Falcons break through, crush Crusaders to move to title game
WARDSVILLE --- It's like having a crush, you keep asking her out, and the answer is always the same.
When she finally says yes, oh my, what a feeling.
The difference in this case is this --- the Blair Oaks Falcons took care of the situation themselves, they didn't rely on someone else's answer, there was no other answer possible.
After being denied in the postseason the last three years --- once in the quarterfinals, twice in the semifinals --- Blair Oaks busted down the door with a convincing 48-21 win over highly-touted Lutheran North in the Class 2 semifinals Saturday at the Falcon Athletic Complex.
How sweet it is.
"We (the seniors) were telling everyone before the game: 'We're not losing this game,' because that feeling of losing in the Final Four is just terrible," said senior receiver/cornerback Ben Thomas. "I'm just really glad we made it.
"I really don't have anything to say ... there are no words to describe this feeling."
The Falcons had felt the agony of defeat but now, they're basking in that unmatched thrill and glow of victory.
"This feels amazing," said Brayden Pritchett, another of the team's talented seniors. "We could never get over the hump and this year we did, and now we're going to bring it in the state championship game."
The championship game is set for 3 p.m. Friday at Faurot Field, when top-ranked Blair Oaks (14-0) meets third-ranked Lathrop (14-0), which finally became the team to unseat seven-time defending state champion Lamar 28-21 in the other semifinal.
But for the moment, let's enjoy this one, shall we? Well, Ted LePage threw a bit of cold water on that notion.
"It's not satisfying at all, to be honest," the Falcons head coach said. "I'm not trying to be mean, but we've got one more in us --- we didn't come here to win in the semis, we came here to win the whole dang thing.
"So we're going to get back to work, starting (Saturday night), and we're going to go up there next week and give it a fight."
But then, LePage softened, he's too nice a guy not to. Like everyone else in Green, he was truly enjoying the moment.
"They (Lutheran North) had every Division I player you could ever want," he said. "What I said all week to our players is that the greatest weapon in the history of man is the heart. And these guys just have more heart, they've been playing their hearts out together since they were in fifth grade.
"They've played their hearts out for four years in high school and they've earned this. I'm very proud of our team."
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