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April 25th, 2009
12:49 PM ET

Let's Settle the Score!

15 years later, a tied high school football game is replayed
By Reynolds Wolf

We all have regrets, don't we? Each of us has something we wish we could do over. It could be a poor decision in a relationship, a job opportunity never taken, maybe even a bad investment. But the deeper we surge into adulthood, we realize that we only have one shot at things in life. There is no going back.

Or is there?

When I first arrived in the Lehigh Valley for this assignment – I thought I was merely covering a preview to a football game. On the face of it, I was correct. But when I dug deeper, I learned the story was truly about second chances.

For the players of the 1993 Phillipsburg High vs. Easton Area High football game, that second chance came four months ago, when Gatorade (the sports drink company) offered to sponsor a rematch between the two teams –two teams that played a brutal Thanksgiving Day game that ended in a 7 to 7 tie-fifteen years ago.

But the boys who played in that game are now men. Crows feet surround their eyes. Their graying hair is receding while their waistlines expand. The careless days are gone - replaced by mortgages, car payments, and the responsibilities of raising families. To battle back the years, these guys have been lifting weights, running sprints, and playing in scrimmages - all under the careful watch of professional trainers. The workouts and practices have been tough on their schedules and undoubtedly tough on their bodies. Still, there have been zero quitters. The opportunity to replay this grudge match, to settle the score once and for all is just intoxicating for these guys.

After speaking to dozens of players on each side, I found they share a common thought: win or lose, the chance to rekindle friendships, to hear the marching bands, and run out on the field one last time has been worth it to these fellows.

Kickoff is Sunday at 3pm ET.

15-Year Rematch Changes Life

Former high school football player loses 60lbs training for a rematch of a 15-year-old unsettled rivalry game.