100 Moments: TSU Tears Down the Goalpost
Friday, November 2, 2012
100 Moments: TSU Tears Down the Goalpost

The 100 Moments of TSU Athletics presented by Taco Bell® series continues by remembering a great moment in Tennessee State football history.

On Nov. 14, 1998 the Tigers traveled to Murray, Ky. for a pivotal game against the Racers. The winner of the contest would win the Ohio Valley Conference and make the playoffs while the loser would sit at home and watch.

Tennessee State won the game 46-44 in dramatic fashion, causing the TSU fans in attendance to storm Murray State's filed and tear down the school's goalpost.

The Tigers started the game with a 77-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Leon Murray to receiver Tyrone Butterfield to make the score 6-0 in favor of TSU.

That score was just the start of a record-setting day for the duo as they connected nine times for 249 yards and two scores.

Murray also set records himself, tallying 491 yards on 28 of 54 passes. He also threw two more scores besides the ones to Butterfield and caught the game-winning touchdown pass.

The Racers were down 9-3 later in the first quarter until they returned a kickoff for a score to take the lead for the first time on the day. However, the Tigers fought right back to re-take the lead at 19-10 with a Buck Billings field goal and a Donnell Brantley rushing touchdown.

Murray State came right back in the third quarter by blocking a TSU punt and scooping up the ball for a score. That set up one of the most dramatic fourth quarters in TSU football history.

Down 23-19, the Tigers scored 21 points off of three Murray tosses in the fourth quarter alone.

However, TSU would need a trick play to hold off the Racers. Murray threw a quick screen to Corey Sullivan who acted like he was going to run, but ended up throwing back to an open Murray. Murray scampered into the end zone for what would be the game-winning 26-yard score.

The Racers still had a chance to score after getting the ball back with 1:30 left in the game. Murray State drove right down the field like the team had done all quarter, but the offense sputtered in TSU territory. MSU kicker Greg Miller lined up for what would have been a game-winning field goal, but TSU's Jarrick Hillary blocked the kick to seal the win.

At least a thousand TSU fans in attendance stormed Murray State's field and tore down the goalpost. The fans then took the goalpost back to Tennessee State's campus, cut it up and distributed it to Big Blue supporters.

TSU wide receiver Avion Black called the win over Murray State, "one of the greatest experiences of my college career".

The 100 Moments of TSU Athletics presented by Taco Bell® highlights some of the greatest moments in honor of Tennessee State's centennial celebration. A new moment will be released each weekday for a total of 100. These moments were chosen by the TSU 100 Moments committee, which consists of alums from various departments. TSU has so many great moments, not all can be represented in these 100.

Sports Information Assistant Alex Mitchell contributed to this article.

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