“Two years ago, it was 28-0. We have a fulfillment to meet,” one coach said to his players during a timeout following the injury of quarterback Jon Vore.
The Tigers did not wait long to take a couple trips to the end zone. By the end of the second quarter, the score was 20-0. They did not rush, but instead favored incremental movements that left the Royals cornered and forced to punt on their last down in order to gain leverage.
The Tigers did have one fumble near the end of the second quarter. Desperate not to lose their momentum, they did not let the subsequent Royal offense gain a single yard on the field. The Tigers had their eyes on the end zone even at the very last seconds, and were able to set themselves up with a successful pass and score a field goal with 2.3 seconds before halftime.
Off the field, the spirit of both crowds surged. A sea of red and a sea of blue lapped at the heels of a green shore. The Riley donation during halftime raised more than $1,600. The crimson crowd let loose a batallion of red balloons beneath the warm fiery glow of a setting sun, which looked redder than usual during the game due to wildfires in the northwestern part of the country.
The marching band and color guard played a brief show, which they will continue to polish over the course of the year. At the end of halftime, French teachers Dahnya Chop and German teacher Robin Geisinger received the district award for teaching at FHS.
The game resumed with a choked third quarter. Despite a large amount of movement back and forth across the field, neither team allowed the other a single point.
It was five minutes into the last quarter that the Royals finally dragged the Tigers down the field and scored their first touchdown through a complete pass. A lot happened in the last minutes of the game, and the Royals crowd did not check out early. The Royals made another fumble recovery and complete pass, taking the score to 20-14. They recovered the ball on the onside kick.
Then, each movement that could have led to a Royal turnover was met with heightened encouragement from the crowd. One more touchdown and the tables would have turned.
The tables nearly did, but the Tigers stopped them in their tracks just as the clock ran dry. At the end of a close game, the victory and the trophy belonged to the Tigers. The announcer requested that the audience remain off the field, but the FHS students paid little attention and soon flooded onto the grass.
“It’s good to know at least one person was listening. Loved watching @FHSTigerCage celebrate the win!!!” Wes Shealey commented on the official N the Red Twitter account.