Before stepping foot on home turf to play against the Helias Catholic Crusaders Sept. 30, the football team was in desperate need of a win. They didn’t need just a win; rather, they needed an upset to jump start a season that is very nearly out of gas.
The Bruins got just that in the homecoming game last night as they walked away with an impressive 46-33 thumping of the Crusaders, revived with new breath as they enter the eighth week of the season.
Despite having the home advantage, the Bruins truly had to earn the victory. They did just that from the very beginning of the game all the way to the fourth quarter when sophomore running back Nate Peat scored two touchdowns to put the game away. Emotionally, the game had already swayed in favor for the Bruins when junior wide-receiver Reece Jarvis caught and ran in an 84-yard touchdown in the third quarter. Not only did the play put RBHS up by two possessions, but it also set the tone for RBHS’s domination for the rest of the game.
“I don’t even remember a single thing about that play,” Jarvis said. “I was running so hard that everything was just a blur, but it was incredible, so I’ll always remember that feeling.”
Head Coach Joe Collier will always remember it, too, as the touchdown helped him attain his biggest win yet. For Collier, big plays are celebrated simply with a sly grin, but beneath his calm demeanor is more emotion than anyone else on the field.
“I couldn’t have been more proud of him when that happened,” Collier said. “It really set us up to finish that game, and all I could think was ‘I’ve never seen him run so fast!’ so it was really cool.”
In the middle of the action, the 2016 Homecoming candidates lined up in the middle of the field at halftime, eager for the announcement of the Queen. Senior Ojurere Shonekan, escorted by senior Rilwan Ibitoye, was crowned the 2016 Homecoming Queen, receiving a positively spirited response from her fellow RBHS students in the audience.
Though many fans saw the victory as an upset, the Bruins had already established a winning mindset long before the game had begun. Even on one of the most important and stressful nights of the year, Collier was confident that they could win, and so were the players standing beside him.
“We just kept saying in practice that somebody was going to get hot,” Collier said. “We said it could be anyone at any time, so this win was something we knew we could do. I’m so proud of them for believing in that.”
Next week, the Bruins face off the Saint Louis University High School Billikens on their home turf. Though it may be the team’s toughest test yet, Collier doesn’t see any change in the winning mentality between tonight and one week from now.
“The only way we can win games is by believing in what we preach,” Collier said. “If we keep playing like we know somebody can get got then we can make it happen.”
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