Decisive TD proved historic for Moore, Lions
One play meant more than winning one game
Dylan Moore reminiscences about the play and its impact
about sksksksWAXAHACHIE, Texas -- Every season is littered with big plays on the gridiron. Some are memorable. But very few are considered unforgettable.
The 2013 campaign for Southwestern Assemblies of God University has been over since November 16, but their 38-34 triumph over No. 25 ranked Bacone College (Ok) is still reverberating with fans six weeks later.
Trailing 34-24 late in the fourth quarter the Lions came to life with two touchdowns to cap their first-ever winning season!
Their 6-4 record was the same as Langston University (Ok), who won the Central States Football League with a 5-0 conference record. SAGU finished second at 4-1.
Following an eight-yard TD run by halfback Troy Griffin (Houston, Tx / Texas A&M Commerce ) with four minutes left on the clock. The Lions defense then forced a punt after a three-and-out.
SAGU took over at Bacone 48. The drive began with three incomplete passes, senior QB Reid Golson (Grandview, Tx / Grandview, Howard Payne ) bolted 10 yards to move the chains.
A pitch to freshman running back Kris Bigham (Cedar Ridge, Tx / Cedar Ridge HS ) picked up seven and a quick dart to junior wide receiver Jeremy McDonald (San Antonio, Tx / Cornerstone Christian ) was good for five and a first down at the 26.
Offensive Coordinator Frank Tristan veered from the Lions patient tendency of attacking the red zone by firing a strike on the ensuing play.
Dylan Moore (Denton, Tx / Guyer HS ), a junior wideout with a linebacker’s toughness, charged up the right sideline. He had a step on a defender when a pass from Golson arrived.
Moore snatched the ball away from the outstretched arm of Cam Onic, before landing just inside the orange pylon for the game-winning score.
The SAGU defense made a stop in the closing seconds when Ethridge Brooks (Centerville Tx / Madisonville HS ) recovered a fumble inside the Lions 10 yard line to save the day.
Golson’s fourth down run was huge, but people continue to recall the 26-yard TD reception by Moore.
The 6-foot-2, 220-pounder from Denton, forty miles northwest of Dallas, recently sat down to answer a series of questions about the play and the team.
Q1) On the winning TD, what was the play called? Were you the intended player on the play?
Dylan Moore: The Coaches called a "vertical - hitch read" for all four receivers. Reid assesses things to find what he thinks is the best matchup pre-snap.
Reid and I have had a good connection on the one-on-one jump-ball over the past two years, so he went my way.
When I looked up and realized that Reid had put it (the ball) in a great spot. I jumped and reached out for it.
I didn’t even realize I was at the goal line until I hit the pylon.
2) Were you nervous knowing the play had a chance to decide the game?
DM: I actually wasn’t nervous at all. I was just focused on the task at hand.
I only had one thought in mind; we have to score and there’s no other option.
3) You caught an earlier TD from five yards out. What was the route (on that play) and how well was the ball delivered?
DM: Coach called a "slant-wheel combo" that’s very effective against man-to-man coverage. We’ve practiced that play so much that Reid could have gone to any of our receivers.
Bacone gave us exactly what we wanted (in coverage) and we executed. Reid put the ball right on the money.
4) Why did that win seem so gratifying to the team?
DM: It was very satisfying because Bacone has always been a tough opponent.
We knew a win against them would give us four wins in a row and would be the icing on the cake on our historical season.
5) You play with the mindset of a tight end or linebacker, though you are a WR with very good hands. How would you prefer to be described?
DM: I like being called a physical receiver. I started out as a tight end and then made the transition to outside receiver my sophomore year.
Part of my conversion required me to improve my hands and increase my athleticism. But I still hold onto some of my tight end traits.
6) What emotions and thoughts were you experiencing at the very end, when Bacone was knocking on the door and then they fumbled in the closing seconds?
DM: Bacone’s receivers were getting into the open spots and making some good plays. So I was definitely on the edge of the bench.
But I had faith in our defense the whole time. When I heard the crowd go crazy from the fumble, it gave me the kind of feeling every athlete lives and plays for.
7) We have quite a talented receiving core, most all of them returning next season. How well does the cast of WR's and TE's get along... or how do you guys see talent level at receiver?
DM: We have a lot of skilled guys and we really do get along great. We consistently praise each other too.
It helps that everyone is unselfish when it comes to pass distribution. All of the WRs and TEs have the mentality of just “win.”
So it doesn’t matter how we get it done; we just want to succeed.
8) Of all the comments made to you after the game, what were the ones that meant the most to you?
DM: A comment that sticks out to me was when Coach (Jesse) Godding told me how proud he was of the progress I’ve made over the years, not only as a player, but a man as well.
However, the most prized comment came from my girlfriend. She has been a great support system for me in everything I’ve done since we’ve been together. She told me she loved me and that she was proud of me.
9) What did your mom, Tiffany, say to you?
DM: My mom had a stroke over a year ago and is currently working to get her speech back. So, just a few words from her are very precious to me.
She was able to say “I love you” and “You did so great.”
10) How do you think the 6-4 season will impact the team this off-season?
DM: Our record this year will set the tone for the off season. This year really showed us what we are capable of achieving as a unit.
We want to take that next step forward as a program by going for our first conference championship next year.
We just have to use the missed opportunities from this year as fuel.
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