If you had to guess if Pacific won a football game or was the number one play on ESPN’s Sportscenter’s top 10, what would you pick?
The Boxers are still making positive strides towards their first win, but Saturday Oct. 1 was a day that will be remembered for sophomore and defensive back, Bryan Mills.
After Lewis & Clark University scored the first touchdown of the game, they began to line up to kick a field goal. Once the whistle blew and the kick was in the air, sophomore Devin Lagorio blocked the field goal kick, but the ball was far from being dead.
“All of a sudden I looked at our sidelines and heard the defensive line coach, Tavita Thompson, yelling at me that the ball was still live and that is when I picked up the ball and just ran with it,” said Mills.
Mills ran for 100-yards to complete a rare two-point conversion. He also said that the play was in Pacific’s favor, because at the time everyone thought the ball was dead. Almost all the players were back on their sidelines and Mills said he had an advantage when he started to run with the ball since it was closest to Pacific’s sideline.
“My first thought after I ran 100 years was, ‘I need to catch my breath to go back out on defense,’” said Mills.
The coaches also shared the feeling of suddenness in the play.
“At first, I was just thrilled for the blocked kick and for a split moment, in my excitement, I forgot that the ball was still live,” said Thompson. “When I came to my senses, I started yelling ‘get the ball’ and everything after that was just amazing. Our players are great at staying in the game by supporting each other and firing each other up no matter the circumstance. Rare plays like that fire up everyone.”
Although the Boxers fell to the Pioneers 60-35, excitement ran high throughout campus after ESPN’s Sportscenter aired the episode highlighting Lagorio and Mills’s play.
“My roommate Tim Hastie and I were in our room and we heard the whole third floor of McCormick Hall erupt into a cheer,” said Lagorio. “Initially we ignored the floor of our room shaking, then my roommate got a text saying we were on ESPN and we sprinted down there to see if that is what the commotion was about. To see my teammate be the number one play on ESPN brought me a sense of pride, honor and assurance knowing that every day when I step on that field I have a teammate who will never give up on a play till that final whistle is blown.”
Mills said he didn’t get to see himself on ESPN until a replay at 3:30 a.m. in the Gilbert Hall laundry room and said it was so surreal to see himself on ESPN.
He also said he has been getting congratulatory emails from past professors and having people he has never met before telling him what a great job he did.
The Boxer’s next game is against Linfield at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 15 at Lincoln Park Stadium.