The players, now all in their 30s, emerged relatively unscathed after Sunday's Replay Rivalry Game between Phillipsburg and Easton high schools. Oh, and Eli Manning got his first Gatorade bath.
Phillipsburg won, 27-12, in a rematch of the 1993 game that ended in a 7-7 tie. As we can see by the photo, the game had Gatorade's corporate fingerprints all over it — which kind of detracted from the charm — but it was a success nonetheless. The game drew 13,350 at Lafayette College's Fisher Stadium in Pennsylvania, with your honorary coaches Peyton and Eli Manning, whose actual functions were not clear. But the players and fans seemed to have a good time.
"It feels like you're back in high school again," Courtney Samra said. "The guys have been so pumped up for this. They can't sleep. ... They're acting 16 again, all of them."
Peyton Manning was impressed.
"You can tell how important football is around here," he said. "There's no question about that. To have this kind of crowd for a reunion game 15 years later, it tells you that football is important year-round. That's the kind of town you want to play in."
Among the players were two cancer survivors, a guy who lost 57 pounds and another who discovered a serious leg disorder during a physical to get cleared for the game. His leg is now on the road to being healed. Gatorade is planning to make the game an annual event, searching the nation for other old high school rivals who want to settle old scores. This will not really pique my interest until they replay a game from the 1950s. You think you're better than me?
Here we go.
Unfinished Business: Phillipsburg-Easton Replay 1993 Football Clash That Ended In A Tie [The Star Legder]
Easton Vs. Phillipsburg [OnTheScene]