For their penultimate class of pyc 2015, the light gray-clad dorm 5B faced off against blue-shirted 6B in flag football on the sweltering afternoon of Friday, July 24. Both dorms ran routes to warm up, then competed in an evenly matched 40-minute affair. 5B entered the contest with a 3-0 record, while 6B stood at 1-2, so 5B was heavily favored. But, as the saying goes, “That’s why they play the game.”
I paced the sideline during 6B’s first offensive possession, a sustained drive that gobbled up most of the first quarter. Midway through the opening frame, 6B’s Gavin took a handoff and bolted and juked his way past the defense for a long touchdown, showing off the elite athleticism that allowed him to win virtually every event at the track meet five days earlier. 5B didn’t stand a chance of catching him.
But wait! A yellow penalty flag lay strewn on the field. Flag football instructor Jason Cocomise negated the touchdown, calling an illegal block on camper Reagan. Mr. Cocomise later called this game the “Laundry Bowl,” a reference to the prodigious amount of penalties accrued by both sides.
I wandered into 6B’s backfield soon thereafter to get a better view of the action. 5B took advantage of the reversed score, forcing an eventual turnover on downs.
On 5B’s second play from scrimmage, 6B camper Austin intercepted brother Caleb’s pass off a deflection. 6B converted the takeaway into a short rushing touchdown by Austin, the team’s quarterback. In response, 5B’s defenders jibed him for running more than throwing.
As 5B’s offense returned to the field, several of the guys asked me to call their plays in the huddle. I happily obliged. It was time to put my Madden skills to good use.
Caleb orchestrated a brilliant march down the field. He methodically picked apart the defense with precision throws and the occasional unexpected handoff. Isaiah capped the drive with a nifty rushing touchdown around left end, deftly evading a defender who nearly pulled his flags in the backfield. The sides entered the half tied at seven points apiece.
6B and 5B switched sides of the field and traded scores in the second half. 6B’s Reagan caught a touchdown with his bright orange receiver gloves, atoning for a dropped touchdown in the first half, and Caleb lobbed a perfect pass to Brett on a flag route to the front left corner of the end zone that tied the game at 14-all.
In the final flag football contest of the camp session, a game entered overtime for the first time. 6B started with the ball on 5B’s 20-yard line and quickly scored courtesy of British running back Curtis, the unlikeliest of heroes. 6B took the lead, 21-14. Curtis went from teasing me on the sidelines and hardly paying attention during regulation time to scoring a crucial touchdown with the game on the line during sudden death overtime. He certainly saved the crowning achievement of his career for a moment when his team needed a score more desperately than ever.
5B had a chance to match 6B’s score, but Austin came flying across the field to intercept a sure touchdown throw aimed at Brett. There is no conceivable way that Austin should have been able to cover 20 yards, outleap two players, and snare that ball—but he did. Caleb had been beaten by the last person he would ever want to lose to: his younger brother.
5G counselor Erica Irwin, who had swapped places with 5B counselor Michael Cocomise for the day, lined up her new dorm and playfully smacked each player on the hand with her metal spoon of discipline. 5B accepted its punishment for losing in flag football for the only time in four games, then trekked off the field to cool down in the pool at swimming class.