Grown men with tears streaming down their cheeks, and a head coach uttering the words “Gracious in defeat, humble in victory”, were among the images that etched themselves into the minds of almost 600 fans present at the Copenhagen Towers’ semi-final defeat to the Søllerød Gold Diggers at Gentofte Stadium on Sunday.
Having led by two touchdowns on two occasions, the Towers allowed the Gold Diggers to tie the score at 35-35 with just 37 seconds left on the clock. The Towers were then unable to score before time ran out and the game went into
When the Gold Diggers committed a defensive-pass-interference penalty on the first play of overtime, the Towers were awarded four new downs. With only very little ground to cover before breaking the goal line, the game appeared in hand. However, on the second down, quarterback JR Artozqui’s pass was intercepted by Gold Diggers defensive back Mikkel Lindsø, who returned 100 yards for a Gold Diggers score.
Lindsø might as well hang up his cleats now, because he’s unlikely to ever make as significant a play again. Having kept the Towers from scoring on their first drive of overtime, he also ensured that the Gold Diggers scored on their first possession of overtime. Thus the game ended with a 41-35 victory for the Gold Diggers and a ticket to the Mermaid Bowl in Vejle against the Razorbacks on October 6.
The game was a rubber band affair, with the Towers pulling away only to see the Gold Diggers catch up. Again and again and again. The Towers scored on the opening drive of the game, but the Gold Diggers tied the game at 7-7 in the first quarter. At the break, the Towers were leading 21-7, but in the third quarter, the Gold Diggers tied the game again at 21-21. Still in the third quarter, the Towers scored twice to make the score 35-21. But a score at the end of the third, and another at the end of the fourth quarter, made sure the Gold Diggers stayed true to the trend of the game and tied the Towers once again.
Then came overtime and the devastating loss – the Copenhagen Towers’ first of the season.
“As a coach I’m able to find satisfaction in our ten wins, but as a private person, I’m terribly disappointed right now!” head coach Peter Herbild said following the game. Looking to the future, he note that the Towers are a very young and eager squad and will be ready and even better when the 2013 season begins.
And if the 600 loud, loyal and ecstatic fans at the semi-final are any indication, the Towers will once again be playing in the best atmosphere in the Danish American Football League. Knowledgeable fans, who knew when to make noise and when to be quiet, made a big difference for the Towers this season.
Sadly, in the end, it wasn’t quite enough.