In a game that saw nearly a thousand yards of total offense, Brother Rice was left to look back on the last 15 yards they needed for a win.
Instead, they had a long bus ride back from Indianapolis Brebeuf to look back on missed opportunities in a 34-28 overtime loss. The Crusaders rallied from a two-touchdown deficit in the second half and tied the game with just over two minutes remaining.
And Brother Rice appeared in prime position to sneak away with the win when Brebeuf missed an extra point after scoring a touchdown to open overtime. But last season’s Class 3A state runner-up in Indiana made a defensive stand when they needed one the most.
On third-and-goal, Brother Rice running back Marcus Jones had an 8-yard loss after he backtracked trying to change direction. That pushed the Crusaders back to the 15-yard line, and they had one play to tie the game. But quarterback Alex Alarcon’s potential game-tying touchdown pass sailed just over the outstretched hands of Julian Blain in the end zone.
“They stepped up when they needed to, and we didn’t make the plays when we needed,” Brother Rice coach Brian Badke said. “Big plays. We gave up too many big plays. They did as well, but we didn’t finish. And that’s been our emphasis all year long.”
Offensive highlights weren’t hard to find on either sideline. Alarcon completed 17 of 32 passes for 358 yards and four touchdowns, but did have two interceptions. Marcus Jones only rushed for 48 yards, but caught five passes for 164 yards and two touchdowns.
But Brebeuf also had a star running back that made plenty of plays. LeVante Bellamy, who is getting recruiting interest from several Mid-American Conference programs, rushed 36 times for 248 yards and three touchdowns.
The Braves gained 500 yards of offense, and the Brother Rice defense could not contain an offense that had scored just 10 points over the previous two games.
“We just tried to change it up a lot and keep it from outside to inside, and from inside to outside,” Brebeuf coach Mic Roessler said.
Brebeuf led 28-14 late in the third quarter after quarterback Aaron Banks threw a 7-yard touchdown pass. But Brother Rice answered quickly with Alarcon’s 31-yard touchdown pass to Ricky Smalling just two minutes later.
Later in the fourth quarter the Crusaders nearly marched themselves right out of a potential game-tying touchdown.
Brother Rice reached the Brebeuf 25-yard line after Alarcon’s 22-yard scramble with 2:40 remaining. But the Crusaders were called for their third sideline violation of the game, which was a 10-yard penalty. Then the coaching staff was called for a 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty showing displeasure over that call.
That put the Crusaders facing a 2nd-and-35 from midfield. Amazingly, it took all of one play to get that yardage and more back. Alarcon connected with a wide-open Blain over the middle of the field, and he made one defender miss on his way for a 50-yard touchdown pass that tied the game with 2:14 remaining. Blain caught five passes for 102 yards in the game.
“We took advantage of a mismatch, and Julian Blain has been doing that the last couple of weeks,” Badke said. “We’ve got some playmakers, and we just have to give them the ball when we can.”
Brebeuf needed just two plays to score first in overtime, as Bellamy rushed for a 6-yard touchdown run. Braves kicker Drew Bevelhimer missed the extra point, but Brother Rice could not take advantage of that miscue.