Sports: Insider Look at the “Game of the Century” with DB Kourt Williams
by Kourt Williams
It was the game on everybody’s minds. The rematch. Part two of the royal rumble. High school football couldn’t get any bigger. My teammates and myself couldn’t have had a better week of preparation leading up to the game, and we were prepared for anything that came upon us.
The preparation was relentless. We knew what we had to do in order for us to be successful. We had to score as much as possible on offense, and on defense, we had to limit their big plays and play makers. The game plan was set.
The days of practice were nothing but electric. The starting offense competed against the starting defense every practice leading up to the game. It was all a part of the strategy. Our coaching staff knew having us players play against the best competition everyday at practice would more than prepare us for the game.
The feeling on the night before the game, is hard to describe. You wish the game would come already. Falling asleep the night before playing in a game like that is not the easiest thing to do. This was a game I had been waiting to play in since I was a freshman at Bosco. No matter what happened, I told myself would leave everything I had on the field because it could be my last game in a Brave uniform.
So the day the finally came. I woke up in the morning with adrenaline coursing through my veins. Knowing within the next six to seven hours, the whole nation would have their eyes fixated on one event, one showcase, one game: the rematch of number one versus number two.
The pregame atmosphere was unreal. Families on both sides tailgating outside the stadium made it feel like a college football game. I had been feeling butterflies in my stomach since the night before, and it was now time to lay it all on the line.
The game started out rough. The “Team in Red” got a headstart on us. We had started off the game on a slow start and they jumped ahead on us quick and took advantage of every opportunity where we fell short. Before we knew it, it was 28-12 at halftime, and it looked as if the game was over. So much so that fans on the “Team in Red’s” side left during halftime. But the crazy thing was, things had only just begun.
Going into halftime, we knew something had to change. Therefore, myself and the other leaders on the team took it upon ourselves to deliver the message to the team on what had to be done.
Whatever we said in the locker room worked. In that second half, we stepped on the field and were a different team than what was witnessed in the first half.
When things started going our way, you could sense a shift in the air. It was funny, because personally, there was no part of the game when I felt worried or lost hope. I knew the reason why the game had started the way it did; we were beating ourselves.
When the game started to unfold in our favor, I wasn’t surprised because I knew that we were capable. My teammates, like DJ Uiagalelei, Logan Loya and Kris Hutson made the difference for the offense in terms of putting points on the board. Myself, Jonathan Vaughns, Jake Newman and James Smith were heavy contributors in stopping the “Team in Red” from putting up any more points.
Before you knew it, you looked up and we were in the lead by five points with the final possession of the game was among us. My heart was pounding so fast because I knew this drive would determine the outcome of the game and the legacy we left.
My defense and I were able to hold them to fourth down and caused them to throw a Hail Mary pass on the last play of the game. As loud as the stadium was, I could still hear myself breathing and my heart beating. The ball is snapped and I run to the end zone because I know for them to win they have to throw a touchdown. The ball is thrown and it felt like the ball was in the air for hours.
When it made its way down and I saw Hutson with it in his hands, it was almost surreal. At first, everything happened so fast. I looked up and saw everyone from my sideline sprinting onto the field with nothing but pure joy on their faces.
It was difficult to wrap my head around it. I looked up in the stands and saw my family screaming at the top of their lungs, and then it hit me. The feeling in my heart was one of the best feelings I’ve ever felt in my life.
This was a storybook ending, and with it being my senior year, I couldn’t have asked for anything more. Our back’s were against the wall, and people started losing hope in us. But we never lost hope in ourselves. We knew that as long as we had each other, we could tear down any wall in front of us.
We proved everyone wrong and showed them who the real number one team is this year. I am proud to say that I was blessed and fortunate enough to be a part of it.