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Two more weeks of football

November 14, 2010 - Michael Palmer
What a fantastic weekend of football we had.

The Bridgeport Bulldogs game against Newark Catholic was an epic high school grid iron battle. The dogs came out and scored first only to fall behind 14-7 to a perennial playoff power in D VI, then a fantastic one-handed pick up of a bouncing kick off and the injured Garrett Price was off down the home sideline for a touchdown.

The Green Wave missed a field goal and extra point kick, maybe it was fate and maybe it was the Bulldogs defensive pressure, whatever the reason it was critical. Newark Catholic went back up 20-14 and was driving deep in the Bulldog’s territory when the defense stopped a fourth down play.

It was a playoff caliber game where the team trailing came back to regain the advantage, in this case Bridgeport did it, maybe by sheer will power, because the running backs just plowed through the line, linebackers and then the secondary was dragging on the ground as they kept churning their legs.

It was exciting when Bridgeport needed just one more first down to run out the clock and ended up fighting with their backs against their own end zone when the Green Wave blocked a punt. Drama, excitement, the tension on both sidelines was thick and a good showing of fans for a D VI game over an hour from home made plenty of noise to fuel the players adrenaline as they held on for the win.

Shadyside easily handled Malvern and this sets up an unfortunate scenario where a rematch of the Bridgeport-Shadyside regular season game will eliminate one of these talented and worthy teams. Congratulation to both squads for achieving and advancing this far.

The crowd for the last game was fantastic and I hope the crowd for this match up will be even bigger when they go head to head at what most likely will be St Clairsville.

I imagine that each of us on the pick squad will have to make that choice once again. I already had to risk making enemies in the local sports community each week that locals clash, so I guess this one is no different other than it will be the ONLY local (OHIO) high school football pick to be made.

I am just going to Xerox my last pick and avoid being a Waffle House picker. No flip-flop. Either way, we have the rare opportunity to cover a local team in the OHSAA Football State Semi-Finals.

The Ohio State comeback win over Penn State was also fun to witness. Like I have said before, I would rather cover the local high school kids. If it were a choice between Ohio State vs. Michigan or either local playoff team, I would be there watching Bridgeport or Shadyside. I would not be just one of hundreds of photographers elbowing for a spot in the end zone. My photos would not be a second rate commodity behind ESPN, SI, Reuters, AP and who knows what other professional with their MOVIE cameras buzzing away taking dozens of frames per second. My local work is appreciated by the players, parents, coaches, band and cheerleaders and even some fans.

So, lets get out and support the local high school teams this weekend.

Extended Forecast: Friday: Mostly cloudy, with a high near 45. Friday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 30.


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