Sporting WCA

Juniors Stun Seniors in Powderpuff

In the most exciting Powderpuff game to date, the Juniors defeated the Seniors by a score of 63-56 in double overtime.

There was lots of excitement heading into the game. Both teams appeared desperate to win the annual rivalry game and their play would reflect that. The Junior team was lead by Quarterback Caroline Henrichs and Wide Receiver Sam Huber on offense, while Jenna Galakatos anchored the defense.

Galakatos got off to a great start on the first drive of the game as she recorded 3 tackles and came up with a stop on the goal line. These defensive stops would grow more and more rare as the game wore on, but every stop was important. Not only did the Junior Wildcats defensive start get off to a great start but so did their offensive threat, Sam Huber. Huber broke free on a fourth and long and hauled in a 30 yard touchdown on the team’s first drive of the game. This was Huber’s first of an incredible five touchdowns on the game. After this the seniors would score 14 unanswered points to take a 14-7 lead heading into halftime.

At halftime the Junior coaches met and decided to change strategy. The Seniors deadly offensive duo of Bunton and Sems were finding ways to get around the Junior defense while the offense had stalled out since the first drive of the game. They came up with a plan and headed into the second half, confident they had a strategy that would win the game.

At the start of the second half, the Juniors put Sarah Shoemaker in at Quarterback. Shoemaker dropped back as all of the receivers ran deep downfield. Shoemaker then tucked the ball and ran for a big gain on the first play of the drive. Shoemaker did the same thing again and was able to take it into the endzone to tie the game at 14. After the 2 play touchdown drive, the Junior defense was able to stop the Seniors after Abby Ruckman made a clutch stop on a 5 yard scramble by Sems. This play was followed up by a key deflection by Emily Stoner which gave the Juniors a chance to take the lead. Lexi Berra and Caroline Hinrichs took advantage of this opportunity right away as Berra made an outstanding catch in traffic for a 1 play, 35 yard touchdown. The Junior sideline was ecstatic as they gained the lead after a tremendous start to the half, but the elation was quickly quieted as a Senior trick play led to a long touchdown and then an interception and a long return set up the Seniors to once again take the lead by a score of 28-21.

From here the scoring went back and forth, the Juniors scored on a Macie Daniels rush touchdown, and a Katie Myers TD reception. With each score, the Junior sideline erupted. The Juniors had over 50 people on their sideline who showed great excitement and support throughout the game. The Juniors also had a substantial cheering section in the bleachers that was comprised of parents and students and gave the Juniors that much more will to win. With all this said, the Juniors were stuck in the role of catch up the whole game, as the Seniors had a deadly 3 headed monster in Sems, Bunton, and Alayna Marusiotis. Time became a factor after the Seniors scored once again to make the score 49-42 with 3 minutes left in the game, however, the Juniors, who were becoming accustomed to the long touchdown pass, converted once again on another 35 yard touchdown to Sam Huber with 2 minutes and 30 seconds left on the clock. The Seniors put together a long drive and were able to score a touchdown with only 13 seconds remaining on the clock. This is when the Junior sideline, who had been spirited and lively throughout the game, started to appear a little dispirited as they realized that they needed to score a touchdown in 13 seconds, with no timeouts remaining.

However, Caroline Hinrichs and Sam Huber were not shaken. Hinrichs dropped back and threw the ball up deep downfield, and her favorite target, Sam Huber, ran under it and took it to the house with the clutch game tying touchdown with only 3 seconds left. The Junior sideline erupted as an elated offense rushed back to sidelines and watched the defense prevent the long touchdown from the Seniors and took the game to overtime.

The overtime rules were simple, each team started from 25 yards out and had 4 plays to score. If one team scored and the other didn’t the team that scored won. The Seniors had a clutch play of their own on a 4th down from the 1 yard line in overtime and were able to score. The Junior offense took the field. The Juniors’ first three plays took them down to the 7 yard line and they had one play to either tie or lose the game. Sam Huber, once again, broke free and hauled in the pass from her Quarterback for the touchdown.

After all the scoring, it was finally the defense’s time to shine as they came up with their first stop since the first drive of the second half to give their offense the opportunity to win the game. However, the first three plays of the drive were stopped and the Juniors were 25 yards out of the endzone with one more chance to win. The ball was snapped and Hinrichs dropped back and scanned the field, she tossed up a beautiful spiral pass that had the distance to get into the endzone, as Huber broke free with only one defender to beat on her side of the field, she was able to outmaneuver her defender while the ball was in the air and haul in the fantastic catch in the endzone to win the game, 63-56.

The juniors were coached by a team of Dom Cusumano, Chad Briden, Jeremiah Thompson, Charlie McCracken, Caleb Layton, Michael Thoenen, and Alex Token. The coaches worked together through all the practices and throughout the game to come up with the strategy that was able to win the game.

“Our coaching staff went into the game with plenty of confidence. We knew the talent was there the whole time and that it would just be a matter of team chemistry and getting all the moving parts working together,” said coach Dominic Cusumano.

The spirit throughout the game on the Junior sideline was fantastic to be apart of, and it no doubt had some role in the win for the Juniors.

“It was an amazing atmosphere. At some points there was almost too much hype on our sideline and our Quarterback couldn’t hear what plays we were calling,” said Cusumano, “It’s also good to have support in the stands. It was funny to look up there and see that the parents had formed their own little Blue Crew, led by Howard Kurop of course,” added Cusumano.

After the high scoring classic we saw in the Powderpuff game this year, there is no doubt that this timeless tradition will only continue to grow next year.