Upsets send shock waves through Football Contest

Monday, November 5, 2001

Usually it's battles between college powerhouses which trip up players in the Democrat-News' Football Contest. Last week, it was some Friday night shockers.

The three games at the top of the ballot created headaches for nearly every participant. Warrensburg's 37-12 rout of Marshall, the 52-8 upset of No. 6 Sweet Springs by Tipton and Slater ending a six-game losing streak by toppling Windsor, 42-14, sent palpitations throughout the ranks -- with players posting a combined 34-98 record on those games.

Only six of the 44 ballots had two of those three games picked correctly -- including those of Terry Nichols and Patti Kendrick. But both missed one of the college games to drop out of contention. Despite being on the mark on all four college predictions, Merlin Aldredge and Gene Crim were bounced by two prep contests.

With that in mind, the entry of Verna Sue Gibson of Marshall was all the more amazing -- she being the only contestant to sweep the high school picks. However, Missouri's 38-24 loss to No. 24 Colorado kept her from winning outright. Nathan Reid of Sweet Springs recovered from the Greyhounds' loss by reeling through the college list, forcing a tiebreaker.

Both took a hit in the finals, Gibson on Green Bays' 21-20 thriller over Tampa Bay and Reid on San Diego's 25-20 loss to Kansas City. Reid had a respectable 22-point margin on the scores, but Gibson was even closer -- missing the totals by just four points on each game to win the $20 first-place prize.

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