Drazl’s catch gets even more unlikely
I started Sunday’s game story from No. 4 Battlefield’s Northwest Region title-clinching 32-27 victory over Osbourn Park with perhaps the day’s most unlikely play call and player.
Danny Drazl, who would catch a 15-yard screen pass and score with 15 seconds left, hadn’t recorded an offensive statistic. And after Battlefield walked off the field with its first-ever region trophy, that catch was still the only time I wrote Drazl’s name on my clipboard.
I thought this play was interesting for several reasons, the first of which I wrote about with Battlefield having attacked the middle of Osbourn Park’s defense but electing here to throw a dump-off pass to a running back.
But why not Nagee Jackson or Cedric Agyeman, Battlefield’s two primary backs? Jackson finished with 70 rushing yards and Agyeman 61. Both scored touchdowns.
Apparently Drazl always runs that play, which features a play-action fake to the right, in practice. It’s just sort of a routine and ever asks why. When the play was called on Saturday, Bobcats Coach Mark Cox had a brief conversation with an assistant coach, Mark Johnson.
Cox: You know Danny’s in there.
Johnson: Ya, he’s been the best at practicing it all week long. He’s done a great job.
Cox: OK, then.
Cox went on to praise Drazl, saying “that’s a lot of pressure on a kid, too, and he did it.” He also said that the coaching staff almost put Drazl at wide receiver.
Interesting. This completely bucked the third reason why I thought this play was fascinating, which I was verified on Sunday afternoon by Battlefield's stats guru, Gerry Glemente.
Drazl has a team-high four fumbles this year, yet trailing by two late in the fourth quarter of a region title game, his number was called. Looking closer, Drazl had caught one pass prior Saturday’s game and that was during the second week of the season. That, too, resulted in a fumble.
Please don’t think I’m writing this to harp on Drazl. I’m not. If anything, I think it’s amazing that he’s kept plugging away enough to warrant getting the opportunity in such a situation. Succeeding only makes it that much sweeter.
It also folds nicely into a team-wide trend of overcoming turnovers. Quarterback Bo Revell doubled up on his season total before Saturday’s game by throwing three interceptions and also fumbled once.
No matter. Even after Osbourn Park quarterback Dominique Terrell broke off a 79-yard scoring run with 7:31 to play, pushing the Yellow Jackets ahead, 21-13, Revell bounced back.
He completed two of his three passes on the next drive for 29 yards. Revell also picked up a key third down with a one-yard run. Then, after Chris Wendle recovered the onside kick for Battlefield, Revell completed a 15-yarder to Blaine Mason (5 catches, 129 yards, TD) and the touchdown to Drazl.
“This team’s been together a long time and we’ve had a lot of exciting finishes, games we should never have won,” said Revell, who finished with a season-high 191 yards. “Being around that, it makes you feel something, like nothing’s out of reach and nothing’s impossible."
November 29, 2009; 5:22 PM ET
Categories: Battlefield , Football , Northwest Region , Osbourn Park
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