“Dorm 2B is a very good team, superior athletes, very well coordinated, with a great quarterback,” 5B counselor Jack Wood told me before his boys in light gray collided with 2B in a battle of the unbeaten on Tuesday afternoon, July 18, at the Herbert W. Armstrong College flag football field.
“Following Mr. [Western United States Regional Director Brian] Davis’s sermon on fear and his description of the Imperial Academy baseball team taking on those really good Oklahoma teams, I’ve tried to rally these boys,” said Mr. Wood.
“We’re all on the same team. We’re all pyc campers,” said Mr. Wood, who is not a camper, “so have fun.”
You may be able to deduce from Mr. Wood’s words that 2B is a formidable flag football squad. The goal for 5B on this sunny day was to score a touchdown since 2B had not allowed one for the entirety of Philadelphia Youth Camp 2017.
“The challenge is to maintain their positivity, their godly attitude and perspective, in a David-versus-Goliath match,” Mr. Wood said. In all my years of writing, no one has ever volunteered to give me an interview. Dorm 5B’s energetic leader made my job easy.
As Mr. Wood concluded his inspiring speech, I felt a blast of cold water on my right leg. Cycling instructor David Dodds and assistant instructor Cathryn Bancroft had initiated a water balloon assault from weaker ground at the bottom of the hill. The attack fizzled mere seconds after it began. Flag football instructor Jason Cocomise and his assistants, Mr. Warren Reinsch and Miss Emma Wilson, apparently had no desire for retribution. The same could not be said for me, but I practiced restraint.
On the second play from scrimmage, 5B accomplished its goal. Malik took the toss and ran down the right sideline for a long touchdown, causing all onlookers to cry out in euphoric disbelief. To add to the shock and awe, quarterback Elam faked a handoff right and walked into the left side of the end zone from five yards out, converting a peculiar pyc version of an extra-point attempt. 7-0, 5B.
As expected, 2B emphatically answered 5B’s score, producing a score of their own and then returning an interception for another touchdown.
The wackiest play of the game took place on 5B’s next possession. A wayward snap eluded Elam and fluttered straight into the arms of running back Corgan, who darted straight through the bewildered 2B defense for a massive gain. That led to a long drive, which eventually stalled deep in 2B territory. Being the juggernaut they are, 2B added an extra touchdown for good measure just before halftime on a bomb of a pass that landed in the receiver’s hands as he sprinted toward the north end zone. At the half, 5B trailed, 20-7.
“Random barbarian noises!” Mr. Wood commanded his campers. Dorm 5B may have been trailing, but their morale remained high, as evidenced by their full-throated roars.
With the second half underway, 5B summoned the courage to bear down like the Chicago Bears and unleash their inner Minnesota Vikings, letting loose crazed yells and fiery chants on the Oklahoma field. They produced some notable highlights, including long completions to Reese, Zachary, and Corgan. Elam ran for a touchdown, but it wasn’t enough to keep pace with 2B’s explosive offense. The final score was 34-13, 2B.
Anyone who hadn’t been watching the game would have thought that 5B was victorious. Assistant counselor Laston Seme hoisted Zachary on his shoulders while other campers continued to make random barbarian noises and marvel that they had scored two whole touchdowns against 2B’s vaunted defense.
Summing up the joyous mood of his dorm, Mr. Wood shouted to the heavens, “We didn’t win, but we won in spirit!”