The First Football Game . . .

Moorhead – 18, Alexandria – 13

OK, I have to confess up front.  We did not stay for the whole game.  As usual, we had a competing “engagement.”  But it was the first game at the new school, the new stadium, the new artificial turf, the new . . . everything.  We wanted to arrive a little early for the hamburger/hot dog tailgate party.  And that was good – we had no problems finding parking.  But it was the first game, against a forever big time opponent, it figured to be a sellout . . .

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[When we arrived the Spud faithful were tailgating in the parking lot.]

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[Our walk to the field . . . one foot in front of the other.]

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[Well, let’s see what the place looks like.  Hmmm, possibly threatening weather?]

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[There were issues leading up to the game as to whether or not the surrounding track would be “cured” enough to handle traffic.  I think they covered parts of it for egress.]

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[The school from the stadium.]

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[The ticket office.]

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[The field.  Spud fans on the far side.]

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[The thingee the team comes out of . . .]

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[The same thingee, as cars stream in from the south entrance.]

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[Thingee close-up.]

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[Thanks to those who made the artificial turf possible.  🙂  ]

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[The mighty Spuds thunder onto the field.]

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[As the Cards come onto the field, through the thingee . . .]

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[It’s time for player introductions.]

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[I think this was the first time the team had set foot on their field?]

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[Have fun boys, we hit the books next week!]

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[As the team is introduced, we had to keep an eye out for Brayden Amundson (7), junior, 6’3″, 178 lbs., wide receiver, who is the grandson of Marlene and Richie Braun.  The Brauns were sitting with us, celebrating Richie’s 83rd birthday on the night.]

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[We’ll take the 2nd half kickoff, s’il vous plait (yeah, I’m still not done with France).]

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[Cardinals will kickoff and defend the north end zone.]

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[And we’re off – the opening kick-off, a new era for Cardinal football.  22 young men run into each other at a relatively high rate of speed.  Occasionally, injuries occur.  The NIH and CDC are looking into this matter. ]

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[The Cards first offensive play – a sweep left that netted zilch, or less.  😦  ]

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[This obviously is after a Spuds score as Justin Cumberbatch (43), senior, 5’10”, 227 lbs., linebacker, state wrestling champ, returns a kick-off.  The Cards were down 12 – 0 in the first quarter and appeared to be overmatched.]

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[A good return to around the 30.]

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[The Cards never could get a ground game going (2 net yards for the game?).  But thanks to an impressive looking sophomore quarterback, Jaran Roste (1), 6’3″, 193 lbs., were able to move the ball through the air.  Here the Cards pulled within 12 – 6 on a TD pass to Joe Gorghuber (5), senior, 6’3″, 208 lbs., wide receiver and free safety, and terrific all-around athlete (remember him from the state basketball tournament last spring?).]

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[We’re back in it!]

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[Has a famous sister.]

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[The Cards got the ball back late in the half.  Here Brayden makes his break toward the Echo Press sports editor.]

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[Anatomy of a (almost) touchdown play.  With little time left, Roste drops back to pass, has to do some scrambling, eventually finds Gorghuber again (I believe) for the tying touchdown.  The play was well-covered by three on-site photographers.  Unfortunately, as so often happens when a quarterback scrambles, ineligible receivers drifted downfield.  Penalty – no touchdown. 😦  ]

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[The Cards had time for another play . . . ]

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[But this is how the half ended.]

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[Another grandson, Laura and Larry McCoy’s, a 6th-grader, attempted a field goal during the halftime – just a tad too low.  😉  ]

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[Then we had to go.  The Spuds pulled it out very late in the game on a trick play.  I think the Cards can take a lot from this game.  The Spuds have dominated this series over the years, as you would think a larger school would.]

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[At some point during the game, “The Voice” interviewed Claire Morrison, who was an assistant coach back in my day.  I never played football, for reasons I always felt were logical and rational.  I didn’t like to get hurt.  (Photos stolen from Dennis Stark’s Facebook posting.)]
The trick is growing up without growing old.  ~   Casey Stengel

Up next:  At this point, I have no idea.

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2 Responses to The First Football Game . . .

  1. JERRY BROWN says:

    Tom, another great article!! Thanks for giving me a feel for the new stadium. Best to the Cardinal football team!!

  2. tomobert63 says:

    Thanks, Jerry! Now if only I could get some of you Ballentiners to come to the games! 😉

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