—Christian Clark, Public Relations—
MIDLOTHIAN- After a multi-year absence from Cosby’s Homecoming Week, Powder Puff Football made its triumphant return to the gridiron. Two exciting matchups took place during Wednesday’s festivities. The first one being the underclassman game: Freshmen vs Sophomores, followed up by the main attraction: Juniors vs Seniors.
The event was anticipated by many, especially for the senior class, since the event had been canceled for the previous four years. The interest was so high across the board that a waiting list had to be created, a far cry from the interest level in previous years.
What is Powderpuff? Powderpuff traditionally is a full 11 vs 11 flag football game. The girls who play are instructed by the boy coaches, who create plays and help manage the game. Boys who do not desire to coach can also be cheerleaders and create their own wacky routine. The game consists of a two half 20 minute running clock with a short halftime.
With only an hour to practice during the days leading up, over 120 Cosby students had to be instructed by the novice coaches and frantically set up a game plan. Both teams were able to get one hour of practice in and were able to escape the rain that followed both of the practices.
The underclassman battled through the waterlogged field during Game 1. However, the game was not much of a contest. The Freshman controlled the majority of the game and built up an insurmountable lead en route to a 30-6 drubbing over the Class of 2020.
The main event was the Juniors vs Seniors and the game turned out to be much closer than the preceding game. With little time to prepare, both defenses came to play. Many flag pulls ended up in the backfield as virtually no offense could be produced. Juniors Jacqui Pecoraro had a few stout runs and Rebecca Brooks recorded a pick to set the tone for the juniors on offense and defense respectively.
Senior Abby Gschwind was arguably the most exciting player on the field. A QB/RB hybrid,
Gschwind showed off her athleticism. She had two big runs including a 40+ yard scamper to keep the seniors within striking distance of the goalline. “I was just trying to not get pushed around but I should’ve kept running”, said Gschwind. “I was thinking I could’ve made it to the end zone.”
However, the juniors were able to shut down the scoring threat. Moments later, they quickly responded with a big play of their own. Grace Odembo scored the only junior touchdown of the game after breaking a few missed flag pull attempts. Following the touchdown, an impressive extra point was drilled by Emma Muir to make the score 7-0 Juniors.
Right before the half, junior Nia Covington intercepted a Hail Mary attempt to put the stamp on a dominating first half and keep the juniors ahead with the lead.
In the second half, the “Let’s Go Seniors” chants were in full force, trying to get the crowd into it. Running back Trinity Jackson and quarterback Charme Lilly certainly did their part. Both had some exciting plays as they helped drive the team down the field once again. Despite the offensive production, they failed to capitalize after four attempts inside the ten yard line.
With the Juniors seemingly in control with under two minutes left in the game, the Class of 2018 had one last trick up their sleeve. An impressive playcall by coach Preston Brinkman gave the team new life. He dialed up an unconventional 11 man blitz in a desperation move. The result? A bad snap and the ball in the back of the endzone for a big safety and two points. There was one last chance for the Seniors to steal the victory.
Lilly led the team down to the 20 yard line and a timeout called with three seconds left. This was it. A chance for someone to be the hero. The ball was snapped. Lilly got the ball from the center and heaved it to the end zone. Following a tip by the defender, two open receivers were at the end of the ball’s trajectory. Unfortunately for the Seniors, neither one was able to bring in the pass. The Juniors had upset the Seniors and spoiled their first and only Powderpuff game.
Final score: Juniors 7, Seniors 2
“I felt like it would be a high scoring affair”, said junior coach Cade Swisher. “Credit to the Seniors for a great gameplan. We made just enough plays to win the game. The turning point of the game was Grace’s big touchdown run. It really switched the momentum in our favor. After the safety, they got it at the 20 on a short field with plenty of time. I got a little nervous but we were able to make a play and hold on.”
Despite the loss, the seniors still had a memorable experience. “I’ve loved football since I was little but I’ve never actually seen plays written down”, said Gschwind. “It was cool seeing everything come together.”
“I learned more about football than I’ve ever known before”, said senior Emily Mitterer. “I will remember the first time being out on the field and immediately loving the game. I couldn’t wait to be put back into the game.”
The participants hope the games provided excitement for future classes to keep this exciting tradition going for years to come.