"53," I said to the team as we lined up in our 5-3 defense. The Groton huddle looked like they were as big and as strong as the Great Wall of China, but the eleven of us in the blue and gold were ready to face the giant Groton players. They broke the huddle and came out to the line. They snapped the ball, and then the play went downhill. As they ran the sweep to our left, Patrick Lessard got crushed on an unnecessary block, and then Callan Fries went to tackle the Groton running back as he hurt his head. On the first play, we had two kids injured that had to come out. By now we were angry and wanted revenge.
After Patrick and Callan got to the sideline, we subbed two kids in and were ready for the next battle. They broke the huddle and lined up again. This time they ran up the middle, and we stopped them for only a short gain. After this play we realized that we got unlucky with the injuries, and even though they were a lot bigger, they were not much better then us. On the next few plays, we stopped them from getting many yards, but they still ended up getting a first down. The next play, they handed it off on a dive, when I stripped the ball, and it rolled on the ground. Someone on our team went to grab it, when it slipped out of his hands, and a Groton player grabbed it. We were disappointed, but we knew that they were not that special of a team. They ran a few more plays, but by then the eight first quarter minutes hand ended. We were pumped that we had not let them score yet, but they were close, and we were without two of our starters. On the next two plays, they scored and two more kids got injured by getting crushed by the bigger Groton kids. We were devastated, but wanted to play on.
After a few minutes of waiting, Mr. Carr came over and told us that the coaches had decided to call the game off after only one drive because they were just to big and we could not risk any more injuries. Our team was furious because we knew that we could compete with the older Groton kids. The coaches said it was because they did not want anyone else to get injured, but all of us wanted to keep going. We kept on telling the coaches that we wanted to play, but they would not budge. As we walked off the field and walked towards the bus, we were all disappointed, but I thought about the determination that our team showed against those big kids from Groton. I was especially inspired by the seventh graders that fought against the high schoolers. Although the coaches called the game off we still did a really impressive job on defense, and probably could have beaten that Groton team. Determination shows that not all bigger things are better.