Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Deerfield 29 - Choate 21

To my Classmates:

This picture, posted on the school website today, captures what Frank Henry, somewhat facetiously, called the near arctic conditions of the Choate game last Saturday and the extent to which one loyal fan captured the concerned mood before the game turned.

For more photos, go to Deerfield News.

Here’s the official write-up on the day’s activities from the Annual Support office:

Choate Day November 13, 2004

The first snow of the season the night before blanketed the hopes of many teams as almost all of the sub-varsity athletic contests had to be cancelled due to poor field conditions. Choate's maintenance staff pulled out the John Deere mini snowplow and prepared the varsity field for battle. The sun appeared before game time and launched the thermometer into the low forties. The Deerfield Club of New York City's hospitality tent welcomed alumni, parents and students alike with coffee and donuts first, then hamburgers and hot dogs at half time. All the pieces were in place and the stage was set for yet another classic as Deerfield (6-1) took the field to battle archrival Choate (6-1).

Deerfield was unable to mount any serious offensives in the first half, and the defense had their hands full with Choate's excellent running back. A deep pass set up the only score of the first half, as Choate then scored on double reverse. Deerfield held fast defensively the rest of the half and the score at halftime was DA 0 - CRH 7.

Deerfield kicked off to start the second half and the Choate receiver dropped the kick, fumbled as he tried to collect the kick then picked up the ball and ran "straight up the gut" for an eighty yard kickoff return. As the Choaties celebrated their windfall, an official's yellow flag appeared in flight and Choate was penalized for excessive celebration. The extra point kick from the twenty-yard line was no good. DA 0 - CRH 13.

Backs against the wall and momentum firmly planted on the Choate side of the field, Deerfield began the long, slow march toward the end zone with regular doses of their running game in the form of their running back, Mike Rodriguez '05 (193 yards, three touchdowns). Sometimes up the middle, sometimes outside, the offensive line gave Mike just enough room to chew up the yards and record first down after first down. Finally Deerfield scored, on another run, and the kick was good. DA 7 - CRH 13.

The Deerfield Varsity crowd, adorned in their myriad shades of green and white, rallied behind their team and gave them the boost that they required. Whether on defense or offense the Green Machine had found its rhythm and a few minutes later the goal line was pierced again. DA 14 - CRH 13.

With the lead and the ball in the fourth quarter, Deerfield was faced with a fourth and seven yards to go, from just outside field goal range. Not content to merely chew up the clock, Deerfield lofted a ball the corner of the end zone, which had been recently fortified by throngs of cheering Deerfield students. Receiver and defender arrived at the ball simultaneously and the ball ricocheted off of both and up into the air. The crowd leaned forward on their toes to watch the unclaimed ball falling back to earth, and right into the hands of a different receiver wearing the green and white, (Josh Lesko '05)! Pandemonium. The extra point kick was faked in favor of a successful two-point conversion. DA 22 - CRH 13.

Minutes later the besieged Choate quarterback fumbled, Deerfield returned the fumble to the Choate three, and one play later ran in for another score. Choate scored late but was unable to recover the ensuing onside kick. Choate was vanquished yet again by the total team effort and never say die attitude of Deerfield. DA 29 - CRH 21.

If you’re in touch with other classmates by e-mail, please forward their addresses to me. If you have news, please post it on the Class Notes page of the Deerfield Alumni website.

All the best.