The breakaway. Few plays in football are as capable of bringing 20,000 fans to their feet in such a wave of fevered expectation.
Rarely can one or two steps spell the difference between the game-breaking score and the game-saving tackle.
Never is there a greater test of pure speed and stamina.
The ball-carrier sees only the endzone in front of him. Thinks only six points. Hopes only to have enough oxygen to reach his destination.
The defensive player sees only his moving prey. Thinks only of how best to move in for the attack. Hopes only to have enough oxygen to outrun his foe.
The breakaway is football's glamour play--the one that makes the highlight film on the 11 o'clock news. The one that makes big names out of players like Tony Hinz.
Saturday afternoon, Hinz--a fullback on the Harvard football team--made a big name for himself. Saturday night, he was seen on TVs all across New England.
Sure, Hinz's 73-yard touchdown run midway through the third period did not prove essential in the Crimson's 42-3 triumph over defense-less Dartmouth.
Harvard was already well on its way to its fourth win of the '87 season when Hinz took a handoff from quarterback Tom Yohe, followed the flow of his offensive line one way, then cut back the other and scampered down the sideline untouched.
But a 73-yard run is a 73-yard run. You don't have to win a ballgame to make a name for yourself. Or go prime-time.
"The play is designed to get the flow going one direction, and it's a counter-play," said Hinz, describing his run. "There's belly action to the left, then I'm supposed to cut back with the offensive tackle blocking for me."
A run, though, is only as good as the blocking that allows the play to develop. And with just over six minutes gone by in the third quarter, and the Crimson facing a second and 10 from its own 27, Harvard's offensive line was good. Very good.
"Everyone's going to be excited when they see the film." Harvard offensive backfield Coach Frank Hershey said. "Everything was picture-perfect. Everyone stuck to their people and Tony went through there clean as a whistle. There was good downfield blocking, too."
All told, Hinz rushed 12 times for 152 yards and two touchdowns. The latter two numbers are both single-game highs for the Crimson this season.