Weirdest, Most Fantastic End of a Football Game Ever


By Paul M. Banks

It will no doubt be on Sportscenter and all the other highlight shows tonight. It’s the most heart-warming story about a Left Tackle since the Sandra Bullock film, “The Blind Side.” Fresno St. back-up LT Devan Cunningham’s game winning 2 pt conversion reception must be seen in order to be believed. The ball initially bounced off a Fresno State wide receiver, then an Illinois defender before falling into Cunningham’s arms to give the Bulldogs the final two points of a wild 53-52 win at Illinois; a game that set a new record for total points in the nearly 80 year history of Champaign’s Memorial Stadium.   “I already told my roommate back in Fresno to record it, my family to record it, and I got a lot of texts saying good job. I will probably call my parents in about ten minutes,” Devan said about the surge of publicity that will inevitably hit him. devan

Fresno Quarterback Ryan Colburn threw a pass intended for an eligible receiver in the end zone. But it was the 6’6″ 350 pound Cunningham who hit paydirt, corralling the deflected pass and then surging into the end zone, with a little help from his teammates.  When the dust settled, there was just two seconds remaining.

“{Center} Joe {Bernardi} gave me the extra push to get into the end zone, but once I opened my eyes and gathered everything, half of my body was in the end zone so I thought that maybe I did score…Real crazy. I never would have imagined in my life, that’s luck, things happen and you have to be prepared for it, and luckily I was in the right spot at the right time and able to score.” Cunningham stated.

It all came about because Fresno Coach Pat Hill showed a lot of chutzpah, by deciding to take a risk and go for two after the final touchdown, instead of possibly kicking the extra point and forcing an overtime session.

“I thought that putting the ball at the plus 25 was not in our best interest and advantage. Finishing the game like that was not the way we had it drawn up, but it was successful,” he told media after the game.

So will Coach Hill design more plays for Cunningham in the upcoming bowl game?

“Hopefully, but that’s too much pressure on me. Blocking is a lot more easier and I’m good at that,” the big man said.