Friday, October 14, 2022 was a huge night for Masuk football with a tough game against rival school Bunnell and a Think Pink theme to support breast cancer awareness. Going into the game, Bunnell’s record was 3-1, while Masuk’s was 2-2. But, this big match didn’t intimidate the Panthers.
Masuk football player, Matt Gasparini, had the following to say about the game. “I feel like we’re very prepared. Our offense is prepared, our defense is prepared, we just have to tighten up before the game and execute.” And, that was exactly what they did.
The first quarter was slow for Masuk, with Bunnell scoring two touchdowns. The quarter ended with a score of 0-14. But, Masuk stepped up their offense and defense in the second and third quarters, scoring 21 points while Bunnell only scored 7. This made it a tied game at 21 to 21 going into the fourth quarter, and through the tension, Masuk’s team and student section kept their energy high.
The fourth quarter started off with a touchdown from Bunnell, but Masuk soon reciprocated that, with Jason Champagne also scoring a touchdown. The two teams both fought hard to bring the score to 28-28, but Masuk rose to the top in the end. With only seconds left in the fourth quarter, the game ended with a field goal by freshman kicker Jackson Zylic. This brought the score to 31-28, securing Masuk’s win at the last moment.
This game brings Masuk football a 3-2 record, and it seems this won’t be the end of their victories this season. Masuk football coach Eric Giordano says, “We played the toughest part of our schedule at the beginning of the year, and it tested us, but it will definitely pay dividends as the season progresses.” Those dividends began to show themselves today, and will likely continue through future seasons. Giordano mentions, “We have a very young group on the field, mostly on defense. It’s not a very common thing in high school sports to have so many sophomores out there contributing. But, they’re growing up quickly, so I would say they’re exceeding expectations as a whole.” Having such a young team on defense, it’s safe to assume that Masuk football will stay strong and get stronger throughout the next couple years.
This important game was a great match with an extremely important cause. The theme for this game was a pink-out, and people came dressed in pink outfits with pink accessories. The Red Army also organized throwing colored chalk into the air, and helped with many cheers that improved the game’s environment. Giordano comments, “The support from the community, from the school, the student body, has been amazing- better than in all the years I’ve coached. This is probably the most active I’ve seen the student body.” He also adds, “The Red Army helps make that atmosphere, so we appreciate them.” In addition to this, a ceremony was hosted for the Briganti family, who was affected by pancreatic cancer, before the football game. Players were seen wearing purple wristbands to show their support, and t-shirts were also being sold to promote pancreatic cancer awareness.
This game was a show-stopping time for Masuk football. Not only was it a critical win, but the players got to play for a great cause and spread breast and pancreatic cancer awareness.