“The Road to Paradise” outline

 

Chapter 11: Exorcising the Ghosts of Carmel

BEATING MARTINSVILLE had taken a lot out of the Knights and many wondered if they would suffer a letdown after such a tough, emotional game. While that might have been a possibility against some teams, Coach Lidy knew there would be no letdown when the Carmel Greyhounds came to town.

Carmel had throttled Castle 49-13 the year before. This year, the Greyhounds would travel to Paradise for a game that would decide who would play for the state championship. It wasn’t just the setting that was different. The feel of the game was different this time. This was a different Castle team — one that wasn’t about to be intimidated. Not this team, not this time, not on their home turf.

While Lidy acknowledged that he had modeled his football program after the successful Carmel program, the Greyhound coach wasn’t too impressed. As he and Lidy chatted during pregame warm ups, the Carmel coach told Lidy that he had “a nice little team.” Lidy knew what the coach meant. It was a slap in the face, his way of saying, “take your beating and go home.”Deon Chester gains yards against the Carmel Greyhounds

IF THE KNIGHTS wanted Carmel’s respect, they would have to take it. They would use Carmel’s dismissal of them as inspiration. And inspired they were.

The game would be a defensive slugfest in which the Knights would find themselves in charge of a shutout until the vaunted Greyhounds finally found the end zone with 73 seconds left. With their 21-8 victory over the defending state champs, the Knights had exorcized the demon that had haunted them for a year. And they would be playing for the state championship.

These Knights had now gone further than any Castle team before them. They had nothing left to prove to themselves or to southern Indiana. But if you’re going to the state championship, you might as well try to win it, right?

 Next — Chapter 12: How Sweet It Is!

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