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NRCA Homecoming: Friday Night Celebrations

By: Izzie McLawhorn, Shield Editor 

October 2023  

Closing out Spirit Week, NRCA’s football team performed as the week’s grand finale. With packed stands and a full student section eager for kickoff, NRCA’s homecoming game was one for the books. Taking on Grace Christian, the Knights defeated the visiting team with a score of 49-7. Just as the team had hoped, every play and pass, carefully executed, led to score after score, cheers erupting from the stands, a sea of navy, gold, and white. 


Moments before kickoff, the NRCA Marching Knights performed for the Knights Stadium crowd. The band perfectly executed their pregame performance. As the clock hit 7:00, both teams entered the playing field, and feelings of anticipation surrounded the stadium complex. The national anthem, played by the marching band, was succeeded with a word of prayer before a quick start to the first quarter of the game. With six minutes left on the clock, NRCA scored a first down by a 21-yard pass by Joshua Brown to Stone McDonald for a touchdown. The first quarter ended with the score at a steady 7-0.  


The second quarter started strong with a passing touchdown by Brown, who completed a 36-yard pass to Soren Grandy-Richardson for the second touchdown of the game. With the score now 14-0, the Knights stayed on top. Senior Michael Messiah scored a touchdown for NRCA, assisted by Brown’s 49-yard pass, followed by a 14-yard rushing touchdown, bumping the score to 27-0. The second quarter ended moments after Jaden Brinkley intercepted the ball from Grace on their 20-yard line, Brown passing off to Grandy-Richardson for a touchdown immediately after. The Knights ended the second quarter 36-0. 


An intense first half of the game led to the Knights dominating the Eagles with touchdowns, interceptions, long runs, and punts. Getting the crowd fired up, the varsity and junior varsity cheer teams stunted and tumbled through the first two quarters and into the much-anticipated halftime. Accompanied by their fathers, the homecoming court representatives lined the football field as their family and friends watched closely, standing at the fence. Lawson Bowman, junior homecoming representative, said, “It was very cool to see all my friends who came to support me and other people who came to support their friends and family, how proud they were.” This NRCA tradition is highlighted by fans cheering and taking pictures of their daughters and friends. 


High School Principal Bruce Dial introduced each homecoming court nominee, voted in by the high school student body. Arm in arm with their fathers, the courts' introductions began with freshmen Josie Dickhart and Elena Huang. Following closely behind, sophomores Emily Gomez and Brook Watkins entered the field. Juniors Lawson Bowman and Anna Cate Badin joined the court on the field. As excitement filled the air, the six homecoming seniors were announced: Amy Mason, Ava Hodges, Brighton Evans, Joey Cliffe, Lillie Wright, and Lily Green. The 2022 homecoming queen, Chelsea Mathelier, handed the crown off to the 2023 homecoming queen, Lillie Wright. “It was really cool to see the queen get nominated because she just looked so happy, and it was just the best time,” said Bowman. As Wright was announced as the queen, streamers and confetti shot through the air in celebration.  


With just two quarters left in the game, NRCA’s best players returned to the football field and proceeded to knock down Grace Christian, starting with a 2-yard touchdown by NRCA’s Davin McCoy, the score now resting at 43-0. As the cheerleaders encouraged players and fans, the student section was cheering for none other than the blue, gold, and white. Closing the third quarter off, Ethan Curry scored a 7-yard rushing touchdown, bringing the score to 49-0. NRCA pushed through the fourth quarter, with the team giving it their all. In the final moments of the game, the Eagles scored one rushing touchdown against the Knights.  


NRCA’s annual homecoming game had many intense plays and passes, yet the Knights gained victory once again, the final score totaling 49-7. Fans cheered as the final seconds counted down, and finishing strong, NRCA’s varsity football team played to win. Homecoming game night ended in cheers and some tears as the players, cheerleaders, band, and homecoming queen headed out the double gates and home.  


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