40-yard field goal right before halftime to cut the lead to 20-10. It’s an ugly score, but it represents more than three points; the Brickies have taken momentum into the locker room.

The Knights, who have dominated nearly every facet of the game so far, fail to show up for the third quarter. Whether it’s because they haven’t caught their second wind, or because the play calling has become too conservative, or because special teams miscues are too much to overcome — whatever the reason — the Brickies score two touchdowns to take their first lead with nine-and-a-half minutes left in the game.

Suddenly finding themselves down 23-20 in a game they have thoroughly dominated, the Knights have nine-and-a-half minutes to right the ship and make history. Nine-and-a-half minutes separate them from a lifetime of prideful accomplishment or a lifetime of regret.

How would they respond?

Next — Chapter 11: Exorcising the Ghosts of Carmel

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