Bertucci’s Play of the Week

With 1:30 to go in their game against Hotchkiss this past Saturday, the PA Football Team was down 25-21 after an impressive forced fumble followed by a touchdown minutes before. The boys, again on defense, went for a repeat performance, keeping in mind the fact that if they could strip the ball the game could be theirs. The play would decide the outcome of the game, and the Boys in Blue wanted to be on top when the final whistle blew. As Coach Leon Modeste said, “It kept us in the game. We had to make two scores. The first fumble we go the ball back and we were able to score, the second one gave us a shot to win.” In the huddle, the plan was set. Starting defensive tackle Jordan Nottke ’05 recalled, “Basically what happens is you’re taught to strip the ball. You have one player hold the guy up, and everyone else tries to strip the ball off him.” The play went exactly as planned. In the confusion of the charge from the line, one of PA’s players got a hold of the Bearcats ball holder, and the rest went in to strip the ball from him before he fell, which would render the play dead. Said defensive back Bobby Spang ’05, “With a minute and a half let to play, the defense was desperate for a turnover. The big fellas upfront did a great job making the play happen, wrenching the ball free. The turnover sparked the team.” Spang responded to the loose ball promptly, covering it up with his body and cementing the turnover. The line did well to turn the ball over, but their valiant efforts were futile in the end as the team suffered their first loss, 25-21, when the offense failed to break out for the elusive win-clinching touchdown. As starting lineman Uzoma Iheagwara ’04 said, “The only thing that could have matched that fumble recovery emotionally, would have been to actually drive down the field the win the game. We didn’t quite do it, but I know the boys on this team can. We might be defeated, but this is just one game. We’ve got a whole season of great football to play.”