One of the greatest athletes to ever come out of Niles High School has passed away.
Al Brenner, who stopped Terry Hanratty on the 1-yard line to the force the 10-10 tie in the 1966 "Game of the Century" between Michigan State and Notre Dame, died Monday at the age of 64.
Brenner was born in Benton Harbor and was a multi-sport athlete at Niles High School. According to the Niles Star, Brenner was offered a contract by the Chicago Cubs in 1965 but instead chose to take a scholarship to play football at Michigan State.
“Things always came easy for him. He just had a gift,” Brenner's brother Terry told the Niles Star. “He played lots of sports, basketball, baseball, football. A lot people thought he was a better basketball player than football player.”
Brenner played two season for the New York Giants before finishing his pro football career in the Canadian Football League. There he proved to be a thorn in the side of another Notre Dame quarterback, once intercepting Joe Theismann four times in one game.