Chamblee Football Conquers Miller Grove in Forty Degree Homecoming Game


Photo courtesy of Grace Brown.

Chamblee students decked out in neon celebrate their first victory in 29 consecutive games.

Vivien Orellana, Staff Writer

The night of the homecoming football game was not ideal for a three-hour sporting event. The temperature was in the low forties and half-frozen spectators clumped together under heavy blankets as they tried to stay warm. If this were a normal Chamblee game, many fans may have left by half time, but this was not a normal game. This was the homecoming game, as well as the last chance for the team to get a win this season. 

The first quarter opened to an enthusiastic stadium. Miller Grove started the game but was unable to score on their first possession. Chamblee was similarly unable to move the ball, going three and out with multiple incomplete passes. The schools continued to trade scoreless drives until, finally, Chamblee’s Jameel Avery managed to break free of the opposing players and dash into the end zone for the first score of the game. The Chamblee crowd surged into life, the excitement of the touchdown temporarily drowning out the growing numbness in their limbs. 

The momentum of the lead continued for the next several plays. The newly roused crowd cheered as Chamblee followed up the score by recovering their own punt and began driving down the field again. A very well-executed trick play, featuring a lateral followed by a pass, secured a first down as the first quarter wound down.  

The second quarter was not quite as successful. Chamblee was unable to take advantage of the field position they gained in the first quarter and was forced to attempt a field goal, which was missed. The rest of the quarter was a slow, sloppy affair, with no scores, fumbles on both sides and another two missed field goals by Chamblee. The halftime homecoming festivities began.

By the time the third quarter started, the cold was really beginning to set in. Students in the student section had some generated warmth from the crowding, but not everyone could cram into the student section. Some people tried to warm up in the restrooms, which had heating, and several band members were doing jumping jacks on the sidelines. The overall mood was not helped by Miller Grove’s tying touchdown. For a moment, enthusiasm waned. Then the Chamblee offense marched down the field for an answering touchdown scored by Jeremiah Brown, regaining the lead less than a minute after losing it. Instantly, the lethargy seemed to lift as people scrambled to their feet cheering. 

However, there is still plenty of time left in the game. Miller Grove almost managed another tying score as a player dodged most of Chamblee’s team and sprinted over more than half the field. He was finally clear, with no defenders in front of him when he was brought down from behind by Jameel Avery’s desperate diving tackle that managed to snag his legs. The Chamblee defense then proceeded to mount an impressive defense in their own red zone and forced Miller Grove to turn the ball over on downs.

The third quarter slowly turned to the fourth and the tension grew. Chamblee was only twelve minutes away from their first win in more than two years. The game however was not yet won. With only seven minutes left to play, Miller Grove found its own end zone for a touchdown. It appeared as though they would retie the game. Then, the unexpected happened. The Miller Grove kicker missed the extra point, allowing Chamblee to maintain a one-point lead. All the team had to do was prevent Miller Grove from scoring for half a quarter.

Miller Grove’s first attempt at scoring is not successful. With two minutes left, two incomplete passes give the ball back to Chamblee. However, Chamblee is unable to score or burn much time on the clock. They punt the ball back to Miller Grove with one minute left in the game. The stadium holds its breath. If Miller Grove can score here, then Chamblee will likely be facing its second winless season in a row. If they can’t then Chamblee will finally snap their twenty-plus game losing streak. The Miller Grove quarterback dropped back and threw the ball straight to Jeremiah Brown for an interception. The stadium erupted into cheers. 

The clock ticked slowly to zero as the student section rushed onto the field in one screaming, neon mass. The losing streak was over.