Monday, September 21, 2015

Weekend Kickoffs

TigerBlog saw a lot of three football games this weekend.

The first was Friday night, when he saw Miss TigerBlog's high school game. She had a field hockey game that ended at 6 or so, and she and three of her friends/teammates wanted to stay to watch the football game.

They asked three things of TigerBlog: 1) would he stay and drive them home, 2) he was not to come to eat with them across the street from the school and 3) he was under no circumstances to sit anywhere near them.

Having obliged them, TigerBlog then watched MTBHS score on five of its six first-half possessions with two passes and about 50 rushes. The final was 43-19.

On the way home, not one of the four girls knew the score, or much cared. Mostly they talked about Instagram, and something they can do on Snapchat that gives them a long, rainbow-colored tongue.

There really isn't much like a Friday night high school football game, Americana-wise at least. The bands. The cheerleaders. The teams as they run onto the field, breaking through the banner the cheerleaders made. It really was a beautiful sight.

The second game TB saw was the Princeton-Chestnut Hill sprint game, Saturday at Plymouth-Whitemarsh High School, which is about three miles from the Chestnut Hill campus and not that far from where MTB's game Saturday morning was.

This was the first sprint football game in CHC history. TigerBlog was there when Princeton played its first game against the other new teams - Mansfield, Post, Franklin Pierce - in the league, and he was in the neighborhood this time. Plus, TigerBlog Jr.'s best buddy Matthew is a freshman lacrosse player at CHC, and he and his family - and pretty much everyone associated with Chestnut Hill was there.

Princeton lost this one 48-13, and Chestnut Hill did have a solid edge in yards. The game got away from Princeton late in the first half, when, down 21-7 with the ball, Princeton was stopped at a fourth-and-one at the CHC 35. The Griffins then took it the other way in four plays, hitting a 58-yard touchdown pass with 25 seconds left.

Even after that, Princeton then came back with a 47-yard pass of its own, giving Princeton a first down at Chestnut Hill's 12 with seven seconds left. Two incomplete passes later it was halftime. Had it been 21-14 or even 28-14 at the break, maybe it's a different second half.

So yes, Princeton lost again. On the other hand, it was a giant part for Chestnut Hill and its students. There were t-shirts commemorating the occasion (TigerBlog got one), free food, a tailgate party - and football, for a campus that's never had it before.

And they loved it.

The other game TB saw a lot of was Alabama-Ole Miss.

He can sum this up rather quickly:
* he's glad Alabama lost
* No. 5 for Ole Miss seems to be pretty good
* he'd love to go to a game like that someday

The football game he didn't see was Princeton-Lafayette, the opener for the Tigers that ended up as a 40-7 victory. It was a great start to the season, obviously.

TigerBlog intended to go, but he ended up at the men's soccer team's win over Boston University instead.

He can tell you that he's looking forward to seeing Princeton against Lehigh in the home opener this Saturday, at 5. It's also part of Community and Staff Day, which begins at 3:30. And there are fireworks after the game.

Will there be fireworks during the game?

Remember the ridiculously explosive Princeton team from 2013, the one that averaged a program-record 511.6 yards per game? Well, Princeton went for 573 against Lafayette.

As for balance, Princeton averaged 217.8 rushing and 293.8 passing in 2013. Against Lafayette, those numbers were 308 on the ground and 265 through the air.

The 308 rushing yards included 116 (on just eight carries, which would be 14.5 per) from Dre Nelson and 93 on 14 carries from DiAndre Atwater. Chad Kanoff made his first career start, going 20 for 31 for 256 yards and a touchdown.

In addition to 2013-like numbers Saturday night, Princeton also replicated another part of that championship season - seven players had at least one carry and 10 caught at least one pass. Included in that group of 10 were two quarterbacks, Kedric Bostic and John Lovett, who also threw a touchdown pass on his only throw.

The opener was 0-0 at the end of the first quarter and 23-0 at the end of the half. And Lafayette was playing its third game, to Princeton's first. If you're into comparative scores, do what you will with this: Delaware defeated Lafayette 19-9.

So next up is Lehigh, the first of three straight at home, followed by the Ivy opener against Columbia and then Colgate. Can Princeton sustain the offensive explosion?

You know, will there be fireworks only after the game?

No comments: