VIDEO: Dickinson State's Tray Boone TD leap makes ESPN ‘SportsCenter’ Top 10
Ever since his countless hours as a youngster on a trampoline, Tray Boone knew he could do a flip. But even he didn't anticipate ever doing a flip during a football game. And never in his wildest dreams did he think he would make a top 10 play on...
Ever since his countless hours as a youngster on a trampoline, Tray Boone knew he could do a flip.
But even he didn’t anticipate ever doing a flip during a football game. And never in his wildest dreams did he think he would make a top 10 play on ESPN’s “SportsCenter.”
But he did exactly that. The junior running back from Los Angeles took a pitch from quarterback Kaler Ray late in Dickinson State’s game against Dakota (S.D.) State on Sunday night at the Fargodome before jumping into the air and flipping over two defenders on his way to a 2-yard touchdown.
The play became the No. 1 play on the nationally televised and globally renown “SportsCenter.” The play also appeared on Fox Sports 1 and through various other social media.
“That’s something I've always dreamed of - to be on ‘SportsCenter,’” Boone said. “To see it actually happen is almost like a dream come true.”
With a 42-24 lead early in the fourth quarter, the play was called for Boone to take the pitch to the right.
“They were kind of getting momentum back, so Kaler really pointed out to me that we need to score here,” Boone said. “Once he told me that, it was in my head that we need to go out and execute this play.”
Blue Hawks offensive guard Lane Millay pulled outside to make a block on a Trojans defender.
Dakota State senior linebacker Ben Kullos appeared he was going to be blitzing, but flowed over to attempt to make a tackle on Boone. Instead, he got flipped on.
“I just don’t know what told me to do that, but it worked out,” Boone said. “I think that just shows how hungry my team is.”
As Boone landed, he had just enough force to also go over the top of Trojans senior linebacker Tyler Poggemeyer, who had recovered from a block from Dickinson State senior center Meyer Bohn just in time to attempt a play.
“It was mostly just momentum,” Boone said. “When it went up in the air, I figured someone would hit me. Once I noticed he missed, then I just tried to stick the landing.”
Immediately after Boone stuck the landing, he tore off his chin strap to celebrate with his teammates.
“It was just crazy. I didn’t know if I could believe it, but once I watched the replay I thought, ‘Wow I can’t believe I did that,’” Boone said. “It was crazy how I could land on my feet without being injured or anything like that.”
On the bus ride back from the 49-30 win over the Trojans, the Blue Hawks celebrated more as they watched the replay again on the bus before sending it to ESPN’s flagship program.
“Just to have the whole team happy about possibly being on ‘SportsCenter,’ we got a big win, it was just a great feeling,” Boone said, “and we’re hoping we can just get the next one.”
Boone rushed for 186 yards on 24 carries in that game. He had a 48-yard TD in the first quarter, and concluded his scoring with that play. He was named the North Star Athletic Association offensive player of the week for his performance. He is fourth in the country with 135.6 rushing yards per game.
“We get the exposure we deserve,” Boone said. “I know everybody was excited about us going there. I hope we get a chance at the playoffs to show how good we can be and get a shot at the championship.”
Even after the win, the Blue Hawks are still ranked No. 21 in the NAIA coaches poll. They need to be in the top 20 to make the playoffs.
“It’s good exposure for me and the team. We worked really hard,” Boone said. “We’re going to get more votes because of that play.”
And even though he’s been “overwhelmed with so much love and support,” Boone admitted he still hadn’t seen the ESPN segment as of Monday night.
Though they don't know if their season will continue, the Blue Hawks will keep practicing. There’s another week of games in the NAIA, and if the coaches move Dickinson State up one spot, they can still be voted in next week.
Even if the Blue Hawks make the playoffs again, Boone doesn’t think another flip is in the playbook.
“I don’t think I'll be doing that anytime soon,” Boone said. “If my instincts tell me to do that, then maybe.”