In the end, it was always going to come down to brother vs. brother.
Ten years of New Westminster Hyack football and school history gathered at Mercer Stadium for Homecoming festivities on Friday night and there were no bigger stars than the Jaccard brothers, Ingram and Torsten.
Ingram led the first two years of the Hyacks football team in 2003 and 2004 and was asked by head coach Farhan Lalji to give the pre-game speech to the 2012 team.
Torsten, now an assistant coach for the varsity team in between his time going to UBC, led the 2008 and 2009 Hyack teams to within a couple games of the provincial championship.
The brothers are close, as the hugs, handshakes and fist bumps are evidence of, but when former alumni engaged in a series of touch football games prior to the varsity squad's 26-16 win over Carson Graham, the spotlight naturally turned to arguably the two best all-around players the football program has produced.
"I haven't even thrown a ball for quite some time," said Ingram, who's just finished his economics degree after spending the last year in Berlin. "We were up at our cabin and Torsten and I just started whipping the ball around and it felt good, it felt like yesterday and I was happy to be playing football again."
As Ingram led one alumni team - the teams were split into four teams based on the year of graduation - Torsten missed the first couple of drives as he made his way from Point Grey and his third-year studies in biological engineering.
Yet when the headband-wearing UBC student arrived, the first thing Ingram's teammate Darnell Sikorski said was "Oh, oh, Torsten's here. D just got a heck of a lot harder."
Drive for drive, the brothers matched each other, with Ingram gaining a momentary upper hand by knocking down Torsten's pass in the end zone.
With not one, but two opportunities to win, Ingram couldn't pull the trigger and Torsten made him pay, connecting with 2003 Hyack Sandeep Mutti for the game-winning score in a fun-filled game full of brotherly competition.
"It's old classic Ingram," said Torsten with a big smile on his face. "He's got the game right there and he's just lost the gun to do it."
As big brother comes to give little brother a hug, you can't help but feel the brotherly love between the two.
"I had to let him win," joked Ingram. "He's the younger brother so he's supposed to win, isn't that what I should say?"
The spirit of Homecoming wasn't just on the football field, as more than three hours before the varsity game was about to kick off, more than 50 volunteers were working feverishly to get everything in place.
Moving tables and setting up the food concession area was Lalji's wife, Mary.
"Just have to put a bit of a muscle into this," she joked as she lifted boxes and directed people.
Mary has every reason to take it easy, as daughter Nora just turned six months old and was being taken care of by Mary's sister.
New Westminster Secondary School principal Mary Bushman couldn't help but marvel at how Homecoming has grown so big, so fast.
"This is my sixth year as principal and eighth year at the high school watching this take place," said Bushman. "Did I think this could happen? Yes, because I have the utmost confidence in Farhan and the parents and the volunteers who make this all possible."
Bushman is even able to laugh at past Homecoming mishaps, which included the inevitable student streaker looking to gain attention.
"I remember when that happened last year or a couple of years ago," she said. "Funny thing is I'm a runner so when the streaker came out, what I saw was a good long running stride. ... I'm thinking that kid would be great for our track team."
Bushman would relive history later on Friday as two streakers hit the field during the second quarter of the varsity game. After a short run to midfield, the two streakers hopped the fence and were last seen heading south, with a security guard in full foot pursuit.
All kidding aside, Bushman said Lalji is never short on big ideas.
"My conversations with Mary usually go with me asking how things are going and then 'I need'," said Lalji. "And whenever I do talk to her, I have a lot of ideas, not all of them good, but they're never small. They're always big ideas."
And the big idea of a huge 10th anniversary Homecoming extravaganza featuring many different elements was nothing short of a smashing success.
After the alumni touch football games, the players were able to have a catered meal in the Dave Vallee Re/Max tent.
There, former Hyacks from the '50s, '60s and '70s mingled with recent graduates of the program.
"I can't believe how much fun it's been," said John Drury of the 2007 team. "It feels good to be a part of the history of this program."
Drury, who studied video game design and is now an entrepreneur starting up some small business ventures, said catching up with old friends, coaches and teammates was something everybody enjoyed doing Friday night.
"A lot of us grew up together and now we're out in the world doing different things," he said. "It all started here, at this school and with football."
A more recent graduate is 2011 NWSS lineman Makoto Brennen.
"It seems like just yesterday that I was out there playing," said Brennen. "It's a bit weird to be on the field and not playing, but just like I had my time, it's the kids on this year's team who have a chance to shine."
Grade 11 starting quarterback Tommy Robertson is one of those guys who is seizing the moment, but he's also cognizant of the past.
More than three hours before he was set to lead the Hyacks to an eventual 26-16 win over Carson Graham, Robertson came out to see the former Hyacks who helped build the program.
"I wanted to pay respect to these guys," said Robertson. "As soon as I finished my pre-game meal, I came out to see them play."
Robertson has met many of them before, as several have come back to help coach, including Mike Tuangkitkun, who played on the 2003 team and now works as the chef de cuisine in Maenam, one of Vancouver's ritziest and most respected restaurants.
"I certainly feel old," said the player everybody still refers to as Mike T. "I had to ask for the night off from work, but I wouldn't have missed this for anything."
Tuangkitkun caught up with his old quarterback, Ingram Jaccard and nothing seems to have changed since 2003 for the duo.
"I'm still always looking for Mike T when I'm in trouble," said Ingram, who said he was honoured to be asked by Lalji to give the pre-game speech to the team.
According to one person who heard the speech, Ingram impressed upon the young team the importance of the past history of the program and how each of them could create a new history with every game they play.
The night would end like all good Homecoming games should: with a Hyack win.
But as the thousand-or-so spectators were leaving after the 26-16 triumph, they received one last treat: a 15-minute fireworks show.
"I believe this is the first time a high school football game has ended with a fireworks show," said Lalji.
And yes, that was another big idea that became reality.