This is the latest in a series in which we introduce members of the Southern Tier sports community and get their take on a sport or activity in which they participate. We provide the topic, they take it from there. Today’s Topic: “My Dream Finale,” from the perspective of a Windsor High senior whose final high school football game brought a record-tying effort.
It was the last football game I was ever going to play as a Windsor Black Knight. I wished it wasn’t.
The players are my family, my brothers. I knew going into the game that we HAD to leave with a win. I wish I could say we started strong, but we were down 30-0 at the end of the first quarter. We weren’t working well as a team. Honestly, I was having doubts, but I knew we couldn’t give up. Everybody knew it.
We went into the second quarter and things started changing. The offensive line was blocking very well and our wide receivers were stalk blocking exceptionally, allowing me to do everything I had to do to get in the end zone. Things just started falling into place. Everyone was doing their jobs and we all came together playing as a team offensively and defensively.
By halftime we were still trailing, but it was a closer game. During halftime we refocused on the importance of this game — for some of us it was our last. We went back out with more intensity and more of a drive to win. We were shutting them down. Even the sophomores on the team felt the need to win this one. Two of them even scored touchdowns on passes from our quarterback, Jake Conroy.
Watkins Glen did score on one kick return, but besides that we were able to stop them. We were scoring and we dominated the second half. I had scored five of the eight touchdowns for our team and I was proud of myself and the way the team didn’t give up. After the final play we had won the game. The scoreboard read 55-36. We did it. We had overcome a 30-0 first-quarter deficit by playing our hardest, as a team.
What I didn’t know was that I had rushed for 381 yards. I knew I had a few breakaway plays, but never knew I was near 381 yards. I had only 24 carries — that’s like 16 yards a touch. That night Coach Hogan told me I tied the Section 4 record for rushing in a game and I was ecstatic! For a minute. Then, of course, I thought, what are the chances of that? One more carry and I could have beat the record! That thought still bothers me a little, but at least I’m in the record books for tying it. I’m glad I got to end my high school football career with a great game. I played with my best friends, who I consider family. We did it together.
When asked who had the most influence on me as a player I always say my Dad and my Uncle Lindy. They both played for Windsor HS and were good athletes. They taught me the game and, maybe more importantly, encouraged me to work my hardest. I wish my Uncle Lindy could have made it to the game, but he is in Afghanistan fighting for our country. I told him about the record and he said he was proud of me. The feeling is mutual.
My last game as a Black Knight was also my best game as a Black Knight. What a way to end my high school football career. I know I will look back on that night forever — My Dream Finale.
(Crea tied Section 4’s single-game rushing record, which was established in 1998 by Eric Finch of Bainbridge-Guilford/Afton in a game against Deposit.)