By Ryan Berry
GREENVILLE — It was a hard-fought game, but a tough loss for Ansonia. The Tigers fell to New Bremen 26-22 after a Cardinal score in the final minute of the game.
Although the Tigers were the number one seed in the region, most of the prognosticators were picking the Cardinals to win big. New Bremen definitely had a height advantage, but the heart to win was evident on both sides of the football field.
The game was played at Harmon Field in Greenville, but with the snow earlier in the day and throughout the game, Greenville looked and felt more like Green Bay.
The Cardinals took an early lead when their very talented quarterback, David Homan, got loose for a 57-yard touchdown run. With the extra point New Bremen was up 7-0.
Ansonia got the ball with 10:35 left in the first quarter and methodically drove the ball 74 yards. With 11 seconds remaining in the quarter, Exzaviar Moody took it in from the five-yard line. Moody also got the two-point conversion and the Tigers were up 8-7.
The Cardinals answered on their next drive. Hunter Schaefer escaped a couple of tackles to take it in from 21-yards out. The extra point was good and New Bremen was on top 14-8.
The teams would go into halftime with the Cardinals on top.
Ansonia retook the lead at the end of the third quarter. The Tigers once again had a long methodical drive. The 80-yard drive culminated with a one-yard touchdown run by Ian Schmitmeyer with 53 seconds left in the quarter. Keagan Weiss scored on the two-point conversion. The Tigers were up 16-14.
The Cardinals came right back to take the lead. The two-point conversion was no good and with 8:33 left in the game, New Bremen was up 20-16.
The Tigers needed another long, sustained drive, but it wasn’t to be. With over five minutes left in the game, Moody broke free for a 34-yard touchdown run. The extra point was no good, but the Tigers had a 22-20 lead.
New Bremen had plenty of time to mount a final charge and they took nearly all of it. With 51 seconds left in the game, the Cardinals were able to get into the endzone and take a 26-22 lead. The extra point was no good.
The Tigers couldn’t mount a comeback and turned the ball over on downs with a few seconds remaining to give the Cardinals the win.
“New Bremen’s a good team,” said Coach Adam Hall. “We knew that coming in. Their quarterback is a very good player. We had trouble stopping him at times. Overall, I’m just really proud of the guys. The effort we played with tonight – we were down at half and came back with the lead. I think we played that way all year – we just keep fighting.”
Hall heaped praise onto his seniors who played their final game in a Tiger uniform, “Our seniors, they’re great kids, they’re great leaders, they’re hard workers, they’re good football players. They do everything you ask them to do and we wouldn’t be where we are at if we didn’t have those guys. I’m proud of them. I’m glad they were on the team this year and it just stinks that it ends like this.”
To contact Daily Advocate Editor Ryan Berry, email [email protected]