Ain’t scared to ride this train
Make a few marks, leave a few stains
Might slam just a little too hard
Might take it just a little too far
Might burn out like a firework
Like a shooting star across the sky
And we may not be around in 20 years
But they’re sure gonna know we were here
Yeah, they’re sure gonna know we were here
“Gonna Know We Were Here” – Jason Aldean
Remember when I said that the WNE football team had a good chance of going undefeated this season?
Whelp, they did.
In stunning and storybook fashion, they not only finished the season undefeated, but claimed the conference title and earned an NCAA Division III playoff berth.
The squad finished 8-2 last season, going 5-0 for the first time at home in the program’s history. I was so proud of that team last year, and this team blew last year’s out of the water. They outscored opponents 395-116; all but one game were opponents held to 21 points or less.
WNE’s only real opponent this season was Salve Regina, and of course, the Seahawks were coming to Golden Bear Stadium for the last game of the season, WNE senior day, and a showdown of the #1 and #2 teams in the conference.
The GBears had a 21-0 lead going into halftime, and I honestly thought we had it in the bag, there was nothing to worry about. Until the 3rd and 4th quarters when Salve came back to tie at 21-all. It was about 45 degrees with a gusty wind, and I was hoping the game wasn’t going to go into overtime.
And thankfully it didn’t.
After a beautiful interception by the WNE defense, the GBears got the ball back with about 1:30 left on the Salve 32 yard line. We had the ball with 1:05 left, and it was do-or-die time. Our quarterback rushed for 23 yards, next drive handed it to the running back for five, and then the quarterback took the ball four yards into the endzone for the winning touchdown of the game. With 9 seconds left, we kicked for the point after and finished the game 28-21.
It couldn’t have been written any better than that, and it was amazing to see everyone rush the field – after they were told not to – and know that the team made school history, the guys get a conference ring, and they get to go to the postseason for the first time since 2011.
There’s nothing honestly better than college football. Congratulations to the Western New England football team on a fantastic season!