There once was a tale of a dud team, whose luck had run out, it would seem. Those young ‘Cats, emboldened, heard stories that told them of memories faded away.
The Dark Ages had long since seemed over, but with a leader who kept that chip on his shoulder, his word they had no choice but to obey.
The Wildcats entered the Malört Bowl optimistic, trying for a goal that seemed quite realistic. To take down the Minutemen, effectively finish them, and never their hand overplay.
The morning weather was crisp and unkind, but the Chicago natives did not mind; they spoke of “bear weather,” teams still together and continuing to strive for a “hurray!”
To win a nonexistent green ashtray, pick up pieces of a season gone astray, and “do it for the seniors” so as not to dismay.
Northwestern got the ball first, and after three plays, they punted, fans fearing the worst. The Minutemen began near midfield, three points total their possession would yield.
Down but not distraught, Aidan Smith and the Wildcats took the ball, but after two passes were caught, he made the wrong call. A batted bubble screen, and an interception he did not mean — the Wildcat offense was a broken machine.
A Georgopoulos sighting proved quite exciting, but an unfriendly roll paid a heavy toll — poor field position left the ‘Cats in a hole. Wait! A 27-yard Riley Lees catch left the Minutemen overmatched! But then, his hand-fighting led to nil. A 50-50 ball intercepted, the Wildcats again climbing uphill.
At this point, the Malört was free and flowing, with Northwestern’s struggles ongoing. After a poor start, some fans even began to depart.
The Minutemen looked tough to beat, turning the game — as predicted — bittersweet.
A Gaziano blocked kick saved a team quite anemic. Chris Bergin’s touchdown opened the beatdown.
Another UMass three kept the score tight, but no one could see it as their last punch in the fight.
Finally! A drive toward the goal line, the Wildcats might be fine! On first and goal we got what we all did need,
And Evan Hull’s score (which soon became so much more), gave the Wildcats touchdown’s galore.
Randall showed us not how the West was won. Another 3 and out and the UMass offense was done.
Hull proved far from dull, totaling 90 yards on the ensuing possession, capped off with a 38 yard touchdown procession.
Even with a 3-0 lead undone, the first half of the Malört bowl could still hardly be considered fun. Three punts in a half, the first few drives for the ‘Cats looked like gaffes. No longer stuck in an offensive impasse,
i think this is what is supposed to happen when you play UMass— Inside NU (@insidenu) November 16, 2019
The Wildcats kicked off again in the third quarter, another Georgopoulos punt — this one shorter — still not giving the ‘Cats much space to hunt. More Hull runs looked benign, and a David punt was just fine.
After trying a reverse, UMass took a turn for the worse. On fourth down the Minutemen lined up in an odd way, and looking far from dapper
On the next play, illegal formation ruined some incredible diagonal work by the UMass long snapper pic.twitter.com/WyfpraiE9R— Colonel Hank Rutgers (@thejasonkirk) November 16, 2019
A muffed jet sweep fumble served to immediately humble Wildcat faithful, who remained far from grateful.
The next drive was halted by a Gallagher pick, undercutting his route just in the nick (of time). A Kuhbander field goal (a fitting addition to the Malört Bowl) after another stalled drive caused some eyes to roll.
Freshman Hull took the game by storm, looking every bit in form. A 46-yard score effectively shut the door, going for Hull’s third and entering Malört Bowl lore.
One more capped off Hull’s day, ending his Minutemen melee.
An accidental onsides kick gave spread bettors hope, but the final score ultimately lead them to mope.
One more Niro touchdown made Medill proud, as the walk-on got a rise out of the small, yet mighty crowd.
A brief Zac Krause stay made for some fun. At the end of the day, the Wildcats had already won!
Thus ends the legend of the Malört Bowl, a game that all shall continue to extol.
While the ‘Cats failed to backdoor, the game was far from a bore. We’ll leave you with this: