Drake walked in the house Sunday night and dropped his car keys on the table. ” That you Drake?” ” Yeah, it’s me,” Drake said. ” Get in here; I want to show you something.” Drake walked into the living room to see Katrina holding a book sitting on the couch ” what’s up?” Katrina grinned ” Sierra! Come here, girl!” The German Shepard ran into the living room and nuzzled Katrina who smirked at Drake and started reading her book, ignoring Sierra. The dog started whining as she paced in front of Katrina. She jumped up on the couch next to her and started barking and nudged Katrina with her head, wanting Katrina’s attention. Katrina just laughed as she read her book, not even looking at the German Shepard. Sierra glared at the book that was stealing all of her owner’s attention and lunged at it. She snatched the book out of Katrina’s hands, jumped off the couch and ran off with it.
Drake clutched his sides as he laughed. He joined Katrina on the couch ” you’re so mean” he said. Sierra came running back a moment later without the book and glared at Drake. Drake smirked and wrapped an arm around Katrina ” this is my Katrina! You can’t have her! Mwhahahaha!” he said as he started tickling Katrina. As Katrina laughed and thrashed, Sierra barked at Drake before jumping on his lap. “Oof!” Drake said as Sierra frantically licked Katrina’s face while whining.
Meanwhile, Fly and Tundra came walking in and glared at Sierra when they saw she was hogging their humans. They started barking at Sierra who barked back. Drake and Katrina laughed as they watched the dogs argue, Sierra jumping off Drake’s lap to get in her brother’s faces still barking.
Katrina replaced Sierra on Drake’s lap and laughed even harder as the female dog turned back to face them looking confused ” you’re too young to understand” she told the German Shepard. The dog flopped on her stomach and grunted as Fly and Tundra started playing with their dog toys. Drake let Katrina talk him into watching a few horror movies before they both went to bed. Drake was looking up at the ceiling with Katrina resting her head on his chest ” you awake?” she mumbled. ” Yeah, I’m just restless for some reason,” he said. Katrina kissed his cheek, ” good because there’s something I want to talk to you about.” Drake smiled at her, ” and what is that?” Katrina waited for a few moments before speaking, ” I... I want a baby.” Drake opened his mouth but was too shocked to speak for a moment” . . . Wow” was all he could muster up. Katrina lifted her head ” I know it’s a lot to process, but I’ve really been thinking about it lately. But if we’re going to raise a family, we had better find a new house in a safer neighborhood.” Drake nodded as he pulled Katrina closer to him, ” that’s true. I know you’ve been uncomfortable in this neighborhood. Thank God no one has tried to hurt you. Now as far as the baby situation is concerned, I'm not saying no to this. I would like to have a baby with you, but I’d like it if we waited until after football. And after we’ve picked out a new house.” ” Yeah, good idea,” Katrina said, smiling “Thanks, Drake.” ” No problem. Anything to see that pretty smile.”
Drake and Katrina stood in a Mediterranean style home with a realtor named Sarah Burr, who was showing them around. Katrina had fallen in love with the house as soon as she stepped foot in it and had been gushing about every feature from the fireplace to the pool in the backyard. Drake had been determined to be indifferent but had to admit he was enjoying the place more and more and seeing Katrina’s excited reaction throughout the tour made Drake all the more reluctant to speak out against the home. Sarah finished the tour and looked at the young couple ” so what do you think of the place? The people here are nice too.” Katrina was smiling widely ” I love it! What do you think Drake?” Drake looked around ” I dunno; you may have to convince me,” he said with a wink to Katrina. She smirked and pulled on Drake’s arm ” we’ll be right back” she told Sarah pulling Drake away.
When they were outside, Katrina turned to Drake pouting ” pllleeeeaaasssseeeee!” Drake looked at the sky arms folded ” I dunno,” he said in a teasing tone. Katrina leaned into him and buried her face in his neck ” I’ll be good I promise!” she said, making her voice sound like a little girl’s voice. Drake continued to pretending to think, ” but you’re never good though.” ” I will be this time! I want this house! I want it! I want it, I want it, I want it! And if I don’t get what I want, then you’re not invited to my birthday party so there!"
Drake pretended to get stern ” Now Katrina if you beg I might not say yes,” he said with a wink. ” But I’ll do anything you want!” Drake’s eyebrow raised at this ” anything?” Katrina pulled herself away from Drake with a mischievous smile and jump into his arms, arms and legs around him ” don’t make this more complicated than it has to be” she warned ” I can be very persuasive” she whispered, putting her mouth near his left ear. Drake sighed, ” fine; we can get it. I can’t say no to you.” Katrina untangled herself from Drake and jumped up and down clapping ” yay! Thank you, Drake!” ” Yeah yeah,” Drake said, pretending to be indifferent.
Drake was with Katrina as he watched the movers load the last of their stuff in the moving van. The dogs were milling around worriedly as Katrina smiled on the doorstep ” you had better be getting to the school stud” she told Drake who was flinging balls at the tire swing in the yard. Drake sighed and walked up to her, kissing her forehead ” I’ll see you Saturday,” he told her. Katrina smiled and pulled him closer ” you guys had better win Friday night. Otherwise, I’m going to make you do all the unpacking when you get back.” Drake smiled and kissed her goodbye ” we’ll win, don’t worry,” he said before looking at the three dogs ” be good for mommy while I’m gone,” he told them petting them. The three dogs licked him fiercely and watched with Katrina as Drake drove off just as the sun was rising.
When he got to the school, he was greeted by King, ” hey man, what’s this I hear about you and my sis moving?” ” We just feel like if we’re going to be together for a while, we better find a more stable home,” Drake answered. King smiled, ” why don’t you just lock her down already? Me and the rest of the guys already have a pool going.” Drake stopped and stared at him ” why am I not surprised?!” ” Don’t act surprised. We’ve seen how you two act towards each other. Of course, I already knew you two would end up sealing the deal.” Drake rolled his eyes but smiled as he and King walked towards the bus that the rest of the team was boarding. Coach Miller was standing by the door and gave his star offensive players a nod ” you boys sleep well?” ” Yes, sir,” they both said. ” Good, try to get some more on the way. We’re gonna be on the road for a while.”
The Panthers arrived in Blue Field, home of the Cowboys around two in the afternoon. The Panthers got off the bus and checked into the hotel they were staying at for the evening. Drake was rooming with King, and as soon as he could, he called Katrina and talked with her for forty-five minutes. Once she hung up, King shot him a mocking look and made a whip sound with his mouth ” my sis really has you on a short leash bro. You are whipped!” ” At least I’ve got a lady!” Drake said smugly. King chuckled ” you should check Facebook more often bro. The King has a new queen as of last night.” ” Oh really? When am I going to get to meet her?” ” Soon. She’s coming up to watch us play.” Drake paused, wondering if he should say what was on his mind. ” She’s not like Clair.” Drake jumped, ” sorry, I didn’t mean-” ” It’s fine Drake. I’ve been over her for a while.” Drake sighed with relief, ” you got a picture of her that I can see?” King nodded and got out his phone and scrolled through his photos until he came across a picture of a short blonde woman with black highlights and green eyes.
Drake nodded in approval, ” not bad, but I prefer your sister,” he said. King smirked ” yeah, I know. Anyway, we better get ready for pregame and get to the lobby.” After pregame and the team dinner, Drake was on the balcony looking at the night sky. He was joined by King shortly after ” you ready for tomorrow night?” Drake nodded, ” I am. After watching the game film, I feel like I can handle these guys. Think you can handle that defense?” ” Oh please. All bow before the King on the field” King boasted before checking his phone. He smirked and looked at Drake” well, we better get some shut-eye buddy.” Drake nodded and stood up ” I am pretty tired,” he said following his friend. The two went to bed after bed check, and Drake shut his eyes in a matter of minutes. However, when he woke up in the morning, he found himself in a different room. What in the world?!” ” About time you woke up stud” came a familiar voice.
Drake jumped, ” what are you doing here?!” he asked bewildered when he saw Katrina sitting on the edge of the bed. Katrina giggled as she laid on top of Drake, ” I got lonely, so I packed some clothes, got the dogs, and was able to get a room.” Drake looked around to see the dogs asleep in their beds, ” but how did I get here?” Katrina smiled and kissed his cheek ” King let me in your room last night, and together we brought you in my room. Where no one can hear you scream,” she added with a mischievous smile. Drake smiled and wrapped his arms around Katrina ” your little plan has just backfired. For now, I have you all to myself!” Katrina let out a playful squeal ” oh no! Someone help! The big bad Drake won’t let me go!” Drake smirked as he rolled on top of Katrina ” I’d love to fool around with you beautiful, but I’ve got to get ready for today,” he said kissing her forehead before getting up. He went to the bathroom and turned the water on to take a shower. Once the water was hot, he got in the shower. A few moments later, he heard someone enter the bathroom. He smiled as he was joined in the shower and felt arms wrap around him, ” where you go I go,” Katrina said.
Later that day Drake was in his away uniform reading his playbook when King joined him,” so how was last night?” he asked with a smirk. Drake playfully pushed him away ” I am thankful for the surprise, but nothing exciting happened.” ” Well that’s disappointing,” King said. Drake shrugged, ” take it out on these guys.” Coach Miller walked in the locker room and called his players over ” alright boys listen up. This is the first time our teams have played each other. I want you boys to get it done tonight. Understood?” “Yes, sir!” ” You’re defending Easthaven Correctional’s honor tonight. Fight well. Lead us out King.” King smirked, ” alright boys everybody up!” A roar followed as the rest of the team ” this is our game, our time! We own these fools! We’re the champs! No one can stand up to us! Tonight, they will bow before their superiors! Let’s take it to ’em!”
Drake felt the familiar butterflies he felt before a game. He ran out on the field with the rest of his team. Friday night never ceased to send a jolt of electricity through the Irishman’s veins. He loved the feeling of tension in the air before a game as he stood on the field before two screaming crowds. After his team warmed up, the captains were called to the field. Drake walked to the referee and stared and the red and gold Cowboys that stared across from him. One player number seven who looked to only be 5 foot 7 was staring a hole right through him. Drake stared back and let King handle the coin toss. The captains shook hands and went back to their sidelines. King looked back towards the Cowboys ” number seven has a crush on you.” Drake looked back to see the opposing player staring at him still, ” I wonder what his deal is.” ” That’s Craig Hartman. He’s known as the Blue Field Demon due to his speed and unpredictable nature ” Coach Miller remarked before looking at Drake ” you could call this a dream matchup in a way. As I said before, this is the first time our two teams have ever played. Craig has led his team to three straight Division Championships. And you made quite the splash last year. No doubt more than one person has wondered who would win if you two faced off.” He looked at King ” same as the one playing Fullback. Tye Nash. Meanest back in the state, perhaps the country. Together they appear to be unstoppable. Not to mention their defense is always ranked in the nation’s top five. So you two better bring it home.” ” We got this” King said before running out to the field with the rest of Kick Return.
" Good evening, ladies and gentlemen! We are live from Blue Field Texas where we’ve got a potential barnstormer for you here tonight. The reigning defending Texas AAA State Champions the Easthaven Correctional Panthers are taking on the Blue Field Cowboys who set to kick off. The whistle has been blown; let’s get this one started!” The announcer said. ” King takes the kick and brings it to the left. He reaches the twenty-seven before he is brought down and that’s where the Panthers are going to set up shop.” Drake trotted on the field with his offense, and they got to the line. ” Down! Set!” ” Drake takes the snap and hands it off to King who’s going to bring it up seven yards before being brought down to make it 2nd and three.” The Panthers got in the huddle, and King chuckled ” Looks like the so-called demon ain’t got the guts to play D.” Drake looked over to the sideline and saw King was right. Number seven was standing right beside his coach and staring right at Drake. Drake watched as the Cowboys head coach leaned over and said something in #7′s ear. ” Screw him,” Drake said his focus returning to the huddle ” Let’s go Power Right Laser on one. Power Right Laser on one. Ready?” ” Break!” The Panthers lined up in Wildcat Formation ” Down! White 35! White 35! Set Go!” ” Dake takes the snap and flings it right at James Ferguson who makes it to forty, the forty-five and will be brought down in enemy territory. It looks like the Cowboys Cweren’t prepared for that one!”
Drake joined his teammates back in the huddle ” Halfback Option on one. Ready?” ” Break!” The Panthers lined up in the I-Formation “Down Set!” ” “Drake takes the snap and hands the ball off to King who heads up the middle, eludes one tackle and another and is going to be brought down at the thirty-five.” Drake smiled when the Panthers got back in their huddle “lets out this drive to bed boys. Let’s try something new. Coast to Coast Go on three. Ready?” ” Break!” The Panthers lined up in the I- Formation with Samson on his left and King on the right. ” Down! Red 55! Red 55! Set Go Go Go!” ” Drake takes the snap and pitches it Samson who heads to the right and hands it off to King. Oh wait, King drops back to pass! He releases the ball and Drake is wide open right in the endzone! Drake jumps and comes down with it! Touchdown Panthers!” The away crowd cheered as the home crowd booed. The extra point was good, and the score became Easthaven Correctional 7 Blue Field 0.
The Panther kickoff team came on to the field, and once the whistle blew, they kicked off to the Blue Field Cowboys. ” Yankee Hernandez fields the kick-off at the thirty-two, and he’s going to make it to the forty-five before bringing brought down.” Drake watched as Craig ran on the field and was baffled by how small he was. He looked like he was still in middle school. He watched as the red and gold Cowboys line up against the white and black Panthers. Drake watched as the ball was snapped and Craig dropped back to pass. He watched as the Panther defensive line rush towards the small Quarterback. He fully expected his fierce defensive line to swallow him up. Instead, Craig nimbly dodged each Defensive linemen and took off. Drake watched in disbelief as he watched him weave in and out of defenders as if they were standing still before sliding down at the Panther thirty-five. The hometown crowd roared and cheered while the visiting Panthers looked on in shock. Drake now knew that not to underestimate the small Quarterback. His fists clenched as he watched the Cowboys offense come back to the line. The ball was snapped and was handed off to the big Fullback who ran through the Panther defense with ease, reaching the endzone for the first touchdown for the Cowboys and kicked a successful extra point to make the school 7-7.
The Panthers got the ball back at their own ten-yard line but couldn’t do anything with it forcing them to punt it away. The fearsome combo of Craig and Tye was too much for the Easthaven Correctional Defense as they put up another touchdown with 4:25 left in the half to make it 14-7. The Panthers got the ball off the kick-off and aside from a few impressive runs from King they were unable to do anything with the ball besides put up a field goal to make it 14-10 at halftime. In the locker room Coach, Miller encouraged his players to keep up the competitive play saying that sooner or later the Cowboys would fold. The Panthers tried their best to get fired up for the next half of the game game but found themselves still struggling against the merciless Cowboys with their iron wall-like defense having shut down the Panther offense and Craig throwing a sixty-yard touchdown in the middle of the third quarter and with a successful PAT the score was 21-10 at the start of the fourth quarter.
Tyler Corbin found himself having the same problem as Drake had, unable to get anything going as time was running down. With only four minutes left Coach Miller sent Drake back in the game, the Panther’s being at their own fifteen. ” QB Cross Screen on two,” Drake said. ” Are you out of your damn mind?!” An Offensive Linemen asked. ” They pick that play up, and it’s over.” ” Trust me, I know what I’m doing,” Drake said. ” One thing, we’re going in the Shotgun Formation.” ” No seriously, what are you doing?!” Andrew demanded. ” It’ll be a miracle if you even get out of the endzone!” ” Hey, let the man do his thing,” King said. ” Trust me,” Drake said. The rest of his team looked at each other and nodded. They had been in plenty of bad spots last season, and Drake had gotten them out of them before, why not trust him. ” Alright man, we trust you,” Andrew said. ” Good. Remember, on two. Ready?” ” Break!” The two crowds were going crazy as the Panthers lined up in the Shotgun Formation. ” Down! Green 18! Red 45! Set GoGo!”
" The ball is snapped, but instead to Drake, it’s to King. King looks for an open man, he’s under pressure, he throws just as he gets nailed and Drake comes up with it! He’s at the goal line and makes it to the ten, the fifteen, sheds a tackle as he makes it to the twenty, he’s hit hard at the twenty-three but manages to stay on his feet and sheds another tackle. He’s at the thirty, and it looks like he is home free!” Drake had tuned out all the noise from the crowds and just stayed focused on not letting himself be tackled. ” Drake crosses midfield with no one near him; he’s going to go all the way! Drake crosses the thirty, the twenty-five, the twenty. the fifteen, the ten, the five and this is going to be an Easthaven Touchdown!” The visiting Panthers fans came alive while the Cowboys were currently trying to come to terms with what had just happened. With the successful PAT, the score became 21-17 with only three minutes left in the game. The Panthers attempted an onside kick, but it was recovered by Blue Field, just as Easthaven Correctional had predicted.
Now it was time for King to shine as he was done getting kicked around by Tye Nash. He successfully tackled Tye behind the line of scrimmage three straight times, bringing up 4th and twenty-five at their own fifteen. Blue Field attempted to punt, but Drake and King blocked it managed to recover the ball. As the Panthers fans roared at this sudden comeback, Drake took a moment to look at the Blue Field defense and liked what he saw. Heads hanging down, hands on knees, signs that the team was running out of gas. Drake smirked; all game he had been forced to bide his time, wait for the Cowboys to get lazy and complacent. He had studied the film; he knew that Blue Field tended to stop playing once they thought victory was a sure thing. Usually, this was forgivable as by this time, their opponents were tired of getting beat up. But Drake’s Panthers weren’t about to give up. Drake looked around the huddle, ” we got em. Andrew, this is all, you man. Run a Slant. Everyone else, line up to the left and draw them out. We’re going on set. Ready?” ” Break!”
The Panthers lined up in the Singleback Formation. The Blue Field defense lined up against the envigorated Panthers, tired. They were not used to a team fighting them to the very end, and their overall morale was dropping fast. “Down Set!” ” Drake takes the snap, drops back to pass, he throws it to Andrew Long who catches it at the Cowboy ten, he sheds a tackle and breaks through another one, reaches the five and is going to pound it in for another Easthaven Touchdown! With just over a minute left, the Panthers have completed a fantastic comeback!” After the PAT the score was 24-21 Easthaven Correctional. The Cowboys fielded the kickoff but were unable to do anything as time ran out. The two teams bade each other good game and headed off to the locker room. The Panthers were celebrating like crazy and after showering hung around their fans for a few minutes. As Drake was getting his picture taken with a few kids, King called him over.
When Drake headed over, he saw King talking to a man wearing a Texas Tech polo who introduced himself as Charles. ” Great game, Drake. Got to say, that was a very inspiring comeback you led your boys on” he said as they shook hands. ” Thank you, glad you came out and enjoyed the game,” Drake said. ” I did. So much so that I would like to invite you and King here to come down to Texas Tech for a visit as we are very interested in having you two come play with us after High School.”