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EMHS Grad Ohrnberger Shines in Chargers' Playoff Win

Photo Credit: San Diego Chargers' Website.
Photo Credit: San Diego Chargers' Website.
Rich Ohrnberger knew it was his turn to step up when San Diego Chargers' center Nick Hardwick went down with a neck injury Sunday, but the East Meadow High School graduate was up to the task in a 27-10 win versus the Cincinnati Bengals in the Wildcard Playoff round. 

He helped open holes for Ryan Matthews, Danny Woodhead and the rest of the Chargers' running attack, which accumulated 196 and two touchdowns in the win. 

"I wasn't expecting to play, but as a backup, you always have to be ready," Ohrnberger told Newsday. "We practice all the time, and I'm at guard and center, so you try to make it where the offense isn't missing a beat. I'm just happy I was prepared and I was able to fill some big shoes -- not quite as good as maybe [Hardwick] would have done it, but I worked hard at it and I'm glad we got the win."

Next up, the Chargers head to Denver to take on Peyton Manning and the Broncos. If Hardwick can't play, Ohrnberger is expected to start in his place. 

Ohrnberger, 27, never expected to be taken in the NFL Draft in 2009. When his phone rang during the fourth round, the New England Patriots proved Ohrnberger’s expectations wrong. Coach Bill Belichick welcomed Ohrnberger to the NFL, and his dreams of becoming a professional football player had come true.

During his career, he's played with the Patriots, Arizona Cardinals and Chargers, mostly in a backup role. 

"The coaches are always working on fundamentals every single day, and it showed up on the field," he added. "You can go out there and have the same or different players doing the same thing, and it works. It takes all five or six or seven guys, depending on how many blockers are out there, but everybody did a really great job."

What did you think of Ohrnberger's performance? Tell us in the comments section below.

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