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Football On A Rainy Night (A Story from the River Dream World)

Updated on October 22, 2015

Friday Night Fall Tradition

The Shoreside Sharks’ last non-conference game of Declan Lanier's Junior year fell on the first Friday of fall. While just the week before the team had enjoyed partly cloudy skies and warm humid air autumn had brought with it a solid deck of black clouds and a chill autumn wind. Old timers commented that the conditions at game time were real football weather, the kind of weather real football players thrived on. Just as kickoff occurred a barely noticeable drizzle began to fall.



The Coin Toss

And So It Begins

This game was a very important game for the 5 and 0 Shoreside Sharks. When the team captains met in the middle of the field, the Sharks won the coin toss and elected to receive. Not that receiving first did them any good. As the rain began coming down harder the conditions of the field began to favor the defense. The Sharks went three and out on their first series of downs. A good punt set the opposition back near their own 35 yard line but they came out strong with two big gains. The Sharks defense tightened up and forced a fumble which gave them the ball on their own 45. Unfortunately the offense couldn't seem to find its footing and it was another three and out.

In The Air, In The Endzone

Source

Who Scores First?

The oppposition’s offense fared no better than Shoreside's had. Declan, from his position as middle linebacker, got in on a couple key tackles as the Sharks’ forced the other team to punt after netting only eight yards. Just when it looked like the first quarter was going to end in a punters' duel the Sharks’ wide receiver turned an almost broken pass play into a sixty yard touchdown. Despite the rain, the Sharks' place kicker was able to put the point-after-touchdown kick straight through the uprights. Shoreside took a seven to nothing lead.



Shark Attack

Shoreside Sharks Fan Shirt Logo
Shoreside Sharks Fan Shirt Logo | Source

Some Fans Find Dry Venues, But Not The Dads

The rain continued to fall but did nothing to dampen the spirits of the fans who'd come to root on their Sharks. Rhiannon, Declan's and Sean's mother, took the first shift in the concession stand and Annette, Sean's girlfriend's mother, volunteered to join her. Somehow Sean and his girlfriend, Sasha, had talked their way into jobs helping to sell Sharks Memorabilia under the FCCLA tent. It wasn't a paying gig but it got them out of the rain that appeared to be on its way to becoming a regular downpour as the first quarter drew to a close.


Roger, Sasha's father, and Michael, Sean's father, didn't mind watching the game in the rain so much; it was an exciting game, and they each had their foul weather gear.

The game would soon get a little too exciting, as early in the second quarter the opposing team's punt receiver ran a kick back forty yards to the Sharks’ seventeen yard line. The Sharks’ defense rose to the challenge and forced a fourth down turnover at the twelve. Once again Declan was in on the key tackle that stopped the drive.



Rain Favors The Defense

Will There Be A Halftime Hero?

Unfortunately, the Sharks were not able to move the ball out from the spot where they took over, but this time they nailed the punt receiver without letting him gain a yard. Two plays later Declan blitzed the quarterback and forced a fumble, giving Shoreside possession deep in enemy territory.


Four plays and two first downs later the Sharks were on the seven yard line and threatening to score again.Just when it looked like they'd get the ball into the end zone the Shark’s running back coughed up the ball on the five yard line.


Again, the defense rose to the occasion and forced another punt. Despite good field position, and twenty seconds left in the half, the Sharks were not able to put together that heroic play to get over the goal line. The first half ended with the Sharks holding onto a slim seven point lead.



Kicking Off The Second Half

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3rd Quarter Starts and Ends with Excitement

The Shoreside Sharks kicked off the second half just as Roger and Michael arrived at the concession stand to relieve Rhiannon and Annette. The rain that had dampened the players and fans throughout the first half had all but stopped. Only a light mist continued to keep things damp. Michael joked that if the rain hadn’t stopped Rhiannon and Annette may have elected to stay in the concession stand.

A Sharks' interception forty-five seconds into the second half caused an uproar in the stand as everyone's attention was once again riveted toward the field. Disappointingly, the offense once more failed to capitalize on an opportunity handed to the by the defense. The Sharks’ punter continued to do his job well, though, and put the other team back on their own seven yard line.


The third quarter ground on with the ball being punted back and forth, and for a while it looked like neither team would produce a scoring drive. It looked that way until the Sharks struck on a pass from the fifty yard line and their wide receiver broke two tackles before running the ball into the end zone for Shoreside's second touchdown. Unfortunately, the point-after kick went wide, leaving the score at the end of the third quarter thirteen to nothing.

Will There Be A Fateful Fumble?

Can The Sharks Hold On?

Shoreside's defense forced the opposing team to punt just a minute into the fourth quarter. Adrenalin flowed on the field and in the stands as those last eleven minutes began to tick away.


The Sharks’ offense managed to burn almost four minutes off the clock before punting it away again. The strong Sharks defense took three minutes for force the other team to punt it back, but a lucky roll landed the Sharks’ on their own one yard line.


Things nearly got ugly when, two minutes later, the Sharks’ running back fumbled on his own fifteen yard line, but he managed to recover the ball. However, that stopped the push up the field and forced the Sharks to punt again. Three plays later the other team scored and then ran the ball into the end zone for a two-point conversion.


With only enough time left on the clock for a late game gamble, the opposing team attempted an onside kick but the Sharks anticipated the move and recovered the ball. There was only a minute and thirty-six seconds on the clock and the opposition had no time outs left. Three downed hikes later, the Sharks’ record went to 6 and 0.

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    • DWDavisRSL profile image
      Author

      DW Davis 2 years ago from Eastern NC

      Thanks, Mel. I'm glad you enjoyed the hub.

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      @ Mel . . . I agree. This IS a great hub. I can recall my high school days and when our team was scheduled to face a team that outclassed us, a rain-out would have been a blessing.

      Peace.

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 2 years ago from San Diego California

      Go Sharks! I remember the days of Friday night lights, but rarely any rain on football night in Arizona, where I graduated. Great hub!

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hey, DW,

      You are most welcome. This hub is fantastic. I loved it. If I can get finished with a few smaller projects, I will look at your books.

      You just keep turning out great hubs like this one.

    • DWDavisRSL profile image
      Author

      DW Davis 2 years ago from Eastern NC

      Kenneth,

      Thank you for reading. I appreciate your kind words. If you enjoy my Hubs, may I invite you to check out my books.

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hooray, DW!

      Fan-tas-tic hub. So realistic and so interesting without the candy and fluff. Thank you so much for sharing this subject. You really know how to expand the human element in your works. I enjoyed this. Keep up the great work.

    • DWDavisRSL profile image
      Author

      DW Davis 2 years ago from Eastern NC

      Thanks for reading, Larry!

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      I enjoy nothing more than football on an rainy day.

    • DWDavisRSL profile image
      Author

      DW Davis 2 years ago from Eastern NC

      pstaubie48, thank you for reading. I am glad you were able to follow the game within the story. My goal was to write it in a way that those who don't necessarily follow football would still be able to enjoy what was taking place. Your comment was a nice affirmation.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 2 years ago from sunny Florida

      Back in the day Friday night football was the 'thang'....everyone went to the games and cheered and clapped till it ended...the fall weather, crisp and clear, was THE kind of weather for a game. Living in Florida now, that rarely happens

      To be honest, I never really understood the plays much and really have to pay attention now to 'get it'...but for some strange reason I do enjoy watching the games

      And due to your careful handling of the story, I was able to follow it :D

      Angels are on the way to you this evening.

    • DWDavisRSL profile image
      Author

      DW Davis 2 years ago from Eastern NC

      DreamerMeg, thanks for reading. Declan you might remember from the selection on Declan and Emily. The Sean and Sasha referred to were featured in Sasha's Ride Home.

      Michael and Rhiannon are the main characters from my River Dream books. They are supporting characters in my new series featuring Sean, their youngest son, which I am calling the Pier Rat series.

    • DreamerMeg profile image

      DreamerMeg 2 years ago from Northern Ireland

      An interesting story. I know nothing about American football but was able to follow it. I remembef some of the characters from a previous story.

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