The Wayne Hills Patriots Face the Wayne Valley Indians in a Heated Football Game

A battle for the win in a football game between the Wayne Hills Patriots and Wayne Valley Indians brings the two rivals into overtime.

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By Katherine Colucci, Staff Writer

School spirit was at an all time high on Friday, October 22, when the Wayne Hills Patriot football team competed against their rivals, the Wayne Valley Indians. The stands were overflowing with parents and students alike, waving flags and putting all of their energy towards supporting their team. For several spectators it was the overall experience that made the football game worth attending.

Several performances were put on that made the crowd go wild. Before the game began, the Wayne Hills Marching band put on their show Celebrations! for the audience, followed by the Wayne Hills cheerleaders’ outstanding routine. Later at halftime, The Wayne Valley Marching Band and cheerleaders also wowed the crowd with their stunts, props, and overall entertaining performances.

Each school also had a massive student section. Wayne Hills students crowded the visiting stands, many of them wearing white t-shirts with the motto “Fear the Riot.” According to Anthony Martinelli, a sophomore who was part of the section, “Everyone was full of energy….we all cheered like crazy when Hills got a touchdown or made a good pass.” The bleachers became so packed with excited supporters that people were being turned away from the stands. However, after speaking with several students, this didn’t deter anyone from watching the game, but instead drove them to stand by the fence.

No points were scored in the first quarter, yet the crowd was already wild with excitement. Some students on the bleachers never sat down, standing and cheering the whole game. Valley drew first blood with a touchdown in the second quarter, making the score 7-0 Valley. However, by the end of the quarter, Hills retaliated. With 8 minutes left, the Patriot’s quarterback Joey Riina, number 17, tossed a great pass to Ryan Song in the end zone. Later, with only 30 seconds to spare, Riina completed another incredible pass to Makai Gray, number 6, who took it into the end zone and putting Hills up 7-14.

No points were scored in the third quarter, but in an unfortunate turn of events, number 56 Edis Veliu was injured within the last few seconds. He was crushed under several players and appeared to have injured his leg, having trouble putting his weight on his right side. Yet Veliu was still able to make his way off the field with help from the trainers, showing positive signs.

By the fourth quarter Valley made another touchdown, the game now tied at 14-14 with 6:30 seconds left over. With nobody else scoring in the quarter, the game officially went into halftime, creating more suspense.

From there it was an intense battle for the ball that seemed to have no end. At first, with Hills being in the lead at the end of the second quarter, many students believed they would come out triumphant. However, with the score being tied, everyone became uncertain. Most people found the Hills and Valley football teams to be equal, so it was anyone’s game.

Hills was first to get the ball, Gray scoring a second touchdown and bringing the score to 14-21 Hills. The crowd went wild, the Wayne Hills students thinking they had won. However, once Valley got the ball back, they tied the score at 21-21 by earning another 7 points.

Keeping the ball in the second overtime, they scored another touchdown, bringing the score to 28-21 Valley. Now with the ball in possession of Hills, the Patriots try to even the score. They end up scoring a touchdown through Mack Garrity, number 7, bringing the score to 28-27 still in favor of Valley. However, to pull out a win and end the cycle of tied scores, Hills takes a risk and goes for a 2-point conversion.

Unfortunately this did not work in their favor. They didn’t make the play and the score officially settled at 28-27 Valley. With this, the Wayne Valley Indians won by a point, and out of excitement all of the students, parents, and supporters in the home bleachers crowded the football field in celebration.

By the end, many Hills fans were disappointed. However, the game was still worth everyone’s time, as it even had attendees with little interest in football on the edge of their seats. One of these many supporters was Ryan Newman, a junior who came to the game through her marching band performance. She admits she had high hopes for Wayne Hills to pull out a win and was disappointed when they lost, seeing things turn for the worst by overtime. Yet Ryan still thought “the game really was interesting with some crazy catches and the overtimes.” She also enjoyed the game mainly because of the general experience and energetic atmosphere. “My favorite part of the whole thing” she says, “was being in the stands with my friends cheering for Hills.”

While The Wayne Hills Patriots may not have triumphed in the football game, the event still proved to be enjoyable for everyone. Being at 2 wins and 6 losses with few games left, many students are hopeful that the team will make a comeback and pull a few more wins. However it is evident that the Patriot football team works hard and plays well, and Ryan has it right knowing that “there’s always next year.”