124th U.S. Open

Pinehurst No. 2

The Loop

The Chargers came disgustingly close to running the perfect hook-and-ladder play against Carolina

September 28, 2020

The 2007 Boise State Broncos were not the first team to run the iconic hook-and-ladder play, and they certainly were not the last. But not many would argue against the fact that no team, professional or college, has ever run the play as perfectly as they did in their epic Fiesta Bowl victory over Oklahoma: 

Perfect execution. While the stage wasn't as big, the L.A Chargers damn near equaled Boise's execution with a hook-and-ladder of their own on Sunday afternoon. 

Trailing 21-16 against the Carolina Panthers with five seconds to play, the Bolts had time for one more play at Carolina's 28-yard line. Rather than take a shot at the end zone, rookie quarterback Justin Herbert hit Keenan Allen over the middle at the 14-yard line. Allen appeared dead in the water, but he lateraled to a wide open Austin Ekeler, who had a walk-in touchdown had he caught the lateral. Sadly, he did not: 

So, so close. A better pitch from Allen and this is ball game, Chargers. But it's a tough pitch to make with all your momentum going the other direction. Ekeler, meanwhile, is going full speed the opposite way in the hopes of catching this thing in stride and ending the game. Almost full Boise. Almost.