The “Battle for the Old Red Lantern” wasn’t all that much of a battle this year.
In what is usually a closely fought rivalry game, the Big Red topped Wooster in a dominant 66-18 win that also served as the team’s senior night.
Despite the added pressure of senior night and the rivalry game, the team’s goal was just to play like it was any other game. Safe to say they did so.
“The big focus this week was to just take care of business as usual. The stakes were definitely high being a rivalry game and especially being this late in the season, so every game matters. Coach Hatem is big on us viewing each game as a business deal and tells us to not get caught up in the emotion, so I think that was a focus this week especially,” wide receiver, David Weimar ‘19 said.
After going down 6-0, the Big Red put up 45 unanswered points and stayed in control throughout. In a game with a lot of strong performances, the most impressive one came from quarterback Canaan Gebele ‘19, who finished the day with eight touchdowns.
He had four through the air, three with his legs, and finally one really cool one. It came off of the “Philly Special,” a play that has become famous over the last year thanks to the Philadelphia Eagles’ use of it in the Super Bowl. The play involves a wide receiver getting a handoff on an end-around. He then flips the ball to the receiver on the opposite side while the QB moves out into the flat and makes the play.
For the Big Red, it represented an opportunity to give two seniors who have given a lot to the program an unforgettable moment on their senior night. Weimar threw the pass to Gebele, who made a shoestring catch and lunged for the touchdown.
According to the duo, it was just another play.
“It is a play we have had in our playbook for the whole season. We successfully ran it earlier this year vs Oberlin as well. It’s just something that the coaches see going into the week as a potential to be there, and lucky for us it worked last night,” Gebele said.
Weimar also had a huge day, finishing with 11 catches for 190 yards and three total touchdowns, including the one through the air. According to Weimar however, a lot of the credit belongs to his teammates and coaches around him.
“It’s really just trying to determine fronts, coverages, and overall tendencies of the defense that we are playing that week. Our coaching staff does a great job of this each week and from there, we practice plays that we feel like will work best. We feel that we have very talented players at every position on offense, so wherever we think we can succeed the most each week is what we do,” Weimar said.
“This week, I was fortunate enough to have lots of passes come my way, and I just have to credit that to the concepts that were working during the game, the whole offensive line for giving Canaan enough time to throw, and to Canaan for making good throws in the situations,” Weimar added.
Gebele and Weimar weren’t the only seniors who were recognized. The team honored 29 seniors, the largest class in program history.
It’s no secret that those two, along with the other 27 seniors, will be missed next year, but not before they have a chance to lead their team to clinch a share of their first conference title since 1986.
The opportunity will come next Saturday, November 10 when they take on the 0-9 Kenyon Lords on the road.