The Circle football team went 742 days without beating an opponent. Week after week the Thunderbirds were unable to come out on top, but they still continued to show up at practice each day and put in work.
Friday night, it all finally paid off as Circle defeated Rose Hill 20-10 in front of huge crowd at Circle High School. Circle head coach Logan Clothier took over after the 2016 season, so this win marks the first in his time with the Thunderbirds.
“Those seconds couldn’t go fast enough,” said Circle head coach Logan Clothier while describing the final moments of the Thunderbird victory.
“Our guys have done everything we’ve asked of them. They’ve bought in in the weight room, they’ve bonded at practice. They’re the most resilient guys I’ve ever been around to go through what they’ve gone through and continue to show up at seven in the morning in June, and to continue to show up on Saturdays after we lost.”
After a scoreless first quarter, the Thunderbirds struck first with 10:34 in the second quarter. After an interception by the Circle defense, Circle quarterback Luke Meyers heaved the ball 40 yard downfield for Solomon Bowen who fought through a defensive pass interference and somehow managed to make a spectacular catch at the 12 yard line. Three plays later, Luke Myers ran it in from three yards out. After a failed two-point conversion, the Thunderbirds led 6-0.
With less than five minutes remaining in the half, Circle’s Luke Myers was picked off by Rose Hill’s Dalton Rapp. On Rose Hill’s first play of the ensuing drive, Rose Hill’s running back received a pitch, rolled to the right side of the field and passed the ball to Dalton Rapp, who took it 45 yards for the score. After the PAT, the Rockets led 7-6.
Circle went three-and-out on their next possession, and Rose Hill quickly drove down the field and were able to add a filed goal as time expired to go up 10-6.
Neither team was able to move the ball to start the second half, as both teams went scoreless. The Thunderbirds came up with a huge special teams play near the end of the third quarter, as they were able to block a 27-yard field goal attempt by Rose Hill.
On Circle’s next possession, Corbin Ingrim broke free for a 26-yard touchdown run to give the Thunderbirds a 12-10 lead with 10:14 left in the game.
Circle was able to come up with a strip sack and recovered the ball deep in Rose Hill territory. However, the Thunderbirds were unable to add to their lead after turning the ball over at the 10 yard line.
With less than two minutes left, Circle came up with a huge fourth down stop, and took over on downs at the Rose Hill five yard line.
Two plays later, Luke Myers dove into the end zone to put the Thunderbirds up 18-10. Easton Barrier sealed the deal when he sprinted into the end zone untouched on the two-point conversion.
“I know these kids like this feeling and I like this feeling so we want to continue to get back to work,” added Clothier.
Circle will travel to El Dorado next week to take on The Wildcats (1-2) next Friday, Sept. 28. El Dorado is coming off of two losses against two of the top teams in 4A, after dominating Independence in week one.