Game 3: Learning Disappointment

Sad to report, but we were upset in the final :40 seconds of Thursday night's battle.

We got out to a quick start, scoring and moving the ball down the field. We installed a check down this week from 83 Base to 21 Bucksweep and vice-versa, and because it was the only check, I'm certain by halftime the other team knew the play but mostly couldn't stop us. Good news.

Yeah, O-line - it starts up front!

Still, our defense wasn't able to recognize the counter plays they ran, and a freak flea-flicker play took the wind out of our sails going into halftime. I hate that stupid play, except the one time it was run by Boise State.

We didn't really change anything at halftime, and the defense picked up its intensity for the second act. We recovered a fumble, the momentum from which was stymied by our attempt to draw an offsides call, which resulted in a mental error and a 1st and 15 instead.

Worse, our kicker missed his extra point attempt when we did score which was attributed to a change made in pregame. This just reaffirms the old coaching tradition that you DO NOT MAKE FUNDAMENTAL CHANGES on game day.... it makes players freak out under pressure. I've been there. If you kick the football successfully, kick the football and make your changes for efficiency in PRACTICE! Argh!

The one point proved to be our downfall - as the defense allowed a late touchdown and the extra point meant our opponent was up 28-27.

We almost lost the ball on the subsequent return - as it was sent to the right side, but the mismanagement ended with a less-than-ideal field position instead. On the first play, my LT allowed his guy to go inside for a brutal sack of the QB. V cheated his split for the rest of the plays and his protection was ok, but that play lost good time on the clock.

We ran a few waggle plays successfully in the second half, but we relied on some others to get downfield about 40 yards, helped by a facemask call which added a first down. Sadly, the last two plays were completions that went in and out of hands.... for the final whistle.

I guess the only way you learn some good lessons are sometimes to lose, because they stick with you. I hope that my LT's awareness is changed because of that sack, and the other busted plays and lack of effort or energy or focus won't again edge us.

It's hard because Coach L lectured them about focus after the game, which I agree they need, but at the same time, wish there was a way to allow them to have a little fun while still being sharp. I guess it's not time for that yet in their football careers. I heard a parent talking about how she was upset that we were upset with them after the game:

Parent 1: "Those kids played a great game! I can't believe they are upset over one point. It's hardly a loss!"

Parent2: "Coaches feel a little differently about things. I think they want parents to give them the hugs and tell them they played a good game."

All true.... but they did lose a heartbreaker, and I hope that their moms and dads really were supporting them - instead of telling them how stupid the coaches were, or how bad the calls were, or how we should've called different plays, or how ...... We need to get something out of them - something special that is in some of them already, and the potential in all the others.

It's easy to lose sight of this - for all of us.

Plus, I hate losing.

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