A Day in the Life: A Football Blowout Recalled

by Andrew Hoenig

On a cold, foggy October day in 2014, there was a feeling of excitement in the air in the town of Seymour, Connecticut.

Chris Bogardus playing on the offensive line for his high school football team the Seymour Wildcats (Photo: Hudl.com)

The town’s high school football team, the Seymour Wildcats, were about to attempt to take the powerhouse that was Ansonia High School. Ansonia was riding an impressive 44-game win streak at the time, recalls Christopher Bogardus, who was a senior offensive guard for the team at the time.

Despite this winning streak, Seymour had high hopes of defeating their rival Ansonia Chargers on the turf that day. “We had a lot of attention on this game,” said Bogardus.

“We had lost by one point the year before, my junior year. The final score was 21-20,” Bogardus said.

Bogardus, who had been a three-year starter for the Wildcats, remembers making t-shirts at his school for his family, coaches, and teammates that read “Eat, sleep, break the streak.”

“We were all so excited and pumped up for this game,” said Bogardus. After the previous year’s close loss and the fact that Seymour had extra rest this time around as the team came off their bye week, the town began to draw from the energy of the Wildcats players.

When kickoff finally came, fans had packed in droves for the highly anticipated and now widely publicized matchup. But it didn’t take long before the crowd’s energetic shouts fell as silent as a graveyard in the middle of the night.

“We couldn’t score at all,” recalled Bogardus. “The coaches had installed the same game plan as the year before to attack the Chargers offensively. It was a wild-cat formation that uses the running back to cause misdirection plays.”

At the time, the Wildcats had a freshman quarterback in to start the game. “He struggled. It was a big game with big pressure. He just couldn’t handle it. None of us did,” Bogardus said.

It became so embarrassing that emotions started running high on the Seymour sideline. “After Ansonia went up 35-0, I was just so frustrated and upset that I took a water bottle and slammed it as hard as I could,” said Bogardus.

“It actually broke open and splashed all over me,” laughed Bogardus.

The final score of the game was 43-8 with the Chargers taking a decisive victory of the Wildcats. Seymour’s lone touchdown came at the end of the first half.

“The next morning, no one on the team was in school,” Bogardus said. “Except for me.”

“We were all sad because we had gotten embarrassed,” said Bogardus. “But it definitely hurt more because of all of our excitement leading up to the game.”

When the team watched film Saturday that week, the coaches criticized them for their lack of effort in the game.

Bogardus in his sophomore year of college playing for the Franklin Pierce Ravens (Photo: Luke Tracy)

“Coach was upset but he also thought that maybe it was his fault,” Bogardus said. “He said he felt like he had lost his focus because he had bought into all the hype. But ultimately, it was our fault. As players, I think we thought we were just going to roll over them. That was not the case and it became a humbling experience.”

Christopher Bogardus is currently a senior at Franklin Pierce University and had the opportunity to play four more years of football with the school’s sprint football program.

 

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