The Stampede

From Mustang to Super Bowl champ

Chris Polo, Senior Staff Writer

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It was the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl and the Philadelphia Eagles had the ball in a game where they were considered major underdogs. Next, Monte Vista alumni, Zach Ertz, scored on a wild touchdown play, that resulted in Philadelphia ending the underdog story.

Ever since the Eagle’s starting quarterback, Carson Wentz, suffered a torn ACL against the Rams which sidelined him for the season, the team was expected by many to be eliminated in the playoffs. However, this was also the point that the Eagle’s players and fans embraced the persona of the underdog.

The Philadelphia Eagles, without Wentz, were able to overcome the mighty five time champion New England Patriots and Tom Brady. The game winning touchdown catch by Ertz came late in the game, which ended the Philadelphia’s drought of over 50 years without winning a Super Bowl.

Ertz’ touchdown was arguably the most wild play of the game as when he dove over the goal line, the ball bobbled around in his hands before regaining control of it on the ground. It was one of the biggest moments in the game since the score would put the Eagles ahead in the score, and the play went under review. The outcome of the review would have a huge impact who would win the game.

Ertz along with some of his teammates were on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” two days after winning the Super Bowl. Fallon asked Ertz to describe his winning touchdown play.

“It seemed like I took three or four steps in the end zone before the ball hit the ground and then kind of wobbled a yard past the end zone,” Ertz said. “The NFL says they have to review every touchdown so they’re going over there to casually look at it.”

The NFL has had many controversial reviews when it came to determining whether or not a receiver completed a catch.

There was a playoff game between the Packers and Cowboys a few years ago where there was a lot of controversy of whether or not Cowboys star receiver, Dez Bryant completed a catch when the ball was wobbling around. Also another instance this season when Steelers tight end, Jesse James made a very similar play against the Patriots. Both of those plays went to review and were determined to be incomplete.

It seemed as if one of the most controversial rulings was about to be made. The whole rule of a catch for the NFL has been an issue for many for years now. Many people are not even sure what is or what is not a catch these days due to the rules for them being so complicated.

During the Ertz scoring play review, New York Giants star receiver, Odell Beckham Jr. expressed his thoughts on the importance of the review on twitter.

“This call will be detrimental for what is a catch or not a catch for the remainder of NFL history.” Beckham tweeted.

The ruling ended up being confirmed a touchdown. The touchdown will forever live in NFL and Eagles history.

“They just keep going over and over and I’m like ‘Wait, what is going on over there. It seems like three minutes later they finally decided it was a touchdown.’” Ertz said.

Later on in the game, the Eagles defense forced and recovered a fumble to all but seal the game. Then the confetti rained down as the underdog story had been complete.

During Philadelphia’s championship parade, Eagles starting center Jason Kelce gave a passionate speech at the podium.

“This entire organization was a bunch of men driven to accomplish something.” Kelce said. “You’re a bunch of underdogs!”

Ertz, who played in the red and black as a Mustang, then in red and white as with the Cardinal, is now a Super Bowl champion for the green and white and the Philadelphia Eagles. Just a kid from Danville, California, not just living the dream, but making the dream come to life.

Everybody likes an underdog story.

“And you know what an underdog is?” Kelce said. “It’s a hungry dog. And Jeff Stoutland has had this in our building for five years. It’s a quote in the O-line room that has stood on the wall for the past five years: Hungry dogs run faster!”

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From Mustang to Super Bowl champ