As the majority of NFL players will tell you, playing on Sundays is great, but nothing will ever top how it feels to play under those Friday night lights.
High school football is football in its purest form – it’s special, and those who experience it will carry the memories and emotions that it produces with them forever.
Unfortunately, though, some of those memories aren’t so great, as this team found out when they figured out the absolute worst way to lose a high school football game.
Thanks to COVID hysteria and the ongoing government lockdowns, every professional and college sport saw their 2020 season impacted in a major way.
Ultimately, though, those sports were able to find a way to ensure the season wasn’t lost completely, and most were able to complete a legitimate season.
But that wasn’t the case for most high school sports, causing many seniors to lose the most important season of their high school careers.
So, with sports somewhat returning to normal despite the best efforts of some politicians and bureaucrats, the start of high school football season has been a welcome change of pace.
Kicking off your season in the right way is always important for every team at every level, but season openers this year obviously mean far more to the seniors who now know that things can change on a dime, and everything you’ve worked for could be for naught – especially if the government gets involved.
But what happens if after a disaster of a year, your season opener goes from good to the absolute worst in the blink of an eye?
Well, the players and coaches at St. Rita High School in Chicago know that feeling all too well now.
In their season opener against their cross-town rivals at Mount Carmel High School, St. Rita – one of the top-ranked teams in the Chicago area – seemed to be set to start off the season in the best way possible.
Late in the fourth quarter with the game tied 9-9, St. Rita’s offense drove the length of the field, getting to the Mount Carmel 5-yard line, and setting up a potential game winning field goal with just 49 seconds left to play.
It was going to be the storybook season opener for St. Rita, after a year of despair – not to mention a lifetime of being forced to live in Chicago.
But as St. Rita’s kicker went to seal the deal, his attempt was blocked by a Mount Carmel defender.
And not only that, but Mount Carmel was able to scoop up the ball, running it back 83-yards for the score, and the win.
Mt. Carmel blocks game-winning FG to run it back for 6. High school football is back folks @RedLineRadio
(via ig: anthony.vari) pic.twitter.com/QecDeCLiKH
— Barstool Chicago (@barstoolchicago) August 28, 2021
There’s literally no way to describe how the St. Rita players must have felt other than to say they were heartbroken.
After battling all the adversity of a COVID year, and then battling for over 47 of the 48 minutes of gameplay, only to lose in such devastating fashion with less than a minute to play.
You can’t help but feel for those players.
At the same time, you have to give Mount Carmel credit.
According to the Chicago Sun Times, Mount Carmel was a massive underdog in this game, mainly due to the fact that 18 of their 22 starters were starting their first varsity game.
And they fought for a full 48 minutes, and left it all on the field.
They could’ve easily folded as St. Rita marched the ball down the field in the closing minutes, or when they lined up for a field goal that’s even considered routine and virtually automatic at the high school level.
But Mount Carmel fought from the opening kickoff until the clock read all zeros in the fourth quarter.
It’s this type of game that just proves there’s something magical about high school football.