What are your thoughts about the last two plays?
The last two plays--that was all about believing, man. That was all about knowing what you can do and sticking to it. It's about getting after it and being confident.
Where you confused on what happened? Points were on the board.
I was sort of confused. There is always a whole lot of confusion. I was like, why have the points been taken off the board. I was just ready to go out there and block the extra point.
And then what about the last play?
The last play, I was like, 'Man, if I get in here and we win this game or lose this game, just know I'll go hard.' That's all I was thinking, ' Just make sure I knock that guy in front of me back and get to the ball.
You guys called a time-out. What was said before that last play from the defensive point of view.
Actually, I came off the sideline. When I came off the sideline, I was just like, 'Man, I've got to get in here.' I ran over to the coaches, looking for somebody to put in, so he put me in. I didn't really know what was going on in the huddle. I went over there, I was like, 'Guys, if this guy comes to me, don't let me miss him.'
Not many guys, not many defenses can stop that guy knocking on the door.
Oh, yeah. I know, I know. He's a big guy. I didn't get a chance to hit him all game. I didn't get a chance to hit him all night. I was like, 'When I get my hands on him, I'm going to get him.'
You got him.
It happened to be the last play. When we really needed to get him, we got him.
Melik Brown said that you were anticipating that he would leap over on that play. Were you thinking that also?
I didn't know what was going [to happen]. I just knew that I had my guy in front of me, and I knew T.A. was going to try to come through one of the holes. I just know when he came over, the lineman tried to cut me. I was like, 'Uh-uh.' He was either going to put his head down or try to jump. Whichever way he was going, I was ready for him.
It looked like your height aided you in making the play. If you had not been as tall as you are, maybe he'd have been high enough to get leverage and get in. Do you think your height helped?
Oh, yeah. He jumped pretty high. When I got him, I was fully extended. When I had him, I even had his legs. When I got him, I was like, 'Don't let him go.'
How did you beat the guy in front of you?
Actually, the guy in front of me was real low. He was trying to cut me, so I got my hands on him and kept moving my feet and was looking for the ball carrier. When he came over, get him.
How were you guys able to run the ball against the #2 defense?
Great preparation from practice. Guys really wanted to come out and play today, and that's what I saw. Guys had fight today, and we need to finish that off with the rest of the season
What do you have to say about Gary Tranquill's gameplan?
Coach, he's the man. He had it going today. I loved it today.
How about Madison Hedgecock stepping up today?
Oh, man. Fullback, look like a tailback. I'll take that any day. Madison was a warrior today.
What about Darian's performance--was this one of his best games in a while?
Hey, he's great. But it's Darian, though. You are always expecting that of him. I think he stepped up like everyone else did. We were all on the same page today, and that's what got us this win.
Can you talk about the emotion on the sidelines? They scored the touchdown, then it's not a touchdown.
This is the best I ever saw our crowd. The crowd had the other team not even hearing their plays. Guys were going in motion without knowing. The crowd was really into it, guys were into it. We were ready to play today.
What about your touchdown catch? It seemed like you confused the secondary.
Man, I just had it in my mind to make that play and try to win this game, so I went out and made the play. It was a stutter, a hitch-and-go. He fell for it, and I was off to the races.
What are your emotions like right now?
Words can't even explain right now. I'm just elated. We stuck together as a unit from the first whistle to last whistle. That goal line stand right there, you can't ask for anything else from your teammates. Those guys dug down deep--tired, hurt.
The referee missed two big delay of game calls--my goodness! But those guys put all that behind them, took a gut check, swallowed it, and went and got it. Hat's off to the defense on that stand right there, and for the whole game. I'm just so elated right there.
You looked really wide open on the touchdown pass you caught. What happened on that play?
Well, we run different stuff out of that set, and we knew those guys were really aggressive. They want to go down and make a play on every play. A lot of times that can hurt you. You have to know assignments and keep assignments. We ran a little trickery--wide open touchdown.
One of the big plays you made won't really show up in the stats--the fumble you fell on. What did you seen and how did you get the ball?
I saw it when A.D. made the catch. I saw him coming around, and I saw him swinging the ball, and I said, 'A.D., tuck it away, tuck it away. We work so much on ball security. He's a big dude and we take big strides. A lot of times, we'll get our arm into it. And for some reason, I just felt that the ball was going to come out, so I just stayed around. It came out, everybody washed in front of me, I jumped over the pile and went and got it.
What did you think about Madison's play tonight?
Oh, boy! Mad Dog, that's what we call him. That's Mad Dog right there. He carried the load for us. Jacque did a good job today, but when we need those hard, strong, tough yards, why not go to him? What, six-foot, 270? I would run the ball if I was him too. I would want the ball too. Those guys were tired. We are the best-conditioned team, to me, in the country. We work hard on conditioning, and that paid off. Madison kept his legs churning and picked up big first downs. Nobody wants to tackle somebody 270. Would you?
My point, exactly.
Can you describe your emotions there at the end when they signaled touchdown? What was going through your head?
D--n! That's all I could think of was D--n!
And what about when they said it wasn't a touchdown?
Yes! I mean, your heart just drops to your stomach. You are like 'Man, we worked so hard for this.' When they said no touchdown, you just felt like somebody [jolted] you with a bolt of life or something. You know what--this is meant for us to win right here. We are supposed to win this game.
After they say that there is no TD, there is one more play. What thoughts are running through your mind there?
For some reason, I had no doubt about that play. Their spirits went down after they said no touchdown and I just knew. We've been saying all year, 'Saw wood, hold the rope, trust each other, now and together.' It was that time, now and together, and we made a stand.