You are assigned to cover an upcoming football game between Lee County High School and rival Riverbend High School, home of the Cougars. It is the biggest game of the season. The article will be published the day the game will be played, so it’s necessary for readers to understand the background behind the rivalry. This is an advance story and must be at least 400 words. Create an engaging and interesting lead, and use the facts and quotes to compose your story. You may not change direct quotes, but you may paraphrase them.
1. Your school and Riverbend have met 10 times in the last 10 years. The two teams currently are tied at five games apiece in the series.
2. Last year your school lost a heartbreaker in the final 90 seconds of the game. The score was tied 14-14, and your school had the ball. Your school drove to Riverbend’s 14-yard line but couldn’t get into the end zone. A field goal attempt went wide, and the Cougars took over possession on their own 14-yard line. They drove 70 yards downfield on three plays. They kicked a field goal in the final play of the game (five seconds remained when the play began) to win the match 17-14. After the game, words were exchanged between players from both teams, and a fight broke out near the Riverbend bench. Referees suspended five Riverbend players and seven players from your school for the next two games.
3. Your school (record: 6-2) needs the win over Riverbend (record: 5-2) to take the top slot in the Battlefield District.
4. Riverbend is favored by 6 points in tonight’s match-up.
5. Your school lost a lot of key starters to graduation last year, so the team is relatively young. But your school has been doing well with their young roster. The fullback, Tom Young, weighs 225 pounds and is known for his power. He averages 3.8 yards a carry and has rushed for 657 yards and seven touchdowns in the last eight games. On defense, outside linebacker Ron Kelsey has pulled down eight interceptions, returning two for touchdowns. Inside linebacker Neil Burton, weighing 205 pounds, has been credited with 18 sacks.
6. Riverbend has an All-District halfback, Quentin Macmillan, and a very successful quarterback, Stephen Elkins. Macmillan has rushed for 852 yards in the last seven games, averaging 4.3 yards a carry, and has scored 12 touchdowns. Elkins has thrown 17 completions in 28 attempts. Five completions were for touchdowns. He has been intercepted twice.
Quotes from sources
“It’s payback time. We had last year’s game wrapped up. Now we need to prove we can do it.” Tom Young, senior LCHS
“I’m looking forward to the game. Even though Riverbend’s favored, I think we can pull it out.” Ron Kelsey, junior LCHS
“I want to crush, crush, crush Elkins. If he walks off the field at the end of the game, I didn’t do my job.” Neil Burton, junior LCHS
“Riverbend has a great program, but so do we. Last year’s game was marred by the scuffle at the end, and I know my players were angry and upset. It’s time to redeem ourselves.” Ron Serbay, coach for your school’s team
“I think it’s going to be a great game. And I think we’re going to show who the best team in the district is this year.” Stephen Elkins, senior, Riverbend
“Our rival’s players should be better losers this year than last. I’d hate to see more players suspended because they can’t take a whipping.” Glen Lanford, Riverbend coach