This year’s edition of “The Game” was nothing less of exciting. Hundreds of R-MC students invaded the town of Farmville in support of the football team. Jam-packed roadways soon became jam-packed stands as the Yellow Jackets took the field to show Hampden-Sydney what football was really about.
The atmosphere was electric as fans from both colleges started chanting trying to outdo each other. Black and gold decorated Hampden-Sydney’s campus and by the look in their eyes they knew we were not leaving without a win.
Suddenly a stream of white jerseys took the field and the crowd erupted in support for the Yellow Jackets as they were ready to step into the fray against their worst foe.
The team was ready, jacked up on adrenaline ready to bring the hurting on some Hampden-Sydney players. This attitude was nothing different, except it was Hampden-Sydney and they seemed like they needed a whooping to bring them back down to earth off the pedestal of imaginary superiority.
Fear was evident in the Hampden-Sydney players’ eyes as they knew we were here to hand out a long awaited defeat.
The 120th edition of “The Game” started off with expected excitement as the Yellow Jackets were able to hold off the advancement of the Tigers.
The repertoire of running back John Byrd was on display as he broke tackles and smashed the defense in the mouth to gain 78 yards in 14 plays. Byrd collected 57 of the 63 rushing yards in the first quarter and early second quarter.
Quarterback senior Zac Naccarato in an effort to get Randolph-Macon on the board, launched a 67 yard pass to senior Mike Doe. This pass caused immense sadness for the Farmville fans.
The Yellow Jackets set up for a field goal but were unable to land the 3 points, but the team could feel that they were going to be on the board soon.
Finally late in the second quarter, R-MC pulled away from the Tigers by scoring after driving up the field in 11 plays, collecting 56 yards.
Quarterback Zac Naccarato pushed into high gear as he got in the end zone with 31.5 seconds before the half. The Yellow Jackets were now 7 to 0 against the once prideful, now worried Tigers.
I can only imagine what Coach Arruza and his staff said to the players at the half, because when they came out of the locker room, they were playing with greater determination and ferocity. The defense were able to hold off the Tigers’ drives up the field with unbreakable tenacity and unrelenting tackles.
In the third quarter, John Byrd scored a touchdown with a 28 yard run. Hampden-Sydney fans were shaking in their bean boots as they were shocked that they were being whooped on their own field 14 to 0.
The Tigers felt embarrassed so they scored one touchdown in the fourth quarter. A combination of team effort led to Byrd scoring another touchdown with an eight yard run. The Yellow Jackets scored a field goal and were now 21 to 7 against their biggest foes.
The clock winded down and it was evident that the Yellow Jackets were leaving with the trophy.
When the clock ran out, the black and gold fans erupted in excitement as we were crowned the champions of the 120th edition of “The Game”.
The fans rushed the field in excitement of the victory. All R-MC students could lift their heads a little higher as they left Farmville with a victory.
The trophy is back home in Ashland. Congratulations and thank you to all the seniors who put in the hard work and effort for the team’s success throughout their time at R-MC.
Congratulations to the football team and the coaching staff for their success this season.
-Jordon Lee ’16, Junior Sports Editor