By Cara Johnson
The two most important elements of any piece of writing, oral presentation, or performance are the beginning and the ending. The ending in particular leaves the last resounding echoes of the whole. It can neatly knot together all the pieces into a nice conclusion, present a haunting plea for action, offer hope for something better, or end in a stunning celebration. In the final game for the Tri-Valley football team against Cascade, they chose to end the season with all the pomp and ceremony of a grand finale!
The overcast skies in Cascade threatening rain, brought back memories of the deluge of rain and sloshy field conditions of two years ago as the Titans began the game kicking off to Cascade. Beginning the game at quarterback was Jarret Mink who took the Titans on an opening drive that resulted in a 1-yard quarterback keeper and 2 point conversion pass to Tyrel Barnett. The next score of the game came under the hand of Jayden Mink with a 75-yard pass to Tyrel and 2 point conversion pass to Michael Carpenter. The first quarter ended with a score of 16 to 0 for the Titans in the drizzling rain.
The second quarter started with Cascade lighting up the score board with a touchdown and 2 point conversion, but was immediately answered by Reed Thulander with a stunning 80-yard kick-off return into the end zone followed by a 2 point conversion pass to Michael. The Ramblers would not be daunted, however, and pulled together another scoring drive for a touchdown. Thulander again entered the stage intercepting their 2 point conversion pass. Meanwhile, the Titans added to the firework display with a 10-yard touchdown pass to Tyrel and a 45-yard rushing touchdown by Orion Southwick. The half ended with an exploding score of 36 to 14 for Tri-Valley.
Receiving the kick-off, the Titans added the only score of the third quarter with an impressive 64-yard run by Orion for a touchdown, followed by a failed 2 point conversion attempt. The score was then 42 to 14.
Holding true to the rest of the game, the fourth quarter was filled with scoring action. Southwick again ran into the end zone from 9 yards out and pulled in the 2 point conversion pass to add 8 more points to the score board. Cascade returned the favor with a touchdown of their own but failed on their attempt at two more points. Capping the game came was a 4-yard run into the end zone by Kayden Harvey, making the final score 56 to 20 for the Titans!
The Titan defense served up a coup de grace (decisive finishing blow) this season with Orion Southwick’s 16 tackles, 3 for loss, and 1 sack; Reed Thulander’s 11 tackles, 4 for loss and 4 sacks; Tyrel Barnett’s 9 tackles and 1 assist, Michael Carpenter’s 9 tackles; and Cody Nixon’s 7 tackles and fumble recovery.
Reflecting on the game, Coach Johnson said, “The kids played a great game against a scrappy Cascade team. It was good to get everyone in the game and finish the season on a successful note.”
The rain stopped and the afternoon light was dimming as fans gathered their belongings and took last photos. For some, it was the last time to don the uniform as a Tri-Valley Titan football player, but it was a grand finale indeed! One to make any coach or fan proud. Thanks for the memories, boys!
Titan seniors pose for one last picture: Tayden Murray (#55), Michael Carpenter (#12), Jason Damon (#74), Orion Southwick (#10), Jayden Mink (#8), Reed Thulander (#25), and Cody Nixon (#36).