Christmas Football: CA vs. Warren Academy

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Christmas Football: CA vs. Warren Academy

Marcus Goodloe and Jake Jurney

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At the end of the football season, The Canton Academy Panthers had to play their toughest rival that they have faced yet, Warren Academy. During this season of football, Warren Academy was undefeated and won every game by at least 14 points. Warren Academy had three division one athletes but 1 was hurt due to a high ankle sprain. With Canton Academy with only 2 wins on the season and a lot of injuries. People have been predicting that Warren Academy will win by at least 20 points but there is no telling how this game will go with the weather being a big factor. The game took place in the North Pole at the Santa Snowglobe Stadium and Field. The stadium seats all visiting students and elves and the field is grass with thick snow all over it. It had been snowing all day leading up to the game.

The beginning of the game was the most hyped up game of the year–people were yelling and screaming for both sides. Some machines shot up fireworks and flames. The Cactuses, dressed in Christmas green and white and came rushing out with their mascot leading them to the field with fireworks shooting up in the air behind them. 

The panthers rushed out with white and gold on. After the players cleared the field a song came on, the song was welcome to the jungle and the panther came out with a few cheerleaders behind him riding a cat house on wheels.

Panthers were set to kick the ball off to start the game in this cold 30-degree weather. Panthers kicker Case Lambert kicks the ball off to opposing team and their d1 recruit Zack Rudolph catches it and makes 3 panthers miss tackles and return it for a 90-yard touchdown kick return. The cactuses decide to go for the field goal and make it. Cactuses are set to kick off the ball and kick it panthers Marcus Goodloe he catches the ball break loose for a 50-yard return and fumbles the ball and cactuses pick it up and return it for a touchdown. 

Panthers are down at halftime 14 to 0 due to horrible weather and it being Christmas day they will only be playing 8 minutes halves. Panther walk in their locker room with their head hanging low and sit quietly for a split second and then out of nowhere coach journey walks in the locker room and explain to his players what they need to do to win this game.

 Panthers come back out onto the field and are ready to return the kick. The cactuses kick the ball off to sophomore Marcus Goodloe who breaks one tackle and then hits the sideline for an 80-yard touchdown return. Panther are suddenly back in the game with that return but shortly after that on the next drive cactuses Wide receiver Rudolph makes a one-handed 30-yard touchdown catch  to make the score 21 to 7 with five minutes left to play in the game. Panthers played great defense the cactuses just have some very great athletes, but so does the panthers if they can just get them the ball. Panther Take the field on offense after a 15-yard return by Goodloe, panthers get two first down but afterward end up having to punt the ball. 

Senior Jack Carr has an awesome punt that puts the cactuses on the 10-yard line with 2 minutes of football left to play. This could be a great opportunity for the panthers if they can capitalize on the situation. Panther play great defense on first and second down, on third down cactuses were in the shotgun which looks to be a pass but the center snaps the ball over the QB into panthers end zone and panther sophomore Ephraim Hill recover for a panther touchdown to make the score 21 to 14 now the cactuses are only leading by one touchdown with one minute left on the clock to play. Panthers kick the ball off and it goes into the endzone the cactuses will start their offense on the 20-yard line. 

Cactuses run the ball to melt the clock down and get a first down with now 40 seconds on the clock. 1st and 10 for the cactuses they go play-action pass to the running back and go deep to Rudolph but it is intercepted by Panthers junior Quinjavious Taylor. 

Panthers now have 20 seconds to do something with the ball, on 1st down panthers drop back and throw the ball deep to sophomore receiver Dakota Jordan it is tipped by two cactuses defenders but Jordan catches it and runs for a 50-yard touchdown to make the game 20 to 21. Who knew that panthers would even have a shot at being in this game but look at them play, but this next decision can either make them or break down the panthers can either go for a two-point conversion to take the lead or kick a field goal to tie. Coach Journey looks into his player’s eyes, and ask them what they wanted to do? The Panthers responded let’s win this thing coach! They line up in the I formation and hand the football off to fullback Ty Townsend and his trucks his way in for the two-point conversion but with the big pile it hard to see if he got it after everyone clears the pile the referee signal a touchdown and panthers have taking the lead 22 to 21 with 10 seconds to go. Cactuses have no other choice but to go deep and try to get out of bounds but panthers have been all over Rudolph after his first touchdown. 10 seconds on the clock the cactuses go empty set and it looks like they are going for it all right here, quarterback drops back to pass the ball he threw a quick check down to get out of bounds but no it is intercepted by sophomore cornerback Barnes Wadford and he scores for a 25-yard interception return and that the ball game. Can you believe in Christmas miracles the panthers have made history by beating the number one team in their district on Christmas day? Is that a Christmas miracle?