Ark. Tech lines up with 10 defenders to honor teammate, scores TD - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum
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Ark. Tech lines up with 10 defenders to honor teammate, scores TD

By Nick Bromberg
21 hours ago



Arkansas Tech coach Raymond Monica said the idea of scoring a touchdown on his team's first defensive play Thursday night "subtly" crossed his mind, but knew the odds of it happening were quite low.

The Wonder Boys lined up with 10 defenders on the first play against Southern Nazarene in tribute to Zemaric Holt, a defensive lineman who drowned in July.

Southern Nazarene countered Arkansas Tech's shorthanded alignment with a jet sweep that had a pitch back to a receiver coming across the field. The pitch went awry and the ball fluttered towards Southern Nazarene's end zone.

That moment, Monica said, was in slow motion. So it must have felt like forever as the ball rolled into the end zone and ATU's Nick Akins picked it up for a touchdown.

It was a crazy moment of happenstance. Or, if you believe in a higher power, perhaps a bit of divine intervention.

"The kids were talking about Zemaric on that play," Monica told Yahoo Sports Friday afternoon, "… When it was going on, the whole bench knew the importance of this play."

Monica said the significance of the play left a tear in his eye. He decided not long after Holt's death that the team would go to 10 men for the first play of the game as a tribute. Holt, 21, drowned July 19 while swimming with teammates at the LongPool recreation area.


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