For the ninth-straight year Cathedral ended their regular season schedule against Center Grove. They are almost always great games, although CG had a 6–2 advantage coming into this year’s game. Two years ago the game came down to Cathedral being unable to get less than a yard on fourth down. This year the game also came down to one team coming up one yard short. Kind of.
Center Grove (No. 2) was up 14–13 after very even first half, the difference being a missed CHS (No. 3) PAT.
Then CG ripped off 15-straight points in the second half. Cathedral was committing too many penalties, turned the ball over twice, and was unable to get stops on defense.
Center Grove has this loud, stupid train horn they blast after every positive play. Fans have a collection of horns and cowbells the join in with. It’s annoying. When they are kicking your ass, it is really annoying. You can’t even hear the radio announcers the main horn is so loud. After Cathedral threw an interception and they blasted it for at least 15 seconds I was close to turning the game off because I was sick of hearing that dumb horn.
Cathedral forced a fumble but gave the ball right back shortly after and Center Grove drove deep into Irish territory as the game moved to the fourth quarter. Any more points and the game was likely over. They had fourth and goal at the one and ran the ball. The horn started blaring, the crowd roared. But the refs said Cathedral stopped the runner short of the goal line. Turnover on downs.
The Irish offense hadn’t done a thing in the third quarter. They had nine minutes to figure something out.
So they calmly drove 99 yards to score. The two-point conversion failed, 29–19.
On the next drive CHS forced a three-and-out and then blocked the punt, recovering it for a touchdown. 29–26.
Center Grove got the ball with about 3:00 left. Cathedral had all their time outs. A couple first downs and this game was over. CG drove to the CHS 26, but on third down were sacked and lost seven yards. They went for it, Cathedral held, and got the ball with 1:34 left.
On the ensuing drive, CHS converted a fourth and long, getting a huge 33-yard completion. The next play was a 35-yard TD pass. 32–29 Irish! 51 seconds left.
Center Grove returned the short kick to nearly midfield. Cathedral lost this matchup two years ago because they let CG drive 50 yards in less than a minute to score in the game’s final seconds.
Not this time; interception on the first play!
But CG still had three time outs left so the Irish needed at least one first down.
They got nine yards on first down. Time out.
They lost two yards on second down. Time out.
On third down the quarterback flipped a screen pass to his tight end, a kid who is going to Western Michigan next year. He busted through a couple tackles and rumbled 60 yards for a big EFF YOU touchdown.
What a game!
Cathedral looked dead in the water and completely out-classed going into the fourth quarter. Then they somehow found something and scored 27 points in less than five minutes against the two-time defending 6A state champs. The final score makes it look like an ass kicking when, in reality, Center Grove was one yard from being the ass kickers. Sports are crazy sometimes.
It was the first Center Grove loss to an Indiana team since the state title game in 2019. First regular season loss for them since Cathedral beat them that same season. First home loss since August 2019.
With Cathedral now in 6A these teams could meet in semi-state. However, Cathedral would likely need to beat #1 Brownsburg, who handled them fairly easily in week two, in the regionals to get that far. (Update: Brownsburg lost to the #4 team Friday. Brownsburg also lost their quarterback to an injury and they have a very tough opening game in sectionals.)
M was up in Chicago for a Harry Styles concert. When the game was over, I texted her the score and a brief summary, figuring she would see it after the show was over. But she responded right away. “Harry is about to go on. We were checking Twitter obsessively!” Glad she’s turned into a football fan in her four years at CHS.
It was Championship Saturday for L’s travel team. To remind you, the back to school league finished with four-team brackets, and her team’s first opponent forfeited on Monday, so they had a bye into the championship game.
The opponent: a team they beat 35–32 three two months ago. L hit two free throws late in that game it help ice it.
This game started the way we started so many games this season: in a 12–0 hole. We whittled it down to three at one point – L hit a nice floater to get us to that point – but trailed by five at halftime.
We came out on fire defensively in the second half and quickly took the lead, going up by 3. But we turned that around by giving up seven-straight, which turned into an 11–2 run. It wasn’t looking good.
The girls battled back again. We could not hit an outside shot to save our lives, but we started getting steals and layups. We hit a couple and-ones. Finally, with about 2:00 left, down four, L was wide-open from the top of the key. Twice she had fumbled the ball and couldn’t get a shot off in a similar station. This time she handled the pass cleanly, squared her body, and drained the 3 to cut the lead to one. On the next possession she drove the baseline, drew the defense, then flipped it to a teammate who scored as she got fouled. That girl missed the free throw but we never trailed again. We got the lead to five once and ended up winning 34–31. L’s 3 was our only trey of the game; we went something like 1–20. But it was enough!
She had a really good game. Nine points on 4–7 shooting. Three rebounds, a couple steals. The only flaw was two bad turnovers, both when she was stuck between driving and either passing or shooting and shuffled her feet.
And now her first year of travel ball is officially complete. That team will go on the shelf for a few months as the girls settle out onto their school-based teams. Her Cathedral team will likely play this coming weekend.
Well, we knew the regression was coming. It made sense that it would happen the week the Jayhawks went to Oklahoma. Especially with the backup quarterback starting. As much as OU losing three-straight made you want to believe this would be a chance for KU to get bowl eligible, decades of history made that seem unlikely.
I saw most of the first half and that was about what I expected. I think OU remembered they are a collection of four and five star recruits and needed to start playing like it. And it seemed like KU’s defense did not show up at all. Jason Bean looked like a guy who wasn’t good enough to win the starting job over the summer: he made some spectacular plays and some brain-dead dumb plays. Add all that up and the more traditional OU kicking KU ass seemed like it was in order.
But it looked like KU at least made it respectable in the second half, even covering the late 10.5 point line. I don’t know if that was more a function of OU taking their foot off the gas, though, since I was watching L’s team play then.
A bummer of a loss, especially when a lot of people were picking KU. But it made sense, given all the other factors that went into the game. The key is they competed. There were stretches where they were bad, but they never stopped playing and it wasn’t an embarrassment, as so many games against OU have been in my life.
The rest of the schedule is a beast, but if KU’s defense can figure out how to mix in the occasional stop again and the offense can work out some kinks as long as Bean is the starter, I don’t think we need to start thinking the rest of the season is a lost cause.
Other College Football
We got home in time to see much of Alabama-Tennessee and Oklahoma State-TCU. I really needed two TVs as both games worked their way to fantastic finishes within moments of each other. What a scene in Knoxville as the Vols finally got that elusive win over the Crimson Tide! That TCU win helps KU’s RPI, right?
I set aside my baseball boycott when I heard about the craziness in Seattle Saturday. I watched innings 16-through–18. Seattle fans deserved better than a 1–0 loss and series sweep. I wanted the M’s to win, but was not strongly invested. The experience felt like back when I watched hockey a bit in the mid–90s and came across a playoff game that would stretch into multiple overtimes. At some point you’re rooting for the spectacle more than a result, hoping for great plays – shots that hit the post in hockey or diving catches by outfielders in baseball – that keep the game going.
Then I woke up Sunday morning to see that the Padres had knocked the Dodgers, by far the best team in baseball this year, out of the postseason. No surprise the “We Need To Fix The Baseball Playoffs” takes started rolling in right away.
Listen, the new baseball playoffs suck. They diminish the meaning of the 162-game regular season, even more than the previous expansion of the playoffs did. The Padres, who have a huge payroll of their own, knocking off the Dodgers has zero in common with St. Peter’s upsetting Kentucky in the NCAA tournament.
But Rob Manfred and the owners don’t give a shit about what’s fair or right or what the fans want. As long as they can sell more advertising time in prime time in October, and expand the field so cities like Seattle, that are hungry for playoff baseball, gobble up tickets, they are aren’t going to change a thing.
The Colts looked super shitty early, and I was more concerned with spending our last nice day for a week or so outside getting some work done in the yard than watching them continue to suck. But they rallied nicely and even looked competent on both sides of the ball in the second half. The AFC South is about as stinky as you can get, so this team might still find its way into the postseason.
We had other things going on so I wasn’t able to watch much of the Bills-Chiefs game. It looks like it was entertaining, if not as crazy, as January’s playoff game between the teams.
In recent weeks I’ve heard plenty of “Josh Allen is clearly the best quarterback/player in the league” talk. I mostly hear it because of KC fans in my social feeds bitching about it.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot because I think it’s a weird argument, and I’ve tried to figure out why people are making it.
I’ve come up with these explanations.
First, it’s hot take-y. Everyone knows Patrick Mahomes is redefining what it means to be an NFL quarterback. Saying Allen is better gets people fired up, clicking links, and otherwise engaging.
Second, Mahomes, while still young, is old news. We all know he’s brilliant. Maybe not everyone knows that Allen is also brilliant.
Finally, I think some of it is because of their games. Mahomes seems like he’s from a video game, doing things no one has ever seen before in ways we would never have predicted. He does things that flat out don’t make sense. Meanwhile Allen is like the prototype for the perfect NFL QB for any era. He’s big. He’s aggressive. He throws a ridiculous long ball. I think that appeals to the same part of some people’s brains that can’t comprehend what Mahomes is doing. Allen is a modern John Elway, where there has never been anyone like Mahomes. Right or wrong, some folks will elevate Allen because of that.
Mahomes has a ring and another Super Bowl appearance. So he has a bragging rights/legacy boost over Allen. This season, most weeks, I think you can say they are 1A and 1B, or at worst 1–2 in any order. Unless you are a Chiefs or Bills fan, though, to say one is “clearly” better than the other is dumb. Why can’t we just say they’re both awesome and not have to nitpick to declare one better than the other?