Story by Carlos Hernandez, Staff Writer
Photo courtesy of maggiejp
After nearly four months triumphant victories, heartbreaking losses, and stellar upsets, the College Football Playoff selection committee narrowed down a list of 25 college football teams into four teams to face off in a four team showdown: Alabama, Michigan State, Oklahoma, and Clemson. After Alabama and Clemson won their games with flying colors, it was finally time for the long awaited College Football National Championship between said teams.
On January 11, the Tigers of Clemson and the Crimson Tide of Alabama entered the University of Phoenix Stadium at a shot for the National Title. Though Alabama was projected to win, Clemson showed up and gave Alabama more trouble than they were expecting. How did it go?
First Quarter- After a couple of minutes of impressive defensive and offensive playing, Alabama scores the first touchdown of the game after Junior Derrick Henry (#2) breaks through an open window for 50 yards, giving the Tide early momentum. This celebration would be short lived, however, as Clemson answered that touchdown in their next possession when first-year Hunter Renfroe (#13) caught a 31-yard touchdown. Their second touchdown that quarter came the next time Clemson got the ball, when Renfroe received another pass, this time from the 11-yard line, as the 1st Quarter expired.
Second Quarter- Almost halfway through the quarter, Alabama scored their second touchdown after a successful interception mid-field, this score also provided by Henry who broke through the 1-yard line, tying the game up once more. This sequence of events were the only things of note the rest of the half, as both teams ended up punting at the end of their possessions, with the exception of one missed field goal from Clemson.
Third Quarter- After trailing or tying for the majority of the first half, Alabama finally regained their lead three minutes into the quarter when junior OJ Howard (#88) takes a 53-yard pass. Clemson answers that with a 37-yard field goal, courtesy of Freshman Greg Huegel (#92), but then pull off another touchdown their next possession when Sophomore Wayne Gallman (#9) runs the ball in for one yard.
Fourth Quarter- Things stay quiet for a while until #99 Adam Griffith of Alabama kicks a 33-yard field goal. It is here when the game surges with action when Alabama successfully makes an onside kick which leads to Howard to receive another pass from over half the distance of the field. This causes an endless stream of scoring on each drive. One field goal provided by Huegel again for 31 yards, while the rest of the plays were touchdowns (one by Kenyan Drake for Alabama (Senior- #17), one by Artavis Scott for CLemson (Sophomore- #3), one by Derrick, and one by Deshaun Watson for Clemson (Sophomore- #4.) As the game comes to a close, Clemson tries a last minute onside kick in hopes of winning, but miss it, leading to Alabama having the last possession of the game and taking a knee at 12 seconds to end the game with a score of 45-40.
This National Championship is Nick Saban’s fifth as the head coach and the third time in a row Alabama has appeared in the national game and won. This game was different, however. While the other two games were very easy wins for the Crimson Tide, Clemson fought the entire way, making for one of the most exciting Championship games in College Football history.
About the writer…
Carlos “Eddie” Hernandez is a fourth year student at Aquinas and has been writing for the newspaper for a year and a half. He is an Acting and Music Major and is also a member of AQPB. His hobbies include ponies and Pokèmon. Other hobbies include eating and sleeping.