Brad Reuter, a senior football captain for St. Cloud Cathedral (St. Cloud, Minn.), completely owned it. He's passionate. He loves football. He loves his school and teammates. He deplores losing.
He's a teenager.
The 6-foot, 175-pounder made no excuses, however, why he did the unthinkable — leaving the sidelines late in last Friday's 53-20 loss to Zimmerman during a winless season — and recording his seventh tackle of the game.
This one, of course, didn't count.
He sprinted from his own bench, raced on to the field and caught Camerin Morey from behind at the Cathedral 12. Morey was on his way to an 88-yard touchdown run. The referees immediately awarded Zimmerman and Morey a touchdown.
The tackle immediately hit social media, as did Reuter, who apologized profusely Saturday on Twitter to Morey, Zimmerman, his own school, coaches and teammates.
His teammates and school of course accepted the sincere apology of their beloved classmate.
The referees, by the way, made the exact correct call said longtime official and rules expert Dave Cutaia, noting high school rule 9-9 article 1 & 5 that states "the referee enforces any penalty he/she considers equitable, including awarding a score."
Cutaia, who has officiated two FBS national championship games and is an ESPN on-air college football rules expert and high school supervisor of officials in Northern California, said the rule and referee's discretion is clear at the high school, college and NFL level.
He said in his 50 years of officiating has never been involved in a game where a player left the sidelines to make a tackle.
"But I've heard of it occurring four or five times," Cutaia said.
The most famous was the 1954 Cotton Bowl when Alabama backup Tommy Lewis left the bench and blindsided Dicky Moegle sweeping around right end. The referees awarded Moegle a 95-yard touchdown, which is still the longest TD run in Cotton Bowl history.
"Clearly in this case a TD should have been awarded, just as it was," Cutaia said. "It's good the official was paying attention. You could miss this because it's so unexpected."