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Playing for More Than a Title

It was nearing the end of the football season, senior year. The Westwood Wildcats and the Terrell Academy Eagles were facing off one of the biggest rivalry games of the season. Both teams were undefeated and were fighting for a chance to play in the state championship.

Our team was exhausted, mentally and physically. Both teams were tough and hammered each other back and forth into a triple overtime. I remember thinking, “How are we going to finish this game?”

We battled and ended up making a defensive stand and got the ball back in our possession. We entered into the sudden death portion of the game, where we had exhausted all of our overtimes. It had now come down to the final field goal. Whichever kicker from either team could make that field goal first would win the regional championship title. 

Our kicker, Daniel Morrell a current young farmer board member for the Mitchell County Farm Bureau, made it happen. With that golden kick he secured our team’s ticket into the winners’ bracket of the state playoffs.

It was one of those fairytale games, you only read about in the newspaper or see in the movies. We knew that there was a higher power involved with that win, you could feel the presence. Let me explain. 

Earlier that same day Daniel’s father, Danny Morrell a local farmer and one of our team’s biggest supporters, was involved in a farming accident and passed away. As a team, we were really down emotionally because we all felt as if we had lost a member of our family. Daniel chose to play in the game that night, because he knew his dad wouldn’t want it any other way. 

We knew Daniel’s dad was with us that night, as he always was. He was there again, later in the year when we went head-to-head a second time with the same team for the state championship. We ended up winning the state championship that year by three touchdowns. 

I’ll never forget that game, that team or that season. It easily goes down in my book as the best memory from my time on the field. 


Content provided by Russ Godwin, Agency Manager for the Houston County Farm Bureau