8/24 7:00 H
Week #5 vs.Midlothian
2 Point Conversion Falls Short
Midlothian (Bremen H.S.) - "Destiny and ...Umm". That's what head coach John Casson of Bremen was saying in a post game interview, before he became so choked up, we suggest he go celebrate with the team then come back and we could finish the interview.
In what has to be one of the most emotional wins of the season for any team, the unranked and under appreciated Braves of Bremen came out and won a hard fought game against the Hawks of Hillcrest, who had been picked by many, as the favorites to win the SICA (Green) Conference. With both teams coming into tonight's game 4-0, lead by running back Darius Gates, whom coach Casson, said after the game "is probably the best back in the state", the prevailing thought was that Hillcrest was the better team and would win handedly.
Gates and the Hawks came out running in this game. With Hillcrest scoring on it's very first possession, on a 2 yard run by Gates. Braves two way starter Amir Ross (QB/S 6'2 185 sr.) made sure his Braves joined in on the scoring party as he connected with wide out speedster Anthony Seay (WR/DB 6'1 190 sr.) on a 20 yard touchdown pass, tying the game at 6.
Seay, would turn out to be real special for the Braves Friday night, that's special as in special teams. Seay would return two Hillcrest kickoffs for touchdowns. The first coming in the 2nd quarter & the second TD coming with 8 minutes left in the game, helping pad Bremen's 1 point lead to 7.
Seay's first return was pretty impressive, after finding a hole, then getting hit at midfield, he bounced off a defender and then sprinted off to the races. But, it was his second return for a TD that really made a statement as well as possible highlight reels.
Seay's return came right after Gates had rushed for his 3 TD of the game, but was then stopped on the 2 point conversion by Tim Cazely, Nick Dugan & Truvan Thomas, helping Bremen keep the lead 21-20.
Seay, caught the ball around the 20 and starting running to his right where a Hillcrest player slipped through the blockers and grabbed on to him. Seay's legs however, never stopped moving, as the defender went by him but grabbed a hold of his jersey. Seay's #22 jersey was stretched from a large to a 2XL as the defender refused to let go, seemingly setting Seay up for another Hillcrest tackler, but the jersey finally caught up with inertia and snapped back towards Seay, continuing along with him as he ran to his left now, cutting across mid field and blowing by Hillcrest players who may have thought the play was over, before streaking down the left sideline for his third & Bremen's final TD of the game.
With Bremen leading 27-20 and 7:55 left in the game, things were far from over for Hillcrest, who once again roared back on the shirt tails of Gates. Gates and the Hawks, bruised their way down field for 4 and a half minutes before reaching the promise land on a 9 yard run by Gates, his 4th TD of the game.
With the score 27-26, the Hillcrest fans were on their feet chanting for the team to go for the 2 point conversion "Go! Go! Go!", and with uncertainty about their kicking game, they missed their first PAT kick of the game, wide left, the Hawks would go for 2.
Once again though the Braves defense would stop them cold, holding on to their 1 point lead with 3:26 left and the ball coming back to them.
With just over 3 minutes left & the possibility of another Seay kick return, the Hawks almost had no choice but to go for an onside kick. And it would pay off, as a high bouncing ball was recovered by John Edwards, giving the Hawks a 1st & 10, just inside Brave territory.
Gates would get a couple of carries, bringing the Hawks closer to the redzone, but a holding penalty would bump the Hawks back and force them to throw. Bremen's Amir Ross watched QB Stavone Martin lobbed a slow pass at a receiver on his side of the field & he leaped up and picked the ball off, giving back possession to the Braves with just over 2 minutes left.
The screams & cheers from the stands only got louder as the Braves managed to get a first down and would kneel the time away on the Hillcrest side of the field, sealing what coach Casson described as "Probably the biggest win ever" for Bremen. Casson, even mentioned the Braves first round upset of Oswego in the 1995 playoffs. Oswego was ranked as high as 3rd in the state that year and had future NFLer Joey Goodspeed on their team.
And that part coach Casson couldn't finish about "Destiny", "We break our practice every day saying the words 'Destiny or Family or Loyalty'. We teach that every day and these guys aren't going to quit no matter who we play."
by Vincent Johnson
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