Related: Delone Catholic falls to Bellwood-Antis in double overtime
Related: Delone Catholic's Matt Giuffreda endures conflicting emotions
Delone Catholic High quarterback Brett Smith chose to talk about how good the past was and how good the future could be when he placed his head on teammate Matt Giuffreda's helmet.
The Squires had just lost a PIAA Class A quarterfinal game, 33-26 in double overtime, to Bellwood-Antis in Altoona, the defeat coming after Giuffreda fumbled and the Blue Devils recovered.
Fumbling had been a bugaboo for Giuffreda this season, and Smith wanted to help his teammate.
"I was telling him he had a big, big season this year," Smith said. "He's got to be a leader next year. He's got to be one of the guys to step up and get the guys in the weight room in the offseason."
The conversation finished the football career of Smith, one of 13 seniors. The end came in a disappointing and abrupt way.
"It's tough to have it end like this," Smith said. "All the seniors, they're a family. They're going to take this as a lesson in life and move forward. We have a district championship to hang on our wall for the rest of our lives. That's a heck of an accomplishment."
The postseason marked some of Smith's best play this season after he battled an ankle injury earlier. He had three interceptions and all four touchdowns last week and had another interception Friday.
"He's done what we thought he would do, what we expected him to do, what he's done his whole career," Squires coach Steve Wiles said. "He's been amazing. The number of interceptions he's had in the playoffs have been amazing."
Smith returned Friday's interception 63 yards in the third quarter, to the Bellwood-Antis 1-yard line, with the Squires leading 13-12. A rushing touchdown gave them a 20-12 lead they held until the waning moments.
The Squires scored on their first play of overtime, but their point-after attempt was blocked. Bellwood-Antis scored but missed its kick. The Blue Devils then scored on their first play in the second overtime, but Giuffreda fumbled on an imperfect handoff from Smith when the Squires tried to respond.
The game ended what had been Smith's opportunity to shine.
"(Wiles) gave me an opportunity," Smith said. "I took it on myself as a senior that I need to step up for this team and lead them."
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