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CM football player gets surprise as big brother shows up at game

TIM WEIGHT/THE EXPRESS Brothers Cruize and Quentin Woods tightly hug each other.

MILL HALL — Central Mountain Wildcats may not have won their football game on Friday night.

But one CM player was happy with the outcome, none the less.

For Cruize Woods, a senior defensive tackle, it was a game he will never forget.

Neither will his big brother, U.S. Navy Petty Officer Second Class Quentin Woods, 23.

Quentin came home from deployment in Italy earlier last week for a two-week leave.

TIM WEIGHT/THE EXPRESS Quentin Woods stands at attention during the coin toss.

And his parents, Bryan and Jennifer Woods of Mill Hall, decided to keep it a secret from Cruize and surprise him at Friday night’s football game. Another brother, Blayze, 25, of Avis, and sister Porsche, 16, were mum, too.

And surprise him, they did.

“Everything went off without a hitch,” Jennifer said of the plans made with Cruize’s coach and the rest of the family.

As planned, Cruize walked out onto the field with the team captains for the coin toss at the beginning of the game. Quentin walked out a few feet behind him, but Cruize was too busy concentrating on the handshake between team captains that he didn’t notice.

And then, over the loud speaker it was announced that there was an honorary captain on the field for the coin toss — U.S. Navy Petty Officer Second Class Quentin Woods.

TIM WEIGHT/THE EXPRESS Central Mountain football player Cruize Woods, number 66, didn’t notice his brother, U.S. Navy Petty Officer Second Class Quentin Woods, standing behind him in his Navy uniform until he was announced on the loud speaker.

Cruize heard it.

He turned around there he was, right behind him.

Cruize ran full speed toward his brother, giving him a big bear hug.

Then the two looked at each other eye-to-eye, Cruize in his football helmet and Quentin in his dress blue Navy uniform and white sailor hat.

Was he surprised?

TIM WEIGHT/THE EXPRESS Brothers Cruize and Quentin Woods walk off the field together.

Oh, yes, Cruize said he had no idea.

“I was so excited to see him. It was awesome,” Cruize said of the surprise reunion with his brother, who he hadn’t seen since January.

“We did it,” Jennifer said of the secret plan.

Actually, Quentin and his wife, the former Chelsea Kucharek, stayed in a motel when they first got into town so Cruize wouldn’t know he was home. Both Quentin and Chelsea are 2014 Central Mountain High School graduates. They married Oct. 8, 2016, and Chelsea has since joined her husband as he continues his Naval career. Quentin also played football at Central Mountain.

No, the score at the end of the night didn’t bring many smiles to the Wildcats, but it certainly was a heartwarming start to the game as the two brothers embraced in the middle of the field.

TIM WEIGHT/THE EXPRESS Brothers Cruize Woods and Quentin Woods meet face to face on the football field.

And with the entire Woods family in the stands on the 50-yard line, there was plenty to smile about.

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