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Thursday, January 9, 2014

My Thoughts: Championship Battle

All My Dreams Came True. Minus One   photo by Klell Lawrence

 I have always dreamed of seeing a football game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. I had vowed "if" ever I had an opportunity, I would make this a reality. One other goal was to see my Tigers play in a Championship game. I missed out on an opportunity in 2010 and I was determined to not miss this one. I was rewarded with a very exciting and entertaining game.

 The game itself started out as a defensive battle. As the teams struggled early to get either offense in a rhythm. With less than 10 minutes left in the first quarter FSU struck first blood with a 35 yard FG. Then the floodgates opened for the Tiger offense. A Tre Mason screen pass, and a Melvin Ray bomb put Auburn up 14-3, and then Nick Marshall led an impressive drive down the field and scored on a short run. It looked for all the world that Auburn could blow the Seminoles out of the Championship. 

 Then as he had done all season, Jameis Winston ran his team out of trouble, and raced down to the Auburn 3 yard line. They scored on the next play, and the omen had been set.  Momentum had swung, and Auburn headed to the half with a 21 -10 lead, and FSU would get the ball first in the second half.

 FSU fumbled a second time in the 3rd quarter but this time Auburn's offense had no answer for the adjustments FSU made in the locker room at halftime. The 'Noles had kicked a FG and kept Auburn scoreless thru the 3rd quarter. A 21 - 13 lead was not as promising with Auburn squandering a fumble recovery and with 3 drives stalling in punts since their last score.

 On Auburn's first possession of the 4th quarter they turned the ball over, and the 'Noles made them pay for it.. 21 - 20 was the score now, and everything was in doubt. Auburn finally got a drive together and it resulted in a FG to push the score to 24 - 20 with 4:42 left in the game. 

 Lightening struck the Auburn kick off cover team and it got burnt by a 100 yard TD return that swayed the momentum quickly back in FSU favor. But Tre Mason had other ideas in mind.

 Along with a nice pass and catch  to Sammie Coates, and 50 yards of rushing by Tre Mason, the Tiger scored with 1:19 seconds to go in the game. Taking the lead 31 - 27. 

 One minute and 19 seconds. Earlier in the season, against the Texas A & M Aggies, that was enough time for the Auburn defense to thwart any attempt at defeat by the opposition. This is the point where destiny turned her head on my beloved Tigers. She had kept their dreams alive with miraculous catches, and ingenious coaching decisions in the last two games of the regular season. Only now, she turned away, and left the outcome to wither in the despair that comes with defeat. 

 Destiny courted another suitor as if she had grown tired of her affair with these men of the Plains. 

 It would be careless of me to not give credit to the FSU players and coaches for a fine game. They earned that title more than our players gave it away. Sometime the mistakes we make, come at crucial times in our lives. Such was the case that day in sunny southern California. So, congratulations are in order. And a promise is made here, and now. We will see you again FSU, and then we shall see who destiny shall court. Yes, we shall see.


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