As the clock hit zeroes, and the teams exchanged handshakes, Northview senior linebacker Chad Smith had only one focus.
Just as quickly as he had gotten to the ball carrier all night long, Smith made a bee-line to the Northview bleachers.
His target bounced with enthusiasm as Smith cleared the guard rail with one quick leap and fell into his brother Cody's arms.
Some laughter. Mostly tears.
Tears of a Class 1A state champion.
"That's my brother," Smith said proudly after the game. "He's actually my biggest fan.
"I feel like everything I've done, I do it for him."
Smith's brother Cody suffers from cerebral palsy, a sickening disease that has confined him to a wheelchair. But it hasn't stopped Cody from being at every game, being at Chad's side every step of the way.
"He's always been there for me -- little league, everything," Smith said. "He's pretty much the highlight of my life. He's so proud of me and I just like to let him know that even though I'm, I guess, a superstar now, I'm never too big for my brother.
"Just getting to hold him, and he cries after every game. I hate that he can't get out here with me. He's the first person I have to talk to after the game."
Smith saved the biggest stage of his career to have quite possibly the biggest game of his lifetime. He finished with 10 tackles, one fumble recovery and a 20-yard touchdown on a blocked punt return.
"Chad is a sharp kid, and he plays with a great attitude and a great motor," Northview coach Sid Wheatley said. "He overcomes some odds in there. He's not a big kid and we ask him to play defensive end, outside linebacker. You're talking about a leader on this football team.
"I'm so happy for him. He makes a special teams touchdown tonight, scoops up the blocked punt and scores. It couldn't have happened to a better kid, or a kid that deserves something like that in a game like this."
And it all goes back to Chad's biggest fan, or as Chad likes to call him, his inspiration.
"I lost my dad when I was younger, so he really looks up to me," Smith said. "He's actually more of a role model to me than I am to him.
"Given the circumstances he lives with, he always keeps a smile."