The Perfect Comeback This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

December 9, 2010
By , Junction City, KS
Fourth down and forty to score, with only five seconds remaining in the fourth quarter in the Chapman versus Abilene football game. The rivalry between Chapman and Abilene is the oldest rivalry west of the Mississippi. I am the quarterback for Chapman, and the status of playing in the game gives me the feeling that I’m on top of the world. I feel honored to be able to play in a game that has so much history, dating all the way back to 1892.

My football team is losing by three points and we are on Abilene’s forty-yard line. The scoreboard and the lights around the football field are glowing bright with the night sky behind them. Everything on and around the football field is silent to me. I am oblivious to the crowds in the bleachers yelling and stomping their feet. They are all excited and waiting for the next play to take place. The feeling of nervousness and hope is coming from every direction, especially from me.

Coach spits out a play that he thinks will give my team a shot to gain forty yards, so we can score a touchdown. I can tell that coach can taste victory, by the amount of saliva that he shoots out of his mouth while he calls the play. My team breaks the huddle from the sideline, and we run out to get set up to run the play. As I jog to my position, I run the play through my head over and over. This play is all or nothing, so I’ll have to execute it perfectly if my teammates and I are going to be successful.

Sweat is pouring down my face, arms, and legs like it’s coming from a fountain. I take deep breathes to try to calm myself as I get ready to run the play. I arrive in place for my position, and my teammates do the same. We are all set up so I say “Hut,” and the play begins.

The play starts by me turning around clockwise and handing the ball off to our running back. He snatches the ball away from me like a crook would steal a diamond out of a jewelry store. Then I settle back, and the running back tosses the ball back to me. The offensive line blocks the Abilene defenders so they can’t get through to disrupt the beautifully drawn up play. My offensive line blocks the play perfectly, almost as if they are a prescription drug and the Abilene defenders are a disease trying to pass by. The defenders are being blocked up so well, that it now gives me the time to look down the field for an open receiver.
I am gazing left and right, like an eagle, trying to find the right place to throw the ball. My receiver gets a hint of separation from the defender covering him, I see my chance to throw and I take it. I step up with pride, and begin my throwing motion. The feeling of being Peyton Manning throwing a deep ball to an open receiver shoots through me. I release the ball. The spiral on the ball looks like a top spinning on a table. The ball is on a perfect route to go right into the receiver’s hands. My receiver takes strides like a cheetah, and runs right underneath the ball. The ball lands in his hands and sticks to them as if there were super glue all over them. The referee signals a touchdown, and our crowd erupts, like a volcano, into excitement. I take a quick look around the field to see if there are any penalties before I begin to celebrate.
The feeling that comes to me after I see that there aren’t any penalties is indescribable. We did it. We defeated the odds, and came out with a big victory over our long rivals. We executed the perfect comeback.

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