I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes.
In Saturday’s football game between Benedictine College and the Grand View Vikings, BC quarterback Shaefer Schuetz pulled a magic act. He dodged some defenders, broke loose of a couple others, ran away from some more and then threw a touchdown pass while jumping out of bounds.
Seriously. That all actually happened. If you ran into someone on the street and they described a play to you like that, you wouldn’t really believe it actually happened that way, but it did.
It all started on the Grand View 5 yard line. Schuetz took the snap and did a play-action fake to running back Ejay Johnson. As Schuetz turned back toward the end zone, he was immediately pressured by a Vikings defender. Schuetz stepped to his left to make the first man miss, then jumped out of the grasp of a different Grand View player.
At this point, the play seemed almost dead. The defensive line had gotten away from the BC offensive line and were closing in on Schuetz. The junior quarterback ran by another diving defender, but was wrapped up by Grand View’s Exavior Lowe.
It’s not easy to stay on your feet as a defensive lineman puts you in a bear hug, but Schuetz did just that. While wrapped up by Lowe, another defender attempted to put the finishing touches on the play by lunging into Schuetz, but that seemed to stabilize the quarterback and helped him spin out of Lowe’s hold.
At this point, Schuetz scrambled to his right, looking for someone to throw to. He raced toward the sideline, chased by a pair of Vikings defenders. Running out of room, Schuetz jumped in the air to avoid running out of bounds and threw to the front corner of the end zone.
BC’s Alex Blake, who ran his original route toward the corner of the end zone and then floated toward the middle of the field as Schuetz pulled his Houdini act, raced toward the sideline, fell to the turf and was able to secure the pass from Schuetz for the score. It was a tough catch, but Blake made it to help secure the play as one of the most exciting in school history.
I still can’t believe it all happened. Grand View has one of the best defenses in the country; the Vikings were not playing the Washington Generals to BC’s Globetrotters.
Schuetz showed awareness to dodge a few players, strength to stay on his feet while wrapped up, and heart to keep the play alive in all aspects and find Blake in the corner.
Plays like that don’t just magically happen. The tools for a play like that are built in summer work-out sessions, fall practices that include drill after drill, film study to prepare players’ minds and, yes, it takes heart and determination found deep inside a player.
All the hard work Schuetz has put in to becoming the best player he can be was shown to the world on Saturday in that single play.
Benedictine went on to lose Saturday, but that doesn’t take away from the Schuetz-to-Blake touchdown in the first quarter. I won’t be alone in remembering that play for years to come.