Powderpuff football has been a tradition at Charter Oak for many years, and for the most part, it’s exclusively been senior girls vs junior girls. However, in an effort to raise more money for the football program, this year’s powderpuff game was turned into a double header featuring the seniors squaring off against the juniors as well as the sophomores and freshmen playing each other.
A few other changes implemented this year were that the games were both played under the lights with the freshmen and sophomores facing off at 6 p.m. on Feb. 26, and also the games were to be played by four 12-minute quarters, instead of each team having a few possessions.
The freshmen and sophomores were the first to play. Freshmen received the kickoff, however they weren’t able to much on their first drive as they went three-and-out. The sophomores didn’t do much in their first possession of the game either, however they would find the end zone on their next possession with five minutes left in the first, and would convert the two-point attempt, taking an early 8-0 lead.
The sophomores picked off a pass from the freshmen later on in the first, but they weren’t able to capitalize on it, and the rest of the first half was idle. The sophomores would go into halftime up, 8-0.
Once the third quarter began, it became clear that this was a defensive battle, as neither team was able to score until the final minute, when the sophomores would punch it in for another touchdown, however this time the two-point conversion was no good and their lead was now extended to 14-0 over the freshmen.
The defense starred in the fourth quarter, as neither team could get much going on offense and the sophomores would cruise to a 14-0 victory over the freshmen in the first powderpuff game between the two underclasses.
The seniors and juniors played immediately following the sophomore-freshman game. The first quarter was eerily similar to the previous game. As both offenses weren’t able to get much going. It wasn’t until late in the second quarter that the first points of the game were scored, when senior quarterback Taylor Guzman connected with receiver Cameryn Corcoran for a touchdown. The seniors would go for one point, however they failed to convert it, which resulted in them having a 6-0 lead at the half.
Nobody would score in the third quarter, as the junior defense began to force turnovers and give their offense opportunities, however the junior offense wasn’t able to capitalize. In the early fourth quarter, they had gotten another interception deep in senior territory, and the seniors were making an impressive defensive stand as they forced the juniors into a fourth down situation. However, what happened in the next few moments would completely change the landscape of the game.
On fourth down, the juniors decided to go for it. At first, it seemed like they ran a stretch play that would be stopped by the seniors; however the ball was reversed at junior Jessica Arevalo, who would go untouched all the way into the endzone to tie the score at 6 with seven minutes left to play. The juniors then decided to go for one point, as that was all they needed to take the lead.
The juniors were stopped, albeit illegally, as the seniors had tackled to keep them out of the endzone, which is against powderpuff rules.
The seniors were making tackles and being aggressive for most of the game, and it seemed as though that was the last straw for the juniors, as they began to shove the seniors back after the play, more people were shoving until shoves turned into punches and a brawl ensued between the classes until it was broken up by the coaches. The clock was still running during this time and the seniors now had the ball deep in their own territory with about a minute left in the game to score.
They were able to run one play, however as the seniors tried calling a timeout, the scoreboard operator did not see them signaling for one and about 30 more seconds were burned before the clock was finally stopped.
The seniors ran one more unsuccessful play and time expired. Tensions were already high from the brawl, so head football coach/powderpuff referee Lou Farrar decided to end it there and not have any sort of overtime to determine a winner. The game ended in a 6-6 tie, to the boos of several parents and fans.
It will be interesting to see if next year’s powderpuff will revert to the old format, continue with this new one, or be modified slightly again, as it has some tweaks to be made. The paying fans were voicing their dissatisfaction at the abrupt and controversial ending to the game, as many felt that there needs to be a winner in powderpuff. In this case, neither team won on the field or off of it.
— Andres Soto