Sunday, November 28, 2010
Heartbreak at St. Thomas as Linfield's season ends in 24-17 double overtime loss.
It was a roller coaster of emotion at St. Thomas on Saturday. From the brink of defeat to an epic last second drive to force overtime but in the end it just didn't happen. My eyes watered up in the 'Cats post game huddle seeing these tough as nails players cry as the realization settled in for the seniors as they knew they played their last game as a Wildcat and you knew why they were so upset. It was because they gave all they had, they played their guts out, and hurt so bad to have it end before they wanted it to. You cannot help but to love these guys not because of the success of the past two seasons but because of their passion and how hard they worked to put Linfield back on the national stage but more importantly they did it the Linfield way......the right way.
As for the game itself it was just a gritty contest between two of the best teams in division 3. There is no question that the 'cats had their chances to take control in the 2nd half but UST would say they had their chances to put it away in the 1st half; both teams just couldn't KO the other as the 'Cats and Tommies kept making plays to make it up for grabs until the final play was over.
I know it hurts now and the memory of this game will never be the most joyful but what this Wildcat team did this season was awesome. When the 'Cats dropped the season opener the playoffs for Linfield started from that point on and our 'Cats responded 10 fold. This team didn't wallow but ran back to the battle and crushed the Northwest Conference to win the 'Cats second consecutive NWC title and correct the wrong from September by hammering Cal Lu in the playoff opener. Over the past two seasons the 'Cats have compiled a 21-3 record, beat 9 top 25 teams, won 2 NWC titles, have a 4-2 playoff record, and finish both seasons in top 10 in the nation. Just remarkable but it didn't happen by accident. It happened with countless hours of unseen hard work. It happened by guys sticking together in those critical moments. It happened because of a coaching staff that nobody outworks. It happened because of guys not on the playoff roaster staying on campus instead of going home for thanksgiving so they could run scout team. The success of the past two seasons happened because these players expected to win and put in the work to make it happen.
I'm so proud to be a Linfield Wildcat today and so proud of what this team represents. Thank you our 2010 Wildcats for everything. You are champions in every sense of the word and we'll always remember what you have accomplished this season. Go 'Cats.