“The Road to Paradise” outline

Chapter 12: How Sweet It Is!

THE KNIGHTS’ OFFENSE lines up with nine-and-half minutes separating them from a lifetime of pride or a lifetime of regrets. All those years of sweat and toil will come down to these next 570 seconds.

It’s third and six and the Knights are in desperate need of a first down as quarterback Mike Davis takes the snap. He drops back and sees junior Deon Chester in the right flat, throwing purposely high, not wanting anybody but his receiver to be able to get to the ball.Castle Knights raise their 1982 Championship trophy

But the pass is a little too high and Chester has to jump, barely getting a hand on it and flipping it even higher. The ball hangs in the air for only a split second, but it’s one of those split seconds that seems to last forever. As the ball starts its downward trajectory, Chester is now out of position and has to twist himself like a pretzel, arching so far back that it seems he might break in half.

And the ball falls into his hands.

Chester untangles himself and races up the sideline to Hobart’s 25-yard line for a 36-yard gain. If there is any lingering doubt that this championship will belong to the Knights, they evaporate with Chester’s miraculous catch.

A half dozen plays later, Chris Brosmer stumbles into the end zone for a touchdown giving the Knights a 23-20 lead with three minutes left.

Castle Coach John Lidy celebrates the Knights State Championship Win

Forced to go to the air, the Brickies are out of their element and when their fourth-down pass is knocked down by junior defensive back Gary Gilles with 26 seconds left, the Castle Knights are one snap away from the impossible.

Davis sticks his head in the offensive huddle, knowing Hobart can’t stop the clock.

“This is it,” Davis says to his excited teammates. “This is what we dreamed about. Let’s do it.”

Next Chapter 13: Greatness Never Leaves

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