Casady Defense Steps Up on Senior Night vs. Greenhill

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The crisp air pierced the skin from all angles. The crowd in the nearly half-empty stands stood in anxiety. The constant sounds of applause and cheers filled the fall air. The Cyclones stood on the 2-yard line looking to finish off a 78-yard, 13-play game-tying drive. The team was trying to rally from a 6-13 deficit in a defensive grind it out battle.

The night started off with the Senior Night. The fans celebrated the Cyclones’ eight seniors: WR and DB Preston Parsons (’19), QB and DE Parker Quillen (’19), OL and DE Andy Throgmorton (’19), WR and DB Quinton Baden (’19), RB and LB Nick Armoudian (’19), WR and DB Brooks Talton (’19), WR and DB Christian Campbell (’19), and late addition OL and DL Blake Garrett (’19). These group of guys gave the season their all.

The Seniors were given the tough task of leading the team through adversity. Captain Preston Parsons (’19) said: “with a small roster we have to be ready to step up and play with a next man mentality.”

The team did exactly that after losing Seniors Christian Campbell (’19) and Nick Armoudian (’19) to injury. The team exceeded expectations, winning two out of their six SPC Conference games, more than many expected. However, proving the doubters wrong was a common occurrence throughout the season and they continued that into this game vs. Greenhill.

The game started off with Cyclones’ Kicker Jonathan Gerard (’20) knocking down a 27-yard field goal to take a 3-0 lead. Greenhill responded with a touchdown drive ending with a 9-yard touchdown pass at the end of the first quarter, for a 7-3 lead. The game stalled all the way until the third quarter when the Greenhill Hornets scored off a 95-yard touchdown pass, extending the lead to 13-3. Both defenses went back and forth with 3-and-outs, fumbles, interceptions, sacks, a blocked field goal, and forced punts up until that touchdown. Although it seemed like the momentum was slipping away from the Cyclones, the defense stepped up as it had done all year.

The game against Oakridge ended with the defense stopping a 2-point conversion, securing the 19-17 victory for the Cyclones. The game against the Austin Saints (St. Stephens and St. Andrews) ended with the defense stopping the Saints on 4th-and-5 at the goaline for a 13-7 victory in Austin. The Cyclones defense again secured another win, this time on the Saints’ homecoming and senior night. It would only be poetic for the Cyclones last game that the defense would secure a win one last time. However, before that, the offense needed to take the lead.

The offensive struggles for both teams ended when the Cyclones took over at their 20-yard line with a little over three minutes left in the fourth quarter. Senior Quarterback Captain Parker Quillen (’19) drove the team all the way down deep into Greenhill territory. With 22 seconds on the clock, the Cyclones were 3rd-and-2 on the goal line. Coach Scoville drew up a play that the players had never run that had Lenny Kuhl (’21) fake block and then release. The ball was snapped and Quillen rolled out of the pocket and found Lenny in the end-zone. The crowd erupted with cheers. Jonathan Gerard (’20) knocked in the extra point to finally tie the game at 13-13. Greenhill received the ball, kneeled, and sent the game to overtime.

In Texas, overtime is similar to college, however, in Oklahoma, teams start at the 10-yard line and are given only four plays to score. The Cyclones would would start first and the entire crowd, including the student section, shifted to the south end of the field. Parker Quillen threw a 15-yard dime to wide-reciever Quinton Baden (’19) who caught it in the end-zone. Jonathan Gerard (’20) stayed perfect with his kicks as he knocked in the extra point to give the team the 20-13 lead. For the first time since the first quarter, the Cyclones possessed the lead.

Now it was Greenhill’s time to take over. They quickly scored on 2nd-down on a 8-yard jet sweep. The winless Hornets made the gutsy call to go for the 2-point conversion instead of playing it safe with the extra point. It was up to the Cyclones defense one last time. The crowd waited in anticipation as two timeouts were called by both teams.

Finally, both teams ran out onto the field. The ball was snapped and handed off to the same WR who scored on the previous touchdown. It was the exact same play, however, the receiver brushed off a tackle around the 5-yard line, but was finally stopped at the 2-yard line. Before anyone knew it, fans sprinted out of the stands and onto the field, and players started to jump up, forming a huge mosh pit. The Cyclones’ defense had saved the team once more. Tears were rolling down players’, students’, and family members’ faces.

The final score of 20-19 reflected the specialness of the night. The football senior class of 2019 celebrated its last football game of their high school career. In a rocky season riddled with injuries and some tough losses, the team ended on a high note. It was a storybook ending for the entire Casady Senior Class of 2019, not just the football team.