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Wednesday, November 25, 2009
15 years later, John Tyler-Plano East still a classic

By Randy Jennings/Special contributor

On so many levels, Tyler John Tyler's 48-44 playoff win over Plano East in 1994 has become legendary.

  • Plano East rallied from a 41-17 deficit with 3:03 to play to take a 44-41 lead, thanks in part to three straight successful onside kicks in the final 2:36.
  • A crushing 97-yard kickoff return by John Tyler's Roderick Dunn for the game-winning touchdown with 11 seconds remaining.
  • A combined 51 points in the fourth quarter; 28 points in the final 1:58.
  • The now-famous call of the game by Plano Telecable announcers Eddy Clinton and Denny Garver and guest analyst Mike Zofutto.

  • Thursday is the 15th anniversary of the game that won ESPN's 1995 ESPY Award as Showstopper of the Year.

    The game, which was played at Texas Stadium, was not the state final. It was a third-round playoff game. The two 12-0 teams were known best for defense. Plano East, ranked No. 2 in The Associated Press' state poll, was allowing less than nine points a game. John Tyler, No. 3 in the poll, was giving up just 13.9.

    John Tyler went on to win the Class 5A Division II championship, beating Lake Highlands, Arlington and, finally, Austin Westlake in the title game.

    Often overlooked in Plano East's comeback was the contribution of Terrance Green. He caught a touchdown pass that made it 41-23, set up another with a 44-yard catch and also executed the onside kicks. Plano East's regular kicker had been dismissed from the team and Green was the fill-in.

    The call of the game, slanted for viewers in Plano, took on a life of its own. Among show biz stops for Clinton and Garvey in the game's aftermath was an appearance on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

    Some of the memorable lines from the telecast.

  • "Good gosh a'mighty Joe Friday! Gimme something ... I'm gonna die!" -- Garver after Plano East recovered its third onside kick.
  • "For all you people who left early ... you sorry dogs!" -- Garver in the midst of the Plano East rally.
  • "Oh no! Oh no! God bless those kids! I am sick! I want to throw up!" -- Zofutto during John Tyler's winning kickoff return.