Green Dukes Kick Off NCBB Season 44 With 2-1 Win vs. Hawai'i University
The Duqueswood Green Dukes
validated the university’s decision to refrain from dissolving the team with a 2-1 win over Hawai'i University
to start off the program’s third season in the NCBB (NCBB season 44)
. The Green Dukes got pair of touchdowns from their athletic wardancers, junior team captain Angorn Windfoot (elven military history) and freshman Bixtyr Brightwing (leaf magic), who was recruited this summer to replace the deceased Mirlin Spinleaf
. Hawai'i’s high-flying elven union offense was held to 1 TD mainly through a stalling, ball-control strategy that saw Duqueswood nearly quadruple Hawai'i’s time of possession after an opening score by senior Hawai’i catcher Chuuky Hines.
Windfoot reverses field to milk the clock on a zig-zagging touchdown drive that took up most of the second half
“When you’re going up against that kind of high-powered elven union offense that has as many ways to score as our guys have words for leaves, your best defense is to keep the ball out of their hands,” said Duqueswood Coach Gerric Smithson after the game. “So I told our fellas, let’s take as long as possible to score. And, actually, that turned out to work for us, since one of our strengths is struggling to score.”
Hawai'i got on the board first and rather quickly with Hines scoring on a short pass from senior thrower Joey Yellen along the northern sideline in Green Dukes territory. Duqueswood junior lineman Foren Longweed (mystical fauna studies) was positioned to make a play on Hines before he crossed the goal line, but rather than avoid contact, Hines ran straight toward Longweed and put him on the ground with a brutal stiff-arm.
Hines introduces Longweed to the pitch with a solid stiff-arm on his way toward the game’s opening TD
Asked if this seeming ability to score at will worried him early in the game, Windfoot responded with confusion during the postgame press conference. “I know not this Will you speak of,” he said. “There is no Will on this team. But yes, would that we had a player named Will, I’m sure they would have scored at him as well.”
Nonetheless, Hawai’i’s quick TD seemed to be enough to convince Coach Smithson that the Green Dukes would be best off slowing down their own offense to try to keep the ball out of Hawai'i’s hands for the rest of the half. When they took the ensuing kick-off, Duqueswood launched a confusing, slow-developing, field-reversing drive, which included a pass, a handoff, elf screens to try to open up the southern sideline, and elf screens to try to open the northern sideline.
By the time the Green Dukes were done scurrying from one side of the field to the other, the half was in its closing seconds and Brightwing had the ball deep in Hawai’i territory. The freshman wardancer juked away from two would-be tacklers to even the score at the end of the first half.
Brightwing ties the game at the end of the half after a long, dizzying (and sometimes baffling) drive by the Green Dukes
Duqueswood carried this stalling, zig-zagging strategy into the second-half after Windfoot took the opening kick and headed up field on a path as circuitous as a six-legged squirrel climbing up a tallow-greased oak tree. Moving from the edge of his own goal line to the northern sideline just past midfield, Windfoot then then retreated into his own half, seeking cover behind Duqueswood junior treeman Oakward Weatherborn (communications) who’d rooted himself after the opening kickoff.
“Hey, if you can’t bring the tree your opponents, you can always bring your opponents to the tree,” said Coach Smithson of the strategy.
As Hawai’i closed in, careful to avoid Weatherborn’s swinging branches, Windfoot dashed out from behind the treeman and sprinted up field along the northern sideline. With enough of an elf screen to get him the edge, the endzone was within reach, but Windfoot did something odd for a wardancer. He didn’t dodge. He didn’t leap. He slowed down.
“During halftime Coach had told us about this strategy the dwarf lords oft employ called a ‘2-1 grind,’ ” Windfoot explained. “To carry it out, I was supposed to score as late in the half as possible. It disgusts me to employ any tool wielded by a dwarf, but this is what Coach wanted.”
Complying with his coach’s directions for maybe the first time in his career, Windfoot hesitated at the goal line, letting the clock tick down. The stalling move allowed junior Hawai’i blitzer Malik Hausman to shove away one of the wardancer’s trailing blockers and get within reach of Windfoot. With a quick dodge, however, Windfoot escaped Hausman’s reach and found paydirt, leaving too little time on the clock for Hawaii to mount a game-tying drive.
“I got to give the kid credit,” Coach Smithson said of Windfoot, who had 25 yards rushing on the day but likely covered more than 100 on his winding path to the end zone. “Those pointy ears can listen pretty good when he’s in the mood. Well, to be fair though, maybe he likes taking my coaching a little better when I’m not asking him to leap into cages and get punched in the face all game long.”
As Windfoot and Coach Smithson enjoy the win together on the sidelines, Smithson teaches Windfoot the human celebratory ritual of “the high-five.” Unfortunately, Smithson was not aware of the wardancer’s strength, and Windfoot was not aware that a high-five calls for a vigorous, but restrained, slapping of hands. Coach Smithson’s wrist was broken in three places.
Additional Game Note:
Sophomore catcher, Mardlyn Gittily (glyph painting), suffered a broken collar bone during the game. After meeting with Coach Smithson to discuss how the team might accommodate her reduced strength in future games, the elf maiden, who also suffered a fractured skull last season, has decided to step away from the game to focus on her studies.