Friday night was chilly but all around nice weather. You could tell it was a rare night from the moment you got out of your car. Not your typical late season temperature. You didn’t need to wear many layers and if you are a Huskie fan, it’s a good thing you had the room to jump around cheering on your team.
From the moment you walked into the stadium, you could feel the excitement. Kids from opposing schools joking around with each other about how their team was going to win. Families laughing at one another as they split off at the gate to go cheer on their alma mater. In between the friendly poking you could find those that were going to take this game more serious than any game of the year. That would be the Berkshire Badgers and Cardinal Huskie football players. Especially the seniors. After they were walked across the field by family the band, cheerleaders and all the other fall athletics celebrating Senior Night, it was time to play ball and begin the battle of the Kinsman Cup.
The ball game started off with Cardinal receiving the kickoff. Berkshire held them and forced them to punt. Well, that was how the first quarter went. Both teams forcing the other to punt the ball. Neither team wanted to be first to let the opposing offense score. Unfortunately, that had to happen at some point. Cardinal would be first to put the points on the board, although it didn’t come until the second quarter.
Justin McClain sent the ball sailing to Pete Ribar for a 34 yard touchdown run. Kick was no good but they were up 6-0 with a whole lot more game to play. That would only be the beginning of McClain’s record breaking performance. On the Huskie’s next drive, McClain called Ribar’s number again. This one for a 7 yard touchdown reception. Isaiah Anderson’s kick was good and the score was now 13-0. After some more good stops, the Badgers were forced to punt and Cardinal was off to the races again. Before the half ended, they were going to put up one more touchdown. This time it would be Zach Retych bringing in the ball with a 34 yard pass from McClain. Anderson put the ball through the uprights, and the score was 20-0 finishing off a great first half.
Both marching bands entertained the crowd with some dancing. Berkshire gave us some Kung Fu Fighting with a show from the Badgerettes. Not to be outdone, the Huskie’s gave us a full band break down to “I Like It” by Enrique Iglesias. It got everyone on their feet and warmed up for the action on the field. The bands marched off the field playing their mighty fight songs and the boys took over.
The third was a little more quiet on offense for both teams. Both defenses showed what they were made of though. During the third quarter, Berkshire was able to get their only points of the game. When Cardinal went to punt the ball, the snap was too high for Cody Purpara, and the ball went sailing over his head into their endzone. The Badgers quickly chased down the ball, but were only able to get there in time to take down Purpara giving them a safety. Two points went up on the board for the boys in white making the score 20-2, and it was off to the races again.
Not to be outdone in the defense battle, Cardinal made three turnovers. KC Cress snagged an interception from Gordy Cossick, a pile of Huskie’s defense recovered a fumble, and Purpara made a more positive note on his side when he was able to steal an interception from Cossick also. The Badgers held Cardinal from making any points despite the turnovers but could they keep the momentum going?
The whistle was blown and Cardinal was ready to seal their history making game in the fourth quarter. Bobby Mrosko started it off with a short touchdown pass from Justin McClain. That 2 yard reception, with Anderson’s kick good, gave the Huskies a 27-2 advantage.
On the Badgers next drive, they fumbled the ball, and Cardinal recovered giving themselves decent field position. Ribar and McClain took advantage of this once again with a one yard touchdown pass. Anderson put the ball through the uprights making the score 34-2. Remember Cress? The junior who snagged the interception? He snagged another one from the Badger’s in the middle of the third quarter.
Mrosko had his number called again after the second turnover of the quarter. McClain sent the ball 10 yards to him making this the 6th and final touchdown of the game. This time Kyle Gubanyar attempted the point after attempt. His kick was no good, but that didn’t matter. The Cardinal Huskies had made the score 40-2 and that would be how the game would end! The Huskies win the Kinsman Cup!!
Now you have heard from the beginning that this was a record breaking game. The first record that was broken was by Justin McClain. With his 6 touchdown passes, he broke the previous school record set by Nick Adams in 2002. Congratulations to you and your team. They trusted you to lead them to a win and you did that plus so much more.
What’s the other record broken? For the past 60 times that these two schools have met, it was almost a certain bet on who would win. They went into this game tied 29-29 plus a tie. If the game was at Berkshire, Cardinal would win and visa versa.
Not Friday night. The Huskies won it at home and sent the seniors off on their new adventures knowing that they were the first ones to win three Kinsman Cups in their high school career. I would like to congratulate all of you on a long hard fought season that was capped off by the most important win! You boys earned it! Worked as a team and you won as a team. See you in the battle next year!
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