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The A-Blast

Atoms varsity football narrowly falls short to Rebels

Alexander Burita, Staff Writer

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Following its recent tough 61-40 loss against Robinson High School, the Annandale Varsity Football team had prepared to redeem itself during its subsequent game against the Fairfax High School Rebels on September 22 at Fairfax. The AHS team trained hard both mentally and physically for the match-up against the Rebels, but in the final seconds of the game, fell short of a win with a final score of 20-21.

The Atoms took a huge blow in the final seconds of the game, which resulted in a one- point loss. They have now dropped to last in their district, 3 region, and just below 3-2 T.C. Williams. Despite the narrow loss, the Atoms went in strong and finished strong.

During the first quarter, the Atoms looked great and prepared to win the game possibly by a blowout, dominating possession and scoring opportunities. On its first offensive play, the Rebels threw an interception to the right side giving the Atoms the chance to take the lead. A long pass was thrown downfield toward the middle of the field where an Annandale wide receiver beat and tripped up his defensive opponent. He caught the pass and jogged easily into the endzone, putting Atoms up 7-0.

The Rebels started out slow and missed their first field goal attempt. On their next drive, the on-fire Atoms defense forced the second turnover of the game with a fumble recovery to end the first quarter.

The second quarter was quite literally the exact opposite and the Rebels dominated. The Atoms’ defense seemed to tire out as the Rebels scored. Every score seemed to easily penetrate the Atoms defense. The Rebels’ offense was also working harder and looked like the better team with their intensity at that time. Rolling into halftime, the Atoms knew they needed to change strategy quickly to close the 21-7 gap.

Something clicked in the Atoms’ defense as the next two quarters left the Rebels scoreless. Slowly, the AHS offense was improving with more opportunities and a higher intensity of quick play. This led up to a second score of the game, which was a handoff to number 25 who broke many tackles to score and put the Atoms down by only 7.

The fourth quarter went down to the wire with only six and a half minutes of play left. Number 25 was the star. The running back took the Atoms’ defense to inside the opponent’s 10 yard line on five straight, huge, positive runs, giving the atoms what could be their last chance to win this high stakes game.

The Rebels did everything possible to hold off the feisty Atoms by forcing a fourth down. The Atoms needed a touchdown or else the Rebels would gain possession and run down the clock. Right when they needed it, a pass was tossed to number 4 who was double covered. An endzone run seemed unlikely seeing it was only about a 6 yard pass and he still needed to somehow gain 8 more yards running the ball. But, somehow he did. It was an amazing touchdown and it left Rebels fans speechless.

The score was now 20 Atoms-21 Rebels.  An extra point would tie the game would send the game into overtime giving the atoms a good chance to win, but luck seemed to run out with a high snap that went over the hands of the holder. The Rebels recovered and gained possession of the ball.

For four full minutes the Rebels just ran down the clock with every second making both Annandale fans and players more desperate for a score or anything to win the game. Just then, an unexpected pass play at just 1 minute of play left came to the right side for the Rebels. A clutch and very much needed interception was made by number 3 of the Atoms. To give Annandale another chance.

With a high intensity and quick style of play, the Atoms marched down to the 20 yard line with only about 8 seconds to go in the game. According to Quarterback Devin Gill and Wide Receiver Ayman Elhag, “a pass was thrown to the right side of the field with the intent to run the ball out of bounds and stop the clock.” Unfortunately for the Atoms, the referees let the clock run down to 0.4 seconds before the ball was handed back to them. Because of this, the game ended because it was impossible to get a play off in that time.

It was very disappointing because it could have been easy for a field goal to be made to win the game. Only two seconds or so more would be necessary for this. Also according to Devin and Ayman, “The Atoms could have easily won the game by possibly a blowout if they played with the same intensity and mindset that they had in the last minute for everyone to get their job done.” This game undoubtedly served as a learning experience to seal the game earlier and to play with all out intensity throughout the entire game.

 

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The Online Edition of the Annandale High School Newspaper.
Atoms varsity football narrowly falls short to Rebels