My take on the game and the lead up to it

Fusion and Alex got to my house around 3 pm yesterday and we sat in the living room and talked as we waited for Mickie and Ian to get to the house. I started pacing nervously back and forth as it neared the time for the gates to open for the game. The gates opened at 5:30 and Mickie and Ian got to the house around 5:45. I paced around the living room and spent a lot of time at the window looking outside. Fusion and Alex found it to be quite humorous. I’ll take a timeout to give a tremendous shout out to Fusion for the wonderful birthday presents: an authentic red swingline stapler from the movie Office Space…it was one of the several that they had for the movie…great gift. He also had a tshirt made: “CHOOSE FANNIN” on the front and “I’d Rather Cheer My Own Death” on the back. Great stuff.

We get to the game and it is packed. Cars are everywhere. I dropped everyone off and go to find a parking spot. I invented a spot in the parking lot in the grass so I didn’t have to park a mile away. My friend Chris had to park that far away and it took him 20 minutes to walk to the field. Crowd was 8,600 paid. We had an hour to wait for the game to start and it was quite a nerve racking wait for me. I have to give a shout out to this anti-Joliet Catholic Hilltoppers sign: “Get the Hill Out”. The Morris students yelled “You suck” and things such as that at the JCA during warmups. Fusion yelled “59…you fag…you love the cock” and that got the fans going even more and so several gay remarks were hurled at JCA. Ian and I then jumped in with Priest jokes. It made time pass rather quickly.

The game finally begins and JCA gets the ball first. The Morris defense shut them down and force a punt and spirits are fairly high among the Morris fans. John Dergo then takes the first play from scrimmage for Morris 81 yards for a touchdown and Morris leads 7-0 right off the bat. The significance of that is that it is only the second time that Morris has had a lead on Joliet Catholic in all of the games. Fusion, Alex, Ian and Mickie can’t believe how many times I was jumping up and down and yelling “GO GO GO” on the TD run (I couldn’t see because of how many people were standing in front of me so you had to jump or stand on tippy toes to even attempt to see). The Morris fans are going bonkers and Fusion is telling me that I’m going to have to go to Chuman’s show today. I had promised him that if Morris wins that I would go to the wrestling show.

Catholic comes right back and ties the game on a great QB option keeper that went 55 yards. My stomach is tied up in knots and then Catholic takes the lead 14-7 on a long pass play. JCA never passes the ball. They knew they had to change the way they played so it caught everyone off guard when they threw that pass on 3rd and 1. The game started looking grim as Morris almost has a punt blocked and JCA takes over on the Morris 40 with a chance to go up 2 TDs. I start pacing back and forth and bouncing around. Morris’ defense comes up HUGE and forces a FG attempt which is missed. There are 2 minutes left in the half and Dergo takes over the game with a 67 yard TD run to tie the game at the half.

Morris gets the ball to start the 3rd quarter and march right down the field courtesy of a long run by Dergo. A touchdown pass to Cumbie puts Morris up 21-14. I’m back into good spirits and starting feeling good about the game. Dergo then breaks out the most amazing run I’ve ever seen as he zig zags back and forth across the field for a 67 yard TD to put Morris up by 2 touchdowns. Fusion is taunting me about having to attend Chuman’s show and I’m still nervous knowing that JCA can come back.

JCA gets a touchdown on another pass to pull within 7 at 28-21. Time is running out on the clock and Morris is trying to hang on with everything they got. Most of the kids were playing both ways while JCA was all one way players. The Morris kids were tired and worn down but still fighting with everything they had. JCA marches down the field and get close to tying the game but Dergo comes up huge and makes an INT in the end zone and runs it out to the 35…he’d have broken it all the way if he hadn’t played the entire game and gotten run down by JCA’s star RB. Morris runs the clock down to 2 minutes and a touchback on the punt makes JCA have to go 80 yards to tie the game in the final 2 minutes. JCA passes the ball rather well for a team that never does it and marches down the field. Morris calls a timeout with 25 seconds left and JCA on the 16 yard line. Ian and I run down to the other end of the field so we could be by the endzone and try to watch the end of the game. It was impossible to see but when everyone was jumping like crazy in front of me I knew it was a good thing. Dergo again gets an INT in the endzone and the game is over.

I just stared at the scoreboard when the game was over. I took several pictures of it. I can’t even put into words how great it felt to finally see Morris beat JCA. Ian gave me a double high five and a huge hug. He knew how happy I was and was happy to see me get out of the rock bottom pit of hell that I’ve been in lately even if it is only momentary. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to be that happy again. If Morris wins the state championship, it won’t be as big to me as this game because we’ve already got 2 state championships but didn’t have this victory over JCA.

Coach Dergo is on the radio right now and the things he is saying are great. Last night he said that all the columnists believed JCA would win. The only people that mattered though were the 70 kids on the team that all believed they would win. He just finished saying that he told any player on the team that didn’t think they would win to turn in his equipment and that the season was over for them.

I will now give credit to JCA. They were a class act. They stood to the side and let the Morris players celebrate with all the fans that stormed the field after the game and waited to shake hands. They all congratulated Morris and wished a state championship for Morris. The article in the Joliet paper today about the JCA seniors was very good. They put over Morris like a million dollars and were very classy in defeat.

Morris vs. Crystal Lake South next week in the state semifinals.

Good Day!






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *