Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

S'no Gold at End of the Rainbow for Heartbroken Pine-Richland

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

S'no Gold at End of the Rainbow for Heartbroken Pine-Richland

Article excerpt

HERSHEY, Pa. --The loss was as heartbreaking as they come.

A blocked extra point in double overtime of a championship game, played in a blizzard.

But that is how the spectacular season of the Pine-Richland Rams ended.

Yet, somehow coach Clair Altemus couldn't feel bad about it.

"It hurts to lose, but this was something special you just witnessed," Altemus said after the Rams' 39-38 double-overtime loss to Manheim Central in the PIAA Class AAA championship game at Hersheypark Stadium Friday.

"I know we lost it, but this was one of the greatest games I've ever been involved in. To see two teams give everything they had, and battle through the snow and cold weather, it was inspiring to me. Neither team ever gave up and I know every kid that played can walk out of here with their head held high.

"Nobody, neither team, left anything out on that field. [Manheim Central] just made one more play than we did."

Pine-Richland senior standout Neil Walker agreed. He said he's often heard people say they'd rather get blown out in a title game than lose a heartbreaker, but he couldn't disagree more with that sentiment .

"You want to give your best effort and we did," Walker said. "We can walk away as winners, even though we lost the game. We left it all out there, so that softens the blow. These guys in this locker room have nothing to be ashamed of. We showed a lot of heart, we battled with everything we had and it wasn't quite enough."

The Rams did indeed play with a lot of heart and grit and no player probably exemplified that more than running back Greg Hough, who scored three touchdowns in the championship game.

Hough was expected to be one of the leading rushers in the WPIAL this season, but he missed six games with an elbow injury. Upon his return, however, he quickly established himself with back-to-back 100-yard efforts in the WPIAL Class AAA championship game and a PIAA semifinal. …

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