by Jack '22
Having lost the year before, this year my team and I were determined to take the first Peddie-Blair Day point home for Peddie.
The Peddie-Blair rivalry is the oldest high school football rivalry in the state. Held on the first Saturday of November, each fall sport competes in the contest, and every win counts just the same, whether varsity, JV or thirds. The school with the most points wins the coveted Potter-Kelley Cup. Because there is not enough time to play two football games on that day, JV football always plays the Monday before the actual Blair Day — which meant my team had the chance to score the first point for Peddie.
The weather wasn't the best, yet the bleachers were still packed full of blue and gold on that rainy Monday afternoon. The team was mostly freshmen and had very little football experience, but every player had gotten better and better over the course of our season, and it all came down to this game. The support of the crowd provided a sense of excitement, and my teammates and I were energized and ready to play.
On our first play, we fumbled and turned the ball over. Blair scored first, making the score 7-0. The rest of the first half was a back-and-forth game, and Blair ended up scoring another touchdown before the half, making the score 13-0.
While many teams would have given up by this time, we were not ready to quit. We all wanted this game so badly; not only for us but for Peddie. After making a few adjustments during a timeout, we came back ready to battle. We ran a trick play that involved a lateral to our lineman. Touchdown! The gap narrowed; now the score was to 13-8. Our defense following the score was outstanding and the Bucs couldn’t advance the ball. The momentum drastically shifted when my teammate Aidan blocked a punt right before the start of the fourth quarter.
Now we knew that losing was not an option: our school was counting on us. After a lot of back-and-forth possessions, I lined up at cornerback for another play. Blair was inside our 20-yard line and ran a passing play, which I intercepted. My team was going crazy and I was so pumped! Two plays later, my friend Nate threw a long touchdown pass to Chris, which put us up 14-13, and we were able to hold the Bucs from scoring and came away with the victory. After the final snap, Peddie students stormed the field for the Ala Viva and I got tackled by my friends.
The pride that students and teachers at Peddie take in Peddie-Blair Day competition is like no other. Of the many games that I have played at Peddie, Blair games are the most memorable. The crowd and stakes create a competitive environment that allows for growth, win or lose. Peddie-Blair Day forced my team to give 110% on the field, and I realized that with enough hard work and dedication, anything is possible.