Rivalry weekend rips through Whitman campus, leads into IM football playoffs

J. Staten Hudson

Credit: Jacobson

Flaring emotions, heated back-and-forths, the squeal of the referee’s whistle, the rowdy crowds: all of the things that make rivalry weekend great were in full effect over the weekend.

As IM football playoffs near, each game becomes that much more important, as a good seed in the playoffs can be the difference between going deep into the postseason and throwing in the towel after the first game.

The marquee match-up of the weekend was Sunday, Oct. 25’s game between the Sigs and TKEs. The game promised to be a high energy, physical affair and it definitely lived up to the hype. Last year, the TKEs inched the Sigs out in the championship game. However, a retooled, indy-infused Sig squad was looking to get some revenge on their rivals.

“It was a well-played, physical game,” said junior Chris Barton, who served as referee for the game. “When both teams are as good as these two teams, it is a lot of fun to ref the game.”

The TKEs took advantage of a sluggish start by the Sigs, putting 20 points on the board before the Sigs could answer.

But answer they did. A run by junior Erik Korsmo put the Sigs up near the TKE goal line near the end of the half and a triple-option pass freed quarterback senior James Bevan-Lee to the outside where he ran it in for a score.
The score at half time was 20-6 in favor of the TKEs. Two minutes into the half, an interception by the TKEs put them into Sig territory.

However, the Sigs picked the ball right back: Bevan-Lee coming up big again.

The pick led to a touchdown by Bevan-Lee, making the score 20-13. The Sigs capitalized on their momentum and forced the TKEs to punt the ball away on their next possession. Bevan-Lee then delivered a strike to senior Galen Bernard, which put the Sigs on the TKE goal line. The Sigs scored, closing the gap to 20-19.

Momentum on their side, the Sigs forced the TKEs to punt yet again. This time, the Sig cornerback, junior Jason Sease, returned the ball from the Sig end zone along the sideline for the score, completing a Sig comeback and giving them 25-20 lead late in the second half.

With less than two minutes left, the TKEs were down by five, needing a touchdown to win the game. In three plays, they managed to drive the ball to within 20 yards of the Sig goal line, and were knocking on the door.

After an incomplete pass attempt, the TKEs had only one more chance to score a touchdown before turning the ball over on downs. Quarterback senior J.J. Ooi dropped back, surveyed the field and then connected with senior Chris Tobin-Campbell for a game-winning score.

After the game, Ooi commented on the last play.

“T.C.’s our guy. He’s the guy we go to. We told him to go win the game. It was one-on-one. I haven’t been engaged in a game like that in a long time. It was quite a rush. Coming out of the huddle I was scared, but when the ball was snapped it was easy and I just remembered feeling relieved,” said Ooi.

In other rivalry-week games, the Phis lost a nail-biter to the strong sophomore squad, the Thundercats, 24-20.

Meanwhile the DGs ground out a victory against the Kappas, winning by a solid margin of 19-6. The DGs triumphed despite the absence of starting quarterback, Lauren Parsons, who sustained a fractured nose and a concussion in Friday’s game against Eat Shit.