East Meadow residents might have noticed a familiar face during Sunday’s AFC Wild Card playoff game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the visiting San Diego Chargers.
After Chargers center Nick Hardwick suffered a neck injury and left the game in the first quarter, in stepped backup Rich Ohrnberger, a five-year NFL veteran and East Meadow High School graduate.
Ohrnberger played a key role in San Diego’s 27-10 victory, fortifying an offensive line that paved the way for 196 total rushing yards.
It was the postseason debut for the ’04 East Meadow High School alum, who was drafted by the New England Patriots in 2009, and made his first appearance with the team against the New York Jets on Nov. 22, 2009. He was signed by the Chargers last March.
At East Meadow High School, Ohrnberger was a three-year varsity player, a two-year captain, and earned multiple honors, including All-Long Island and All-County. As a senior, he won the Thorp Award as the most outstanding player in Nassau County.
Ohrnberger went on to play at Penn State, where he started for three years and finished his senior year with an appearance in the Rose Bowl.