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  • Player gives away easy touchdown to teammate so he could score his last touchdown as senior

    2,545 views 6 months ago
    The final football game of the season for UT Permian Basin has turned into an unforgettable moment. It was Senior day and the Falcons defeated A&M Kingsville 70-14. But it was a play of true sportsmanship that has millions talking.
    The final football game of the season for UT Permian Basin has turned into an unforgettable moment. It was Senior day and the Falcons defeated A&M Kingsville 70-14. But it was a play of true sportsmanship that has millions talking.

    On the last play of the first half, sophomore John O’Kelley breaks through the line and intercepts a throw from the Kingsville quarterback. One quick move and O’Kelley found himself on his way to an 85-yard touchdown pick-six. It was a dream come true for any defensive player. However, on his way to an easy score, O’Kelley made a perfect play into a legendary moment.

    Running alongside O’Kelley was one of the program’s “First Year Seniors” Chris Hoad. Hoad is one of only eight seniors who stayed with the UTPB Football program from its inception. Hoad, after making sure no one would catch O’Kelley, began to celebrate with his teammate but that’s when the tables turned. All of a sudden, O’Kelley hands the ball back to Hoad, giving up a once in a lifetime play, and sending his senior teammate out with touchdown.

    The video of the play has gone viral. Even making its way onto Good morning America. However, their story goes much deeper than that. Last week, O’Kelley was named a national nominee for the Mayo Clinic Comeback Player of the Year Award. The sophomore from Groesbeck, Texas, was coming off a strong freshman season in which he was named the Lone Star Conference Freshman of the Year with 38 tackles, 5.5 sacks, three forced fumbles and four blocked kicks. Last season in the middle of a breakout year that saw him rack up 7.0 sacks and 24 tackles in under four games, O’Kelley suffered a season-ending knee injury that ended his promising year. While rehabbing his knee in the off-season, his father passed away following a long battle with cancer.

    Hoad just ended his standout career with the best season in Falcon history. He led the nation with 157 tackles and is the active career leader across all NCAA Divisions with 528 career tackles. He has been the heart and soul of the Falcons program, one of eight original Day One Falcons that joined the team when it began in 2015.

    “The opportunity for John O’Kelley, the chance to score a touchdown in the last game of the season, to turn around and hand the ball off to one of the programs leaders and a guy that will go down in history as one of the greatest players in the program’s history was a special moment,” said Head Coach Justin Carrigan.

    The play has been viewed over 2 million times in just 48 hours on social media, being posted by CBS Sports, NBC Sports, Bleacher Report, Sports Illustrated, SportsCenter, ESPN, and Good Morning America.

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