The football tournment was just around the corner and Dawton Pasey Wallace always wanted to be a champion. Dawton has played football for a few years, and never completed his life long dream. The Thundering Herd of Burbank, Texas played in the 12 to 15 year old championship against the Sarasoda Blackcats. The Herd was defeated last year when Dawton dropped a 6-yard pass by quaterback Daniel Henes with only 32 seconds left in the game. Dawton's team blamed the loss on him. His teammates criticized him for the outcome of the game. Dawton knew that it was up to him to bring home the trophy, and show the team that he is truly a champion.
Dawton had worked especially hard this season. He ran everyday, and lifted weights after school. Getting bigger, stronger, and faster Dawton was determined to gain his teams respect. He had a good build for his position at running back.
Being about 5'9, 186 pounds. He also had speed running a 4.7 in the 40 yard dash.
The game was just a couple days away and Dawton kept thinking about how much he wanted to win. Still, Dawton was worried that his team would be intimidated by the Blackcats. Last year, Sarasoda lined up on both sides of the locker room, and the team walked through the Cats. This action seemed to bother the Herd.
Thursday, Dawton stared a pep rally during lunch. All of the students shouted, "Beat Blackcats! Beat Blackcats!" The shouts sent huge chills down Dawton's body, as if he were standing without any clothes in the middle of the Arctic. At practice everyone was pumped up and ready to go. The boys had started pulling together and playing as a team. Dawton thought to himself, "Only one more day until we get our chance, our chance to win the trophy!" That night Dawton thought about everything that meant so much to him, especially his team, family, coaches, and friends.
All of them believed in him and his pride was on the line. Before he drifted off to sleep he said a little prayer, "Dear God, please help our team to have confidence and faith in You. Please never let our faith fail us, for You will pull us through." The following morning when Dawton awoke from a good night's rest, he knew it was Friday, the day before the game. He could already feel the butterflies in his stomach. As he rode the bus to school, he remembered last year when he dropped the 6-yard pass and how he couldn't let it happen again this year.
After school the Herd had their final practice before the game.
Dawton worked to the best of his ability and the Herd was ready to win.
After practice, quarterback Daniel Henes came up to Dawton and said, "Don't let last years loss bring you down. I know you can do it, just keep your head high." When Dawton went home he thought about what Daniel said to him. Dawton knew he had to put last years loss in the past and focus on the game tomorrow night.
The next morning Dawton woke feeling confident that the Herd was going to defeat the Blackcats. Time passed and Dawton felt nervous waiting the final minutes until the game. Dawton gathered his things, and headed out the door. Arriving at the game, chill bumps rose upon his skin. When he put his uniform on he felt the Herd pride shoot through him. Determined and willing, the Herd said their final words and ran out onto the field. The team was overwhelmed with excitement when the whistle was blown for the kick-off.
Things weren't looking so good for the Herd with 1:36 left in the first quarter when Michael Westbrook fumbled to give the Blackcats the ball on their own 22-yard line. The Herd fought hard on defense, but was unable to hold them when a Blackcats ball carrier tumbled into the end zone to put them up 7-0. Before the end of the half, Dawton shot through defenders with a 51-yard run down deep into the Blackcat territory.
However, quarterback Daniel Henes got smashed by a Sarasoda line backer and out came the ball to ruin the Herds hopes of scoring before the half.
At halftime, Coach Phillip Lyrick told the team that they were in a good position, and not to hang their heads low. Dawton told the team not to loose faith, that good things would come to those who want it bad enough. Then Dawton said, "Let the thunder roll!" The team felt inspired by what Dawton said and went out on opening kick-off and forced the Blackcats to punt.
The team took over the ball on their own 37-yard line. Quarterback Daniel Henes called sweep right to Dawton. He ran around end and down the sideline when defenders engulfed him. Dawton felt this incredible urge to hit the end zone; when he sprinted to make the touchdown for the Herd. There was 3:00 minutes left in the game.
Quarterback was under center. Dawton crossed his fingers as the center snapped the ball. The quarterback dropped back and saw a receiver opened down field. The ball was just over the outstretched hands of free safety Johnny Baker. Touchdown Blackcats! Dawton was determined to keep faith and keep his teams hope alive. On the next posession the Herd took control and drove the ball to the 10-yard line. The next play the ball was faked to the full back and put into Dawton's hands. The crowd went wild! The ball was put on the 3-yard line to try for the two point conversion. As the quarterback called signals, Dawton puffed up in his stance and awaited the snap. The ball was snapped and put into Dawton's arms. He ran straight-forward and lowered his shoulders; he was hit on the line, but not brought down. Dawton charged over defenders to make the score 15-14.
With 21 seconds left in the ballgame the Herd kicked-off and prepared to hold on defense. The defense held the Blackcats. Dawton glanced at the clock and there were two seconds to go. The crowd counted down the remaining seconds. The team cheered Dawton on and the crowd was overwhelmed with joy. Dawton had so many fans throughout the stadium.
He was the hero of the game. Dawton's heart raced, and his emotions ran wild. He felt like he had achieved greatness. The team and Dawton kept faith and had accomplished their goals. For the first time in his life Dawton felt like a champion.