Inside the Swarm – Riverside
By: Paul Davis
Pre-game devotional. On a tight time schedule, coach Lipsey had little to say and quickly introduced team chaplain, Robert Emory.
"I’ll miss the next two games," began Emory, "because I’ll be in Cuba on a mission trip where I’ll be teaching. But, my thoughts and prayers will be with you.
"I want to talk to you about a Biblical story you all have heard, David and Goliath, but I want to take a look at the front part of that story. There are reasons some people are winners and some are losers, both as individuals and teams.
"There were reasons why David was a winner. He was taking supplies to his brothers and was checking on them when he found Goliath cussing God and trying to intimidate the Israelites. So he decided to stand up to Goliath. His brothers wondered why. David asked, ‘Is there not a cause?’ So his actions were based on a cause, something bigger than him. It wasn’t about his brothers. It was about the cause.
"David was chosen by God and his heart was in the decision he made. Samuel said that the Lord looks at the heart, not what’s on the outside. When the Bible talks about the ‘heart,’ it’s not talking about what pumps blood. It means the center of one’s character, emotion, passion and seat of courage. When you play with your heart it means you are playing with everything you have.
"God sees a person’s heart and knows who will make a difference. He cares about what’s inside, not outside. I’ve seen some players who really needed a heart transplant. I’ve seen 140-pound, so-so player go with 100 percent effort and a 240-pound, good athlete who needed to play with the heart of the smaller player. God cares where your heart is.
"David was obedient. He did what his dad told him to do. If your heart is in the right place, you will listen to what your coaches say and handle things right.
"David was also accountable. He kept his dad’s sheep and, when he was told to visit his brothers, arranged for someone to care for the sheep in his absence. As a player, be accountable. A winning team has 11 people who are accountable and do what they are supposed to do.
"David also had faith in God when difficulties arose. Sometimes we play for the wrong reason: girls, the Friday night lights, and be able to say you played. What would your play be like if you played from the heart?
"When I was in North Carolina, we had a small fullback who might carry the ball ten times a night. The isolation play was his play and he loved to whip the linebacker. The coach didn’t know much about him and asked me to find out why he played with such passion and enthusiasm.
"’My mom is dying of cancer,’ he said, ‘and she comes to the game to watch me. I play with all my heart. I want to encourage her and make her proud of me.’
"Well, she overcame cancer and lived a long time. Some of you may have given up on the season. Let’s go out tonight and play with all our heart. After World War II, Winston Churchill was asked to give a speech at a mid-west college. And this was his entire speech: "Never, never, never quit.’ And then he sat down.
Before kick-off. Defensive coordinator Chip Bailey told the defense that they’d start in a 4-3 defense. "Our game plan is simple," he continued. "Line up and play. Be physical. Be physical. They’ll probably use some motion and they’ll run the option. Don’t do more than what you are supposed to do. If eleven do their jobs we’ll get the job done. This game has to mean something to you. The quarterback uses a three-step drop. We have a chance to ruin their homecoming. We need a region road win. If you are on the sidelines, keep your helmets on and stay near me."
Coach Lipsey reminded the team how hard they had work during the week. "Get physical. Get some turnovers. Get after them from the start. Leave it all on the field. All the work you have done comes down to tonight’s game. This is payday. Go get it. Take what’s yours, every play. We need you. We need you. Start in the first quarter and don’t stop until the final whistle. Play as a team."
At the half. "We have one half left," began Lipsey. "We need to get back to basics. We have to play better in the second half. Offense, we are stopping ourselves. Keep pounding. We gave them confidence. We need better effort from the defense. Make this our best second half of the year."
It’s over. "Great effort," began Lipsey. "You won as a team. Great defense in the third quarter. You kept the momentum with us. You need to win your Homecoming Game next week. You’ll have distractions so you have to keep focused on what you have to do."
Quick hitters. "Now they (the fans) love us," observed Lamont Edney after the victory … coach Robinson was bragging about the work of the O-line … John Simmons Fallaw had a great game at fullback which included a TD … sophomore Dierris Beacham broke loose for a 25-yard run in the fourth quarter…Michael Mebane racked up so many yards Friday that he had to have fresh cleats installed in the third quarter (just kidding) …sophomore Desmond Floyd had at least two tackles for loss while Kyle Trantham had at least one … Dionta Palmer returned a punt for thirty yards and really delivered a hit on the tackler … kicker Alex Tucker put two more kick-offs into the end zone with another apparently run out from inside the end zone but the man in B & W never saw it… linebacker Tevin Thompson made a big quarterback sack with 32.8 second left in the first half … Union had one TD (Edney) called back because of a penalty and another denied with a fumble on the six-inch line ... instead of trying to make a questionable block (in the back) Deon Thompson held off allowing Mebane’s 25-yard run to stand … DB Brennon Crosby made a big hit on the quarterback in the second quarter, forcing a fumble …Coach Clark was pleased with special teams play … Edney made some good blocks when not running the ball and made a big play on a kick-off, running the width of the field to tackle the runner … Deon Thompson ran through three blocks to make a big tackle on a kick-off …"Robbie Lee…Robbie Lee…Robbie Lee" was the team chant at the end of the game because of Humphries’ three consecutive quarterback sacks for loss as time ran out Though listed as a wide receiver, the defensive players tried to get him to ride the defense bus with them… .Nick Monroe’s play was the object of coach praise after the game… back-up long snapper Clay Moore was pressed into service on short notice and did a great job according to the coaches… the defense bowed their necks and held Riverside when they denied them on fourth and one… Keiston Stevens was one of the active "cheer leaders" on the sidelines… Jordan Sims forced a quarterback fumble which went out of bounds.
The journey continues. Homecoming. Chapman. Be there.
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