Not the Typical Umatilla "Armadilla'"
October 25, 2014
It is not easy to get to Umatilla.
Located in remote Lake County, the drive takes you through vast areas of National Forest land, where pavement and pine trees are about all you have to break the monotony of the trip.
Oh yes..that and frequent road kill.
When you have miles and miles of highways that meander through miles and miles of deep woods, it quickly becomes evident that the creatures that dare to venture out of the shadows and onto the highway typically suffer a similar fate.
Remember the old "Punch Buggy" game you played as a kid when travelling in the back of the station wagon on those long family vacations? First one to see a VW had the pleasure of punching brother or sister in the arm. On the drive to Umatilla, if the kids could substitute road kill sightings for Volkswagens, no doubt they would look as if they had lost a heavyweight fight with Mike Tyson by the time they reached their destination.
Varmints of all descriptions can be accounted for in the carnage. But for some reason no animal has a more difficult time crossing the road in Central Florida than the armadillo. For every squashed racoon or possum per square mile you will see 3 or 4 shattered shells from 'Dillos who quickly discovered that the armor God provided was no match for a speeding F-150.
It was assumed that the Bradford High Tornadoes were destined to assume the role of the Armadillo Friday night as they travelled to Umatilla to challenge the mighty Bulldogs. Umatilla was averging over 40 points per contest and had yet to taste defeat in District play. The "U" was in the driver's seat for a District Crown and a 1-6 Bradford team was the last remaining bump in the road to overcome.
Shockingly, when the 4th quarter began on this chilly evening, the armadillo had dodged every tire and actually held a 17-14 lead over the monster truck sent out to crush it.
Alas, a 4th quarter provided the Bulldogs with a fresh set of mud grips, and the brave armadillo could no longer avoid the inevitable. While the 28-17 victory provided Umatilla a district crown, Bradford gained a ton of respect for the way they spit in the grill of the huge 4-wheel drive that tried to overrun them.
Sometimes roadkill is roadkill. But sometimes the journey over rugged pavement can provide the armadillo with a punch in the arm and hope that there is indeed a path that will allow it to cross the road.