While a good part of the Maclay community has gone to the first several games of Maclay School football, many of them also traveled to Doak Campbell stadium on Sep. 5 to cheer on the Florida State University (FSU) Seminoles for their first game of the season. In this season opener, the Seminoles faced off against the number nine ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish in Tallahassee.

Now that there are new more lenient state rules regarding COVID-19, the Doak Campbell stadium was almost fully packed with Notre Dame and Florida State fans eager to watch their teams in person again.

“The atmosphere was probably the best part,” senior Jeb Beshears said.

Although the Seminoles lost the matchup 41 to 38, Mackenzie Milton, FSU’s backup quarterback, was the real story of the game. Milton is a transfer from the University of Central Florida (UCF) who almost lost his life from an injury while playing. In his first return from a two year recovery, he subbed into the game in the fourth quarter and sparked a near comeback for Florida State.

“It was incredible, and the first time I had been to a college game since the start of COVID, and I completely forgot how electric Doak Campbell got,” junior Slater Bayliss said. “When Mackenzie Milton led the scoring drive it felt like the whole stadium was going to collapse.”

The game was close all the way through the first half, as Notre Dame only held a three point lead against FSU as the two teams retreated to the locker rooms at half. After halftime, however, the Fighting Irish outscored the Seminoles by 15 points throughout the third quarter.

With an 18 point lead into the fourth quarter, FSU fans were ready to leave the stands, but the Seminoles flipped a switch. In the fourth quarter, Florida State’s offense took over and outscored 

Notre Dame 18 to 0, forcing the matchup into overtime.

Florida State received the ball first in overtime, and were forced to kick a field goal. After FSU’s kicker Ryan Fitzgerald initially made a practice field goal at a farther distance, he missed the real field goal and the Seminoles gained no points. When Notre Dame retained possession, they also were forced to kick a field goal, and that one went in to win the game for the Fighting Irish.

“I was impressed with [FSU’s] determination and never-give-up attitude; they played with heart and passion,” faculty member Katy Gimbel said. “I look forward to the rest of the season, and I think they will finish the year with more wins than previous years and with a win vs. UF!”

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