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Collegiate Sports Desk reflects on the Super Bowl

Courtesy of Tribune News Service

Aaron Stoner – Collegiate Staff

Super Bowl LII will go down in history as one of the most entertaining championship games ever played.

The New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles went toe-to-toe in a contest that featured an aerial assault upon the hands of Nick Foles and Tom Brady, the two starting quarterbacks combining for almost 900 total passing yards.

But as one astute beyond his years journalist for The Collegiate predicted with prophetic wizardry, it was the thumping ground attack that spearheaded the Eagles to their first championship since 1960.

Led by the Eagles’ power back, LeGarette Blount, who rushed for 90 yards and a touchdown, as well as his rookie protege Corey Clement who came out of the backfield to snag four receptions for 100 yards and also added a touchdown for the Eagles.

The Eagles defense came up with crucial stops on the Patriots’ final drive, forcing them into a fourth and long from their own end zone. Even Brady, the five-time super bowl winner and all his football moxxy couldn’t save the Patriots with his final Hail Mary heave that Philadelphia’s secondary defended masterfully sealing the “W.”

After playing in a primarily backup role for two other teams since 2015 and almost deciding to call it quits before the season even started, it was Foles who poignantly summed up his own play and the team’s victory in his postgame presser per NFL Network.

“I think the big thing is don’t be afraid to fail.. failure is a part of life. That’s part of building character and growing. I wouldn’t be up here if I hadn’t fallen thousands of times and made mistakes.” Foles continued. “I’m not perfect, I’m not Superman.. I might have just won the Super Bowl,  but I still struggle..Just know though that that’s an opportunity to grow, and that that’s been the (team’s) message. Simple. If something’s going wrong in your life, embrace it.

After being named the Super bowl MVP and leading his team to victory, one could say the sky is quite literally the limit for the Eagles QB entering the 2018/2019 season.

Mike Staley – Collegiate Staff

Super Bowl LII did not disappoint. An estimated 103.4 million people tuned in to NBC to watch the Philadelphia Eagles defeat the New England Patriots, 41-33.

The first quarter started quietly with the two teams trading field goals. Late in the first quarter, the Eagles scored the first of the eventual nine touchdowns that would be put on the board between the two teams. After a missed extra point, the Eagles went in to the second quarter with a 9-3 lead. Midway through the second quarter, it appeared the Eagles were going to run away with the game when LeGarrette Blount ran in for a 21-yard touchdown. The Eagles then went for two and failed, leaving the score at 15-3.

The Patriots didn’t back down from the challenge though and scored the game’s next 10 points. The play of the game came in the closing minute of the first half when the Eagles had a fourth and goal from the New England one yard-line.

Quarterback Nick Foles was in the shotgun and walked up to the right side of the line giving the appearance that he was calling an audible. As Foles stood behind the right tackle, the center snapped the ball to running back Corey Clement. Clement ran to the left and pitched the ball to tight end Trey Burton who was running the opposite direction. When Burton got the ball, he continued running to the right and threw a perfect spiral to Foles who was standing in the end zone all alone. It was a gutsy call by Eagles Head Coach Doug Pederson, but one that was crucial to the outcome of the game. Philly carried a lead of 22-12 into the locker room at halftime.

The Patriots came out in the third quarter firing and marched down the field scoring a touchdown with Tom Brady connecting to Rob Gronkowski. The Eagles and Patriots would each add one more touchdown in the third quarter.

Entering the fourth quarter, the Eagles held a three point lead of 29-26 over New England. After a field goal by the Eagles in the first minute of the fourth quarter, the Patriots went back to what was working for them with another Brady to Gronkowski touchdown connection. After a Stephen Gostkowski extra point, the Patriots held their first lead of the game 33-32. The Eagles went on a seven minute drive that was capped off by a Zach Ertz touchdown pass from Foles. The Patriots got the ball back down by five. Brady was in the pocket looking to connect with an open receiver when the hand of defensive end Brandon Graham swooped in to knock the ball free from Brady’s hands. The Eagles recovered it and had a chance to ice the game. After three running plays, the Eagles failed to get a first down and had to settle for a Jake Elliot field goal putting his team up by eight.

With under a minute left and no timeouts, the Patriots started the drive from their own nine yard line. After a few Brady completions and a successful fourth down conversion, the Patriots had time for one last play. From midfield, Brady took the snap, rolled to his right out of the pocket and launched a Hail Mary to the end zone. Gronkowski was the only Patriots receiver to have a chance at it but it was eventually knocked to the turf by multiple Eagles defenders. When the ball hit the ground, the clock had no time remaining and the Eagles stood victorious with the final score reading Philadelphia 41, New England 33.

Despite losing, Brady set a Super Bowl record with 505 passing yards in the game. This game also featured another record for the most combined yards in an NFL game. An astounding 1,151 yards of total offense combined was put forward by these two teams. Nick Foles, who was the team’s backup quarterback until an injury to Carson Wentz forced him to step into the starting role, ended up being voted the Super Bowl’s Most Valuable Player.

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