The atmosphere in the stadium buzzed with anticipation. Which team would take the Conference Championship title: the Green Level Gators or the Hillside Hornets? When the clock struck six-thirty, it was time to find out.
The Gators were on their way to the title after Sophomore Cody Cross’s fumble recovery for a touchdown in the first quarter. Later in the second quarter, the Gators extended their lead when Sophomore Charles Oates caught a touchdown pass from Freshman Quarterback Carter Devereaux.
But the Hornets weren’t done. After a touchdown, they were back in the game and within one touchdown of the Gators. The Gators weren’t about to crack under the pressure, however, as the crowd could tell when Cameron Chatmon carried the ball 77 yards for the third Gator touchdown of the game. After a field goal for the extra point kicked by Cody Cross, the Gators prepared for kickoff with a two-touchdown lead 20 – 6.
But this was when the Gators’ defense started to slip. The Hornets scored two quick touchdowns and got a successful two-point conversion which tied the game up at 20-20 in the second quarter. The coaches took a timeout and deliberated on the play. They had prepared for this game since June and they were not going to let the championship title slip through their fingers.
After halftime, the Gators stepped onto the field with a different energy. They were ready to win this game and win their Conference Championship title, but the Hornets were not going to roll over and just let them have it. No, they were going to make them work for it. Make them earn it. When neither team scored in the third quarter, every coach, every player, every parent, and every student knew that this game was going to come down to the final quarter. The last twelve minutes of the season would decide who was first, and who was the first place loser.
With mere minutes left in the game and a chilly rain now falling, the Gators were doing anything they could to score. In a last-ditch effort to put one more touchdown on the board, Carter Devereaux threw a long pass to Sophomore Elias Walsh in the end zone. The pass was completed and won the game for our Green Level Gators. Walsh told us the following day that making the winning catch, “was probably one of the best feelings ever. I didn’t even think I would be able to catch it, but I hit the ground and it was in my hands and it just felt amazing.” Devereaux added, “It was really exciting and really rewarding because we worked for that and we practiced that a lot in practice. We had worked all year for moments like that, so it just felt really rewarding.”
After the game was over, the gates were opened and the Green Level students section raced onto the field to celebrate with the team. Each coach gave a short speech about how proud they were and it was an amazing moment seeing how far the team had come. The team and their fans are all hoping that this is the first Conference Championship title of many for Green Level Athletics.