Nov 13, 2006
Dang, what a game. And perfect weather to watch it in.
With the score tied at 14 and just five seconds left in regulation, NCCU had the ball at the Elizabeth City State University 34-yard line. Time for one more play before overtime. I assumed they'd go for a long pass.
Instead it was this:
Followed by this:
Note the ECSU's unfortunate No. 34, face down on the turf. That was Brandon Fields, who had run for 29 of ECSU's 39 rushing plays (and 116 of their 149 yards). In my mind, he was the most exciting factor on the field. We knew he'd get the ball 3 times out of 4, and we knew he'd almost always get some yardage -- sometimes large. We just never knew whether and where the NCCU defense was going to stop him. In the end, they stopped him just enough.
Some interesting double-coincidences and comparisons:
NCCU's kicker, junior Brandon Gilbert, won his second CIAA championship with a final-play kick in perfect weather.
This evening, from the other side of the field, the Chicago Bears' Devin Hester caught caught a failed 52-yard field goal attempt by the NY Giants' Jay Feely. After catching the ball 8 yards into the end zone, Hester faked some quiet end-of-play nothingness before launching into a 108 sprint for a touchdown. His 108-yard return tied the NFL record for longest play, set previously last year by Chicago Bears' Nathan Vasher against the SF 49ers who were also attempting a 52-yard field goal. I guess that Hester and Vasher had a nice time chatting on the plane ride home. (NFL stats via ESPN'S game recap.)
What a wacky weekend for football, which I almost never notice. I'm lucky this time that I happened to watch when I did.