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Former West Carrollton and Miamisburg Football Players Team Up for A Charity Game (Via Miami Valley Newspaper)

December 6, 2018
By John Cummings
Managing Editor
 
The line to the ticket booth at DOC Stadium at West Carrollton High School stretched from the home stands to the parking lot Saturday night.
Cars drove the aisles looking for a place to park to catch the big football game of the weekend. 
It wasn’t a high school playoff game everyone was clamoring to see though, it was the first alumni game between West Carrollton and Miamisburg.
A renewal of the “Backyard Brawl” – a rivalry which dates back to 1899 and was abruptly ended in 2016 – drew 5,700 people.
It was like the days when players on the roster took the field in high school, both bleachers were full with people standing three deep around the fenceline.
West Carrollton had alumni cheerleaders and the band. Miamisburg reached out to both to try and form an alumni cheerleading squad and never heard back.
“This is surreal,” West Carrollton’s Matt Hathaway said. “I felt like football was taken away from me and playing is the greatest drug you can ever imagine.”
Hathaway, a 1998 graduate, was one of 55 members of the Pirates. Keith Tilton, a 1992 grad, was the oldest member for the home team.
Brent Kinner, a 1993 grad, was the oldest of the 33 member Miamisburg team.
The game was thrown onto Facebook by Get Back in the Game Alumni Football to gauge support from different communities, and found a good one in the Backyard Brawl.
All monies raised from the game went to a charity of the team’s choice. West Carrollton raised more than $10,000 for the West Carrollton Athletic Boosters while Miamisburg raised at least $5,000 for the Wee Vikes. Miamisburg’s total was still being counted because sponsorship also went into the final donation.
Danny Roberts, 2003, saw the posting randomly on Facebook and began reaching out to players from Miamisburg.
“A game like this, with this rivalry, it was not too much problem getting players,” Roberts said. “This rivalry dates back before 1900. It is a great rivalry.”
While some of the people Roberts reached were local, two had to make special arrangements to play in the game.
Kyle Brewer, a 2011 grad, flew out Sunday and was back in Orlando the day after being named the Miamisburg Most Valuable Player of the game.
Weston Casey, a 2003 grad, had to do some extra work to once again be the fullback, and clear the path for Matt Muncy.
Casey, a member of the U.S. Coast Guard stationed in the Hamptons, had to put in for leave. He left Long Island Friday, drove 700 miles to play on Saturday and drove 700 miles back to base on Sunday.
“Calvin Bell (who missed the game with injury) called and told me about it and I checked with David Mann (who did play) and he started telling me some of the guys who were playing,” Casey said. “When I heard some of the guys coming back, it made it more real for me and I couldn’t miss it.
“It was a lot of fun to come back and play with the guys.”
After a scoreless first half, Miamisburg went back to running the I-formation with Casey at fullback and Muncy at tailback.
With Brewer under center, the Vikings marched to the Pirate six on a big catch over the middle by Casey before Brewer went in for the first score with 10:43 remaining in the third quarter.
Muncy, who averaged close to seven yards a carry, bulldozed in from the six for a 12-0 lead with 6:25 left in the third quarter.
“We got tired of it at half,” Casey said. “It was, ‘alright, we are going back to running the I like we did when we were in school,’ and it still works like it did then.”
Brewer faked a handoff to Muncy and scampered around the left side and down the sideline for a 37 yard score with 4:34 left in the game for a 18-0 lead.
West Carrollton scored on the last play of the game when Jason Prater, a long time Pirate manager who is disabled, took the handoff from Justin Robinson and took off in his motorized wheelchair 41 yards for the score – and MVP honors. 
The game did have some of the chippiness of a normal game between the rivals, but it was a chance for all of them to find their way back onto the field.
“I have had dreams after football was over where I couldn’t get in the game,” Hathaway said. “It was so real I could feel it and see it but I couldn’t get in the game.
“To get this opportunity, to get back in the game, this was great.”
Roberts admits he had a hard time getting some players to commit, then West Carrollton released a hype film and everything changed.
“That was all it took for us,” Roberts said. “This (alumni game) is a beautiful thing.
“But, at the end of the night, we are Miamisburg and football is what we do.”