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All season, the Northeastern football team had gone by a simple motto: Prove it.

Even as they walked off West York's field Friday night, following a 14-7 defeat to the Bulldogs, there was a feeling that the Bobcats had once again proven something.

Their season of firsts -- first share of a YAIAA Division II title, first district playoff appearance -- had to end sometime. But Northeastern certainly didn't make matters easy for West York on Friday.

"Our kids bought everything that we could have asked them to tonight," Bobcats coach Brendan Brown said. "We got ourselves in a little hole, and the kids refused to quit. We pressured them right up until the very end and gave ourselves a chance.

"That’s all we wanted coming down here, was a chance to win this game. "

Northeastern had that chance. Ultimately, it could not overcome a 14-point Bulldogs spurt in the second quarter.

Still, Brown praised his team following the game. It was a landmark season in Manchester, one that was built around a blend of smothering defense and steady leadership. Much of that owed to Northeastern's core of 14 seniors.

They have, Brown hopes, set the stage for the program's future success.

"What a great job they’ve done, really," West York coach Ron Miller said. "That’s a good football team. They’re going to be a great football team for years to come."

"I’ve been a part of and coached a lot of great football teams, but none have been more enjoyable than this group," Brown added. "The effort they put in in the offseason translated to great play on the field. Nobody took us behind the woodshed this year, and that’s because we have a great staff and a great bunch of kids that just love playing football."

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