There’s nothing more powerful than one photograph that tells the entire story. And that’s what I got after BYU quarterback John Beck threw a touchdown pass to Jonny Harline with no time left on the clock to win the game and shocked the crazy loud Utah fans into silence.
After the winning catch I ran onto the field for some wide shots and noticed the BYU players lifting someone up on their shoulders. I ran over and held my camera up over my head for a few frames. Ultimately, that photo (above) is the shot of the game for me. The winning quarterback being held aloft, crying. The sea of red Utah fans. And the scoreboard in the background that says it all (for this year, anyway): Utah 31, BYU 33.
Backing up to the play, I didn’t have a clear angle on Harline, so didn’t have a shot of the catch. But immediately after he caught the ball the place went nuts. The entire BYU team and coaching staff ran out onto the field in celebration, while the sea of red fans in the stadium stood stunned and silent.
I ran out onto the field, trying to narrow in on specific moments. There was a big pile-up on Harline right where he caught the ball, but I ignored that since Tribune photographer Rick Egan was covering that end of the field. I knew he must be in the scrum getting great stuff there so I looked elsewhere. It was pure chaos, and things happen so fast you’re lucky if you catch them.
I noticed BYU’s Sete Aulai standing alone, stunned in disbelief that his team had won.
Hands down, one of the best games I’ve ever seen.