Updated: January 2, 2014 6:16AM
The Crete Bulldogs varsity football team came into the recent SWML Super Bowl as the underdog against the undefeated Glenwood Cougars, who averaged 40 points a game and gave up only 12 points all season.
The Cougars had defeated the Bulldogs twice this season, but the Bulldogs came out to battle.
Led by veterans Don Smith, Shawn Yarborough and Matt Stuckey, the Bulldogs pounded the Glenwood running backs.
Defensive backs Jordan Bernard, Imani Holoway-Ward, Colby Bell and Greg Jackson would not let the tall wideouts of Glenwood catch a thing.
Then the offense did the unthinkable and scored on the Cougar defense.
A perfect pass from Trent Lotten to Don Smith was followed by Smith scoring the 2-point conversion, which put the Bulldogs up 8-0 going into the half.
The crowd was going wild, and the cheerleaders got them up and cheering with every play.
Glenwood finally scored in the third quarter, but the Bulldogs blocked the extra point, holding on to the lead at 8-6.
With a little more than four minutes left to play, coach Len Rhein called a fake punt from the Bulldogs’ 37-yard line, and it worked.
Cameron Crew picked up the first down giving the Bulldogs a chance to close the game.
Glenwood’s tough defense, though, stepped up and forced Crete to punt.
With 1:33 left in the game, the Cougars took over on the team’s 20-yard line.
A couple of huge runs by the Cougars’ running back brought the game down to the last 30 seconds.
Glenwood scored the game-winning touchdown, prevailing 12-8.
It was a real heartbreaker for the Bulldogs players, coaches, cheerleaders and fans.
However, officials said the Bulldogs represented the program with dignity, class and respect all season.
Coaches Rhein, Mike Sedor, Mike Grey, Emmitt Scott, Jeff Ciarlo, Larry Bellar and Jason Fleming could not have been any prouder of their team, officials added.
They became more than a team; they became a family, officials said.