At the intersection of writing and life with the author of the Cameron Ballack mysteries

Friday, September 2, 2016

The Wildcat Lair (2016: Vol. 5)

One loss is not sufficient cause for suddenly quoting Nietzsche in a dark room with lit candles. A stumble along the way is no cause for nihilism. The brooding Bard perhaps, for the difficulties that beset our beloved Wildcats are enough to cause the garden-variety Westminster fan to lilting "Stars, hide your fires/Let not light see my black and deep desires." (#Macbeth) But in a year that has already seen quality reaction to raw talent and new faces, rest assured that the Cats will claw right back into contention, St. Dominic loss aside.

'Twas a game that had all the sensation of running a 5K race in three feet of cooked oatmeal (#HealthyBreakfast). Knotted at a 3-3 tie at the halftime break, the 'Saders and Cats had slugged it out in a defensive bout worthy of a clash between SEC powers (#BAMAvsLSU). But skittish special teams put Westminster behind to stay when an errant punt snap flew over Grant Lavalle's head and through the north end zone, giving St. Dom a 5-3 lead they would never relinquish. Eighty-three seconds later, SD quarterback Dominic Demerath scrambled into the end zone to make it a two-score game, also topping that run with another tally five seconds into the fourth quarter. As St. Dominic tipped the balance in their favor by a 19-3 count, one could sense the world starting to go "BOOM" around Westminster Stadium with considerably less joy than showed by the Teutonic Care Bear. (#WeLoveKlopp)

But in just under two minutes, here came the Wildcats running and shooting with the pinball like action of a June Jones setup. An 11-yard scoring toss from Chad Briden to Dylan Conway and a two-point run by Steve Webb made things a one-possession game as the stands came alive. On the next Westminster possession, none other than Lavalle himself made a Sportcenter-worthy snag of a Briden toss and took it to the Crusader 7, and Wildcat fans felt their team back on the prowl again.

Alas, with the swiftness of the gods when they condemned Prometheus, disaster struck on the next set of downs when Briden took a hard shot to his left shoulder and crumpled to the turf. Soldiering on to the end of the drive, he barely overthrew Conway on fourth-and-goal before leaving the game with a broken collarbone and our fans with broken hearts. (#WhatAStinger)

Inexplicably, the Crusaders channelled their inner Jeff Fisher on their next possession, calling a fake punt inside their own 20, and the Wildcat special teams smelled it out like Nancy Kerrigan sensing Will Farrell's advances at a disciplinary hearing (#BladesOfGlory). The ball went back to the Westminster "O" and backup signal-caller Josh Pottebaum. The attack forces fought valiantly, but the Wildcats had peaked and spent themselves, and much like Swansea City in rain last week at Leicester, it wasn't enough to catch the victors. (#PremierLeaguePlug)

Looking at the game, it is a difficult pill to swallow, much more so than 1000 mg acetaminophen. But Wildcats know they have no time to waste. Shifting pieces around the chess board with the resolve of a Garry Kasparov will be a must throughout this week, as well as opening up holes for Steve Webb, who was held to 48 yards rushing against the St. Dominic defensive front. But we have a team and coaching staff that refuses to quit as we head into Metro League play this coming weekend. And that is the focus of our next post.

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