The Football Team That Could

It was a Minnesota mismatch of epic proportions.

On the one side, there was Cathedral High School - big and strong and undefeated.

They were taking on McLeod West, small, scrappy, and with no stars. Though they do see them quite frequently, CBS News correspondent Steve Hartman reports.

It's been a tough year all around for McLeod West. Their main school building has fallen into such disrepair they had to board it up - moved classes out of classrooms and into the basement, onto the stage. It's not a good situation.

The high school mostly likely has to close completely next year.

Partly due to that, enrollment dropped 40 percent.

Which brings us back to football.

"Football is a game of numbers and we don't have them," said Coach Bill Neubarth.

He says when you take the whole school, subtract the girls and the boys who don't play football, you're left with 19.

From 35 last year, to 19 this year - and that's including Logan Miller and two other freshmen so small the water jugs can almost tackle em.

Their opponents all have twice, if not three times, as many players. They all have stars and substitutes, which makes the rest of this story all the more unbelievable.

"Logically we can't do it but somehow we do it - we just show 'em who's boss," Logan said.

McLeod West actually won their first game.

"Yea, people thought we were going to lose every game but we proved 'em wrong," another player said.

McLeod West actually won their first four games, including an upset of the #2 team in the state.

"We want to make this year, the last year, the best year we ever had," one McLeod player said.

Unfortunately, Cathedral had other ideas.

It was still a Hollywood ending - it was just more like "Last of the Mohicans."

By halftime, McLeod West had lost three of their top four players and were down 21-0. There was no way they could come back to win.

And yet those kids came out the second half like Patton's Army - and when they scored, you would have thought they'd saved the school.

If only drive was dollars, they'd have that school fixed up in no time.

To learn more about the McLeod West Falcons, visit their Web site.

  • Steve Hartman

    Steve Hartman has been a CBS News correspondent since 1998, having served as a part-time correspondent for the previous two years.