NG secured its spot as the top IM football team at HBS last Tuesday with a tight 13-12 victory over OI in the championship game. NG dominated the game early, but had a few mishaps late that allowed OI to get back in the game. The game’s first score came on a strike over the middle from NG quarterback, Evan McNamara, to skilled receiver, Mark Norris. The extra-point attempt failed leaving the score 6-0.
The score remained this way going into the half. After a motivational cheer from the large contingent of NG faithful, NG came out strong in the second half, scoring on its first drive. Again, it was Norris who showed great concentration by catching a deflected ball in the end zone for the game’s second score. Norris added the extra-point, making it 13-0 and seemingly out of reach.
After a few defensive stands, OI was able to play itself back into the game. They crept closer, making the score 13-6 and were driving late in the game. With just 17 ticks left on the clock they were able to penetrate NG’s defense and score a TD making it 13-12. With the game on the line, OI elected to go for the 2-point conversion and the win rather than settle for 1 and possible overtime. As NG’s defense prepped for a goal-line stand, NG’s cheering section could be heard across the Charles chanting, “Ole, Ole, Ole, Ole, Go G, Go G!” The noise, combined with the presence of “G-man”, a leopard skin-speedo wearing NG fanatic, proved too deafening and intimidating for OI’s offense. As OI’s QB rolled out, NG’s Jack Speece forced him out of the pocket causing a hurried pass that was well defended by Ben Lowe, a defensive stalwart. The game was over and NG were the champs of the HBS IM football league for 2003.
A key performer in the game was NG’s Jason Vanden Akker who made some great catches that helped control the flow of the game as well as a crucial interception that denied OI a touchdown. All in all, NG, like the Patriots of 2002, showed that a strong team is greater than any individual player. The rest of the NG squad includes: Justin Mayer, Bryan Lamb, Matty “Choo Choo” Beckett, Kristin Kendrick, and Rebecca Greenawalt.
Special thanks go to all that came to support the team including faculty. Also, thanks to the Rock tailor for providing t-shirts that we didn’t mind getting muddy and smelly. See you in next year’s championship!