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Hamburg homecoming far from a total loss

The stage was set for the Hamburg football team to pull off one its biggest upsets in its
recent history.

The Bulldogs' 200-piece band led a pregame parade that ended just outside of Howe Field. Four floats, disguised as SUVs, were covered with hundreds of napkin flowers that students had been working on since the summer. Behind the bleachers. three brave teachers volunteered for the dunk tank. A mechanical bull offered rides. There was a tempting chicken BBQ dinner, and purple beads and pom poms were available for a dollar.

On the field, the Bulldogs came up short -- by about two yards -- when quarterback Nico Zarcone was tackled behind the line of scrimmage on a two-point conversion attempt with 27 seconds left. The play allowed Iroquois to pull out a 20-19 win. It sent the big homecoming crowd, estimated at 2,100, home disappointed.

Regardless, Hamburg and Iroquois don't seem like two programs going in different directions. "We've taken a step from winning one game last year to being 20-19 at the end of this game. We're right on the doorstep," said coach Mike McFadden. "I don't believe that this is the last time we're going to see them this year. I think we're going to get another shot."

---Mary Jo Monnin

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