The North Garland Raiders Freshman football team was unable to come out with a victory against the Lakeview Centennial Patriots on Wednesday, September 22, 2021 at North Garland High School.
Despite being well within field goal range inside the Lakeview ten yard line with 4 seconds left in regulation, North Garland’s placekicker was unable to kick the football through the uprights, resulting in a tie of 22-22. Had the kick been good, the tie would have finally been broken with North Garland winning the game 25-22.
“We played hard, we left our hearts out there and at the end of the day we could have won if we didn’t miss the field goal,” North Garland freshman cornerback Daniel Ortiz said.
North Garland relied heavily on running the ball throughout the game, with halfbacks Kameron Shaw and Javius Green being the focal points of the offense. Shaw was able to run the ball in for a score twice, while also breaking off a huge 30 yard run late in the fourth quarter to put them inside the redzone.
North Garland had a strong first half, where they scored all 22 points. To add on, the defense was able to hold Lakeview’s relatively clever offense to just 8 points at the end of the half.
“Our defense was good,” freshman safety Daniel Ramos said. “We didn’t allow too many points, our offense was good too, we kept up throughout the game, we just missed the field goal at the end.”
As the game progressed into the third quarter, North Garland took their foot off the gas pedal, allowing the Patriots to pull within 8 points off of a QB read option at the three yard line, which then turned into six points. They later went for two on a play action pass cutting the lead to six. Just before the end of the third quarter, the Patriots were able to run in another goal line touchdown on the board, triggered by a 25 yard jet sweep during the previous play. The Raiders were able to stop the two point conversion which would have given Lakeview a two point lead heading into the fourth quarter.
“They were just faster, we need to be faster and physical.”
Throughout the final period of play, both teams each had two drives in which they were able to flip the fields on both drives. Lakeview’s starting quarterback sat out the majority of the 4th quarter with an injured hand, which in turn hindered the effectiveness of the Patriots offense. After the Patriots failed to convert on 4th in enemy territory, North Garland took over rallying their offense all the way to the opponent’s goal line within less than 2 minutes left on the game clock. With the game on the line, the Raiders placekicker trotted on the field to kick a last second field goal that would seal the victory for North Garland. The kick wound up missing the uprights to the right resulting in a final score of 22-22.
“We could’ve played harder, played rough,” Raiders freshman football player Hector Gonzalez said. “They were pulling and holding, they were really fast, but we got to get better at the same time.”