In general, optimism is a good thing on the football field. Perhaps rational optimism should end after the first lateral.
That was certainly the lesson taken away from one of the season’s strangest plays during Naples Community School’s narrow 34-31 playoff loss to Champagnat Catholic.
After Naples lined up for a field goal, Champagnat got a hand on the kick, sending it squibbing to a free man at the back. That started a return which eventually led to multiple laterals in an effort to keep the play alive.
Therein lied the mistake. After the fourth lateral, Naples quarterback and kicker Cooper Weiss read the next telegraphed backwards pass, stepped in front and returned the intercepted lateral for a touchdown.
In the end, that wasn’t enough to keep Weiss and Naples’ season alive, though it certainly provided the most dramatic moment of the game, if not the season.