Forzani recalls record play

WES GILBERTSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:15 PM ET

CALGARY - Welcome to the club, Welker.

New England Patriots star Wes Welker etched his name in the NFL record books on Monday Night Football, sprinting 99 yards for one of the longest touchdowns in four-down football history.

Welker is now part of an exclusive crew. Tom Brady’s favourite target is one of a dozen NFL receivers to race 99 yards to the endzone. It’s only been accomplished twice in NCAA action, with current Stampeders speedster and former Washington State University Cougars Johnny Forzanni tying the record two years against Arizona State.

“I would never even consider putting myself in Wes Welker’s category yet, obviously. I hope, one day,” Forzani said. “But it was just crazy to see, because I’ll never ever forget that play. I probably think about it every day.

“And when Wes did it, it brought me back.”

Former Stamps receiver Terry Evanshen shares the CFL record with a 109-yard receiving score, but Tom Brady’s 99-yard strike to Welker in Monday’s 38-24 victory over the Miami Dolphins matched the longest possible pass-and-run TD on the 100-yard NFL field.

The record-tying touchdown also sparked memories for Stamps’ star quarterback Henry Burris, who hooked up with receiver Anthony Eubanks — an eventual University of Arkansas recruit — for a 99-yard long bomb during their days together at Spiro high school in Spiro, Okla.

“I just let it go, and I got hit, and then I heard the crowd going crazy. We actually set an Oklahoma (state) playoff record with the longest touchdown pass ever,” Burris recalled with a grin. “So when I saw that (Brady-to-Welker) play, I thought, ‘Wow, that’s a little deja-vu.’

“When you’re backed up on the one-yard line, the last thing people think you’re going to do is get a 99-yard touchdown, like Tony Dorsett did against the (Minnesota) Vikings (Jan. 3, 1983) and like what happened (Monday) with Brady. When it happens, it kind of creates a little deja-vu and a little memoir for you to think about the past and when it happened to you.”

After Welker’s highight-reel touchdown on the first Monday Night Football broadcast of the season, Forzani received a couple of text messages from former Cougars teammates reminiscing about his big play.

It’s a moment the 22-year-old CFL sophomore knows he’ll never forget.

“I have the game ball. I actually even kept the shoes,” Forzani said. “It’ll just be something cool. There are all these insanely good receivers that play forever, but I could go to Jerry Rice and say, ‘Hey, you don’t have a 99-yard touchdown in college.’ Obviously, I would never do that.

“It was just one play, but it was definitely a cool moment for me.”

wes.gilbertson@sunmedia.ca

On Twitter: @SUNGilbertson


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