It has been a tough week to think about the X's and O's of football, never mind W's.
Karns City player Mason Martin's injury is a sobering reminder that there is a brutal and violent side of football. Mason still has not awoken and prayer requests continue to flood social media.
What happened to Mason was made even more harrowing this past Friday night as the Oil City football team remained on the field playing a non-region game against North East while their teammate Hayden Wilson was in a medical helicopter lifting off from the neighboring baseball field on his way to Pittsburgh's Children's hospital.
The game continued though everyone on the team's heart was focussed on Hayden.
Up the road in Titusville, the Rockets' game was over and during the coach interview and clearing of the field, Andrew McQuown went to his knees and then face planted on the turf in obvious discomfort.
A team of coaches and medical folks surrounded him.
Fortunately for Hayden and Andrew their prognosis isn't as dire as Mason's. But to those watching these unfold, nerves are tattered.
That said, there was a football game in Titusville with the X's and O's. Below is a version of the story that appeared on the Titusville News Journal website Saturday morning.
They also knew they had to stop Fort LeBoeuf from piling on any more points if they wanted to come back to win. They were able to accomplish the latter. Titusville's defense held the Bison from scoring, but they couldn't stop them from getting first downs and eating up the clock.
Titusville had to kick off to LeBoeuf to start the second half.
They got a stop and aided by a muffed snap on a field goal attempt they got out of the drive unscathed. But they Bison ate up more than eight minutes.
The Rockets' were not in a hurry. Down two scored plus needing a two-point conversion they hoped to mount a drive similar to their first possession of the game.
After two plays it wasn't looking good. Two runs resulted in a loss of yardage from the original line of scrimmage.
A fan yelled from the crowd something about the running game not working.
The play had already been called to have Ian McDonald, the Rocket QB set back to pass. When the pocket crumbled he put the ball under his arm and began juking and jiving until he found a little daylight.
His scamper garnered enough turf to move the chains. A personal foul at the end of the play added a bonus 15-yards. They seemed to be in business as the third quarter winded down.
Unfortunately the momentum was short-lived when the offense imploded. Two penalties in a row set them back and now the drive resembled Sisyphus getting close to the peak only to have the it all roll backwards.
The Bison took over and just ate up clock again driving the ball down into the red zone. An attempt to drive a final nail in the coffin was thwarted when McDonald went airborne to pull down an interception and fell into the end-zone.
A play later, the Bison D clamped down for a stop. Titusville was given enough forward momentum so what appeared to be a safety was spotted at the "width of the football" line.
The Bison, like before, controlled the ball and left the Rockets with not enough time to mount any comeback.
The first half was where all the scoring action was. Titusville marched down the field methodically on the first drive to score. Then, on defense, the Rockets had a couple key penalties and turnovers that stymied drives.
Jaxon Covell, who had over 400 total yards last week, was held to under 100 this week by the tough Bison defense. Kameron Mong only had just over 100 yards total. And McDonald was also kept in check.
The strategy the Rockets employed in their first game of the season win over Franklin was used on them Friday by LeBoeuf.
Keep the other offense off the field.
The final was LeBoeuf 22 and Titusville 7.
The Rockets drop to 1-2 but they are competing each week.
“We challenged them last week to improve after giving up 71 points (against Hickory). We had to make some corrections,” Reynolds said. “(And they did) a phenomenal job. It got really difficult for Fort LeBoeuf to score. We saw sacks, pressure on the quarterback - things we just haven’t been able to do before.
"I very much appreciate the kids' effort and their ability to play till the end of the game.”
The road doesn’t get any easier for Titusville. They will host the potent Meadville team Thursday. The Bulldogs downed Fairview 55-17 Friday.