The Escobar Chronicles: Game On is the third installment of The Escobar Chronicles. In this issue, the Darien Condors football team is preparing to take it all the way in the postseason. Zay feels the pressure as much as his teammates do, and he is willing to do all he can in his power to claim the state title.
The Condors went a respectable 5-3 in the regular season to get them a playoff berth in this year's high school football season. With last year's 31-6 loss in the first round still fresh on their minds, the Condors had a much more seasoned group of kids, and they seemed poised to redeem themselves. Their last practice before the big game had everyone pumped up.
As Zay headed home, he told Shelbye, and later his parents, about the team's accomplishment. The next morning, him and Jeffrey watched highlights of Philly Catholic, the school that would be making their way to play the Condors.
Zay, trying to relax with friends, namely his teammates Johnny, Jam and Icey, among others, spends his free time with them. He wanted to make sure the comradery was at an all-time high amongst teammates.
The night of the first round playoffs, while warming up, Escobar (being the quarterback of the team) tested his arm by seeing how far he could throw the ball towards the endzone, and by extension, how accurately he could deliver it.
A back-and-forth game went on, as Philly Catholic played up to Darien. The Condors drew first blood when Jam, the team's starting running back, returned the opening kickoff for the first score of the game. Escobar's counterpart, Ed Revis, did not fret early on, but an early turnover became 14-0 first quarter lead, and eventually a 21-7 game lead.
With their backs against the wall, the Patriots stormed back- their running back, Kyle Hayward, who scored their lone touchdown at the time, scored again to make it 21-14 at halftime. The Patriots shocked the Condors with a surprise onside kick, which was recovered. One play later, the Patriots scored, but could not tie it at 21 as their PAT was blocked.
Late in the fourth quarter, Escobar, who seemed immortal, was strip-sacked on the opening second half drive, ad the fumble was returned for a touchdown, to make it 26-21, in spite of a missed two-point conversion.
On Darien's final drive, they were frugal with time, getting the ball with under a minute left. Two sacks in 3 plays would make it 4th and 28 with just :26 seconds remaining. On a desperation attempt, Escobar launched the ball towards the endzone, and it was caught by his brother, Jeffrey, to take a 28-26 lead. Zay and Jeffrey congratulated each other after the play, as everyone celebrated the late game turnaround. Philly Catholic fumbled their final chance away, and the Condors pulled through.
Unfortunately for the two, this seemed to be the last time Zay would ever feel close to his older brother. The next morning, a violent confrontation caused by Jeffrey's temper flaring, led to Zay's room being rendered in disarray. Their mother, Jennifer, rushed to his room, angry with the noise and commotion that the two had caused that morning.
After the two were done exchanging blows, Zay talked to his mother about the incident. He urged his mother to do something. Due to Jeffrey's lack of willingness to seek and receive help, Jennifer had been lenient to this point. Zay was angered by his mother and father enabling Jeffrey, provided they all knew something was wrong, and something had to be done.
He later called his father, Barry, and his other brother, Barry Jr., to enlighten them on the incident. He finally began to calm own, even though he was still hurt and angry by the fact his brother, of all people, did this to him.
Hours later, Jeffrey called the local police station. Not much could be made of this conversation, granted it did not make any sense. However, Jeffrey was later sent to the hospital, as it was revealed he was trying to kill himself. Jennifer left for his son, and minutes after she drove off, Zay broke down.
Later that day in practice, Zay explained to Coach Collins that his brother would not be able to play for the rest of the postseason due to being hospitalized.
It was only right that Zay talked his problem out to Shelbye. Initially, she was under the impression Jeffrey got injured. Zay denied this, explaining that Jeffrey was mentally unstable, or as Zay put it, "neurotic".
When Zay went to sleep that night, he had a very surrealistic, horrific dream- Jeffrey strangling him, and in turn dying, then Coach Collins scapegoated him and his brother for the loss in their would-be upcoming playoff appearance.
Zay woke up, heart racing, only to realize it was a nightmare. Out of spite, he uttered, "God I hate Jeff."
Rather than being depressed by his brother's incident, he was inspired by his brother's situation, and even wrote "Win it for Jeff" on the sides of each of his cleats. Jam reassured him, telling him that they would be alright. He powered Darien to a 54-7 victory over Central City High School. Escobar scored 6 times in honor of his brother. Coach Durham pat Zay on the back, applauding his performance.
When he called Shelbye, she was ready to congratulate Zay for his inspired game.
The Condors faced Phoenixville and prevailed in the same way they did in the playoff game prior. Condors reign victorious, and Escobar had orchestrated a miracle playoff run, finding the determination in himself to win out.
- The first game's plot line was heavily inspired by a 2015 Packers-Lions game, known as the Miracle in Motown- a game remembered for Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers' 61-yard game winning touchdown pass to Richard Rodgers.
- Jeffrey, based off of one of Mr.Zaya's brother in real life, had actions that reflected what happened to him at the time.
- Although it wasn't his first appearance in The Escobar Chronicles, Jam's first major role came in this issue.