By Michael Jerry –
Friday Night Football at Foley making it’s post-covid debut. About 10 % stadium capacity braved the brisk cold weather to watch Doherty, my alma mater, fight the football team from Algonquin High to a 14-14 stalemate as the end of the third quarter drew near.
I call them the football team from Algonquin because they decided to change their name from Tomahawks, which is an insensitive reference to native culture, (salute) and I haven’t been able to ascertain whether or not they decided on a new one yet.
Each defense took turns playing “Impenetrable Force” and just as I was ready to concede that this game had seen the end of scoring and the next one probably wouldn’t come until the last minutes of the game…BOOM!! Somebody in the Highlander secondary got smoked down the sideline for a 60 yds. reception that ended just shy of the end zone. The Algonquin QB would punch it in shortly after but couldn’t convert the extra point, making the score 20-14, Algonquin.
D High was stone walled in their next possession and was forced to punt again. Doherty’s offense looked done. Algonquin, on the other hand, looked like they smelled blood and were going in for the kill, moving the ball down the field in search of that “nail in the coffin” score…then the Algonquin QB made a mistake on the far side sideline and Vega #5 of Doherty picked him off and returned the ball inside the Algonquin 20 yd line. D High QB #7 took the next snap and skated down the sideline to tie the game at 20. The extra point went just left to keep the game tied.
4 and a half minutes left in the game, Algonquin was on the move once again and it was starting to look like Algonquin was in line for that 2 minute warning, game ending score I suspected. But, not so fast. The Algonquin back was fighting for extra yards and coughed the ball up as he came out of his spin move. Doherty pounced on it and just like that. Their fortunes were reversed with 3:15 left on the clock. The Highlander offense could do nothing for the previous 5 possessions. None of that mattered now. Doherty effortlessly drove down the field and scored, leaving a little over a minute left on the clock. Doherty chose to kick the extra point again even after missing the previous one. That surprised me. Can’t lie. This time the extra point was blocked.
Algonquin actually got another shot after someone on the Doherty sideline unexplainably called an onside/pooch kick. Algonquin recovered but went 4 and out to end the game, Doherty 33 – Algonquin 20.