BREMEN — It was a game neither team deserved to lose, but someone had to.
Bremen’s football season came to an end Friday night when quarterback Nate Leeper was stopped a yard shy of the end zone on fourth down in overtime. As Rensselaer Central players rushed the field in celebration, Bremen fans stayed in their seats, wishing they could see just one more play.
No. 1 Rensselaer Central 35. Bremen 28.
“You’re the best team I’ve ever been a part of,” Bremen coach Bob Holmes told his players through tears. “You put Bremen football back on the map and there’s nothing to be ashamed of. “
In a contest that was like an Ali-Frazier fight, with both combatants answering the other’s shots all night, Bremen came up just one punch short.
“We’ve been in big ball games before and these kids did an outstanding job of taking Rensselaer’s best blows and playing toe-to-toe,” Holmes said. “All we can ask is for them to give 100 percent, and I guarantee they left it all on the field.”
Bremen was hurt down the stretch by the absence of star running back Braxton Miller, who went down with a leg injury early in the fourth quarter.
“You can’t coach injuries, and you have to play with what hand you’re dealt, and we did an outstanding job,” Holmes said. “There’s no regrets.”
The instant classic was one of the most entertaining games in the state this season, right from the start.