By my count, there were 124 non-punting plays from scrimmage Friday night as Urbana edged Danville 35-34 in a Big 12 Conference season-opening football game.
Most of the spectators in attendance at Urbana's McKinley Field will single out the 32-yard field goal at the final buzzer by senior Michael Beckwith as the game's biggest play.
While I agree that it obviously changed the final outcome, my pick as the key play occurred in the final 90 seconds of the third quarter.
It came moments after a 28-yard pass from Cody Zeigler to DeMaree Tetter gave the Vikings a first down on the Urbana 1-yard line. Danville mishandled the next two center snaps and suddenly faced a third-and-15.
Zeigler's pass over the middle was heading toward Tetter and had the appearance of a touchdown toss until a diving Adam Kirby batted the ball away, preventing Danville from adding onto a lead which was already 26-19.
The Vikings lost possession one play later when Zeigler was sacked for an 11-yard loss on fourth down by the Tigers' Kirby Johnson. Quarterback Adam Kirby then directed a 13-play, 4:41 game-tying scoring drive, capped by the first of Antonio Jones' two fourth-quarter TDs.
The defensive deflection, Kirby said, was "the greatest feeling," and he thought it could warrant special treatment.
"You feel like you should be put on the cover of Wheaties," he said.
Speaking of Kirby, a senior who is listed at 5-foot-7, 151 pounds, it's time that this big-game performer was granted a suitable nickname.
Just so happens I have a suggestion. His grandfather, Merwin Kirby, was known as the "Mighty Mite" when he graced the gridiron in the early 1950s and it would be appropriate for the current Urbana signal-caller to be known as the "Mighty Atom."