One of the Greatest Games I Have Ever Seen

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Brunswick and Solon looked even on paper. Brunswick had a 6-4 record; Solon sat at 5-4. Their schedules were similar and both teams have had their ups and downs this season.

For this week 10 matchup, one item was at stake for both teams; the playoffs. Solon missed the playoffs in 2012; Brunswick has not seen postseason football since 2009. With the air cool on a crisp November night the day after Halloween, both teams were hungry to win.

I could feel more excitement than usual in the air as I walked into Stewart Field. The fans knew what was at stake and both teams were determined even during warmups. The focus all of the coaches had on both sides was incredible and it looked as if the intensity was going to be high from the very start.

By the time it is week 10, there are little secrets to be had out there. As my broadcast partner Chuck Choknea has said, with the amount of video tape on each team, there are very few secrets left when teams prepare for the next opponent.

Chuck and I saw very early on that Brunswick had a secret they were going to utilize.

Instead of using starting quarterback Steve Ficyk for most of the first drive, Brunswick put WR/DB David Kelty in at quarterback to run. The Comets were caught off guard on defense and Kelty would eventually score on a 26 yard run.

On Solon’s first drive, the Comets had a few rabbits to pull out of their hats as well. Getting three first downs on the first three plays, the Comets would eventually tie the game when Antwain Hamilton ran in on a delayed draw play from 15 yards out.

Hamilton would later find the endzone twice in the second quarter to put the Comets ahead 21-7.

Late in the second, Brunswick wide receiver Zach Parker beat Solon cornerback Brandon Byrd for a 64-yard touchdown reception. There were questions as to whether or not Parker pushed off but the score made it a Solon 21-14 lead at halftime.

I took a stroll through the stands at halftime and I could tell the fans were more focused than usual. Their eyes watched both bands intently and they were eager to start the second half.

The third quarter saw both teams trade scores back and forth. Brunswick would score and Solon would counter.

Late in the third quarter, Solon was up 28-21 and the lead would get increased to 14 when Solon quarterback Matt Laubscher found Kollyn Crenshaw deep for a 40-yard touchdown reception. The Comets would lead 35-21 but it would not remain a two possession game for very long.

On the next drive, Ficyk would find Kelty, whom I dubbed the Comet Killer in this game due to his offensive and defense presence, to make it a Solon 35-28 lead. Chuck and I looked at each other at that point and realized the fourth quarter was going to be one to remember.

Brunswick would tie it up in the fourth quarter and eventually had an opportunity to take the lead with an Alex Sabetta field goal. With 2;37 left, Sabetta missed a 21-yard attempt wide to the left. Chuck and I were surprised he missed it and knew the Comets had another chance.

As Solon took possession, the home stands at Stewart Field started to make more noise and got enthusiastic as the offense took the field. Kollyn Crenshaw would score for the Comets on a 69-yard touchdown pass to put the Comets ahead.

Solon lined up for the extra point and it was blocked to give them 41-35 lead. With time left on the clock, I wondered if this blocked field goal would foreshadow the outcome of the game.

Brunswick took possession of the ball and running back Richie Norman scampered in from 60 yards out to tie the game again. All it would take is the extra point to put Brunswick ahead.

The snap went back and the Brunswick attempt was blocked. All tied up at 41-41, the Comets would take the ball once again.

Chuck and I looked at each other again and we were both astounded with how incredible this game had become. It was one of the closest games we had ever called together and one of the highest scoring as well. We both wondered it we would be seeing overtime at Stewart Field.

The Comets managed to drive down the field and took a timeout with three seconds left. David Sebuke stepped onto the field for the Comets to attempt a 32 yard attempt.

Brunswick had blocked the previous extra point and I wondered if another block was in the future. Brunswick had great special teams on field goals and a block would send the game to overtime.

The snap was good, the kick was up and Solon reached a playoff birth as the ball sailed through the uprights. The roar from the crowd was the loudest I had heard in Stewart Field. Chuck and I both commented off the air that the finish was amongst the best we have seen and it was a game to remember.

It was the last regular season game and I went on the field afterwards to offer congratulations to the coaching staff. They have been very supportive and I wanted to thank them for that.

I also took time to thank the SETV crew. Working with these kids this season was one of the most fun experiences I have had.

I walked back to my car as usual and looked at the stadium from the Orchard Middle School parking lot once again. I couldn’t help but smile that another memorable Friday Night had taken place. I have so many great memories from Stewart Field and this one is going to be amongst the best.

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~ by jeffrsabo on November 2, 2013.

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