LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – Football is a game of seconds, snaps and yards, but sometimes it’s one snap, one second and one play that can change the rest of the game.
For the duPont Manual Crimsons, it has happened not once so far this season, but twice.
“We always say poor players make poor plays, good players make good plays and great players make great plays,” Manual head coach Oliver Lucas said. “And we think of ourselves as Crimsons and great players.”
In their first game against Central senior wide receiver Jalen Carter channeled his inner Odell Beckham Jr. and made an incredible one-handed grab that resulted in a touchdown and shifted the energy of the game.
“It felt really good,” Carter said with a smile. “Especially with the crowd yelling my name. Before the game I was practicing all my one-handed catches like Odell [does] in his pre-game practices so I went out with the one hand and just caught it.”
Then the next week against Fern Creek it was a mishandled punt return by Antonio Hassell that magically turned into a touchdown, six points and the best play of the week.
“I think it gave us a lot of momentum because I mean at that point, I think that we needed some like momentum in the game,” Hassell said. “I got the ball and ran left, broke the tackle then ran right and just saw daylight.”
“We’d like for them to catch it the first time — not mess around two or three times then pick it up,” Lucas said laughing and thinking back on how the play could have been a disaster. “But it all worked out. If that’s what it takes to score a touchdown then please let’s fumble it a lot more.”
Lucas said these plays, while incredible, don’t surprise him. It’s all about his kids taking the time in practice to work hard so they are prepared for the big moments.
“When opportunity meets preparation good things are going to happen,” Lucas said simply. “A dream is only a dream unless you wake up one day and try to make it a reality. But it still requires work.”