The Miracle on Hallowed ground

Neyland Stadium is Hallowed Ground


By Gabe Correa - Smokey's Trail

Here's a team that was supposed to lose two games already, but the Tennessee Vols worked hard all year to get to this point of the season, to play in games like this.

First they beat Syracuse in a last second field goal, and then they faced Florida in a showdown in overtime to win. They lost their star running back, Jamal Lewis, in the Auburn game for the rest of the year and won the game with defense.

The Miracle on Hallowed ground - Neyland Stadium
Tennessee comes from behind in a thriller. RB Travis Henry gets the ball 5 straight times, and scores the winning touchdown with 28 seconds left on the clock.

Then they had to step it up in the Georgia game to shut down their high powered offense, in which they did. Then, rival Alabama came to fight the Vols once again and gave the Vols a game for 3 quarters.

If that was not enough, then came the BCS ranking and changed the way we played the game on points scored. Phil Fulmer talked to the players on not letting down, staying focused and remember the game with Memphis that cost us, playing for the National Title. Tennessee then went on to beat South Carolina and ABU in their next two games.

Then Arkansas came to town and their players did the hog call at the Tennessee players as they came out to walk down Peyton Manning Pass. You just don't do that in the SEC, you respect each other's territory.

Arkansas was ready to play and play they did. They caused 2 turnovers and scored 21 points to our 3 in the second quarter and just before the half, Tennessee scored to make it 21-10.

Tennessee had some mis-tackles and made some mental mistakes in the first half. With a team like Arkansas, you can't turn the ball over without paying dearly. The second half Tennessee held Arkansas to just 3 points in which they scored a field goal off our fumble.

QB Clint Stoerner fumbles the ball
QB Clint Stoerner fumbles the ball and UT tackle Billy Ratliff recovers it on Arkansas 43-yard line.

Tennessee hadn't quit all year and they fought back with a blocked field goal from Deon Grant after Al Wilson sacked their quarterback, Clint Stoerner for a big loss.

Al Wilson grabbed the ball and raced 50 yards to their 36 yard line with 6:29 left in the game. The score was 24-20 Arkansas. Tennessee couldn't move the ball on their defense and had to punt the ball.

David Leaverton punted the ball to their 1-yard line from mid-field. Arkansas moved the ball to their 41 yard line and it was 4th down and 1 yard to go and Arkansas was looking like they were going for it.

Travis Henry
Tennessee's Travis Henry scored the winning touchdown over left tackle Chad Clifton with 28 seconds left in the game as the Vols take the lead 28-24.

They were trying to draw Tennessee off sides, but it didn't work. Then things began to happen on the field at Neyland Stadium after they called time out. Arkansas' self destruction began when the center snapped the ball over punter Chris Akin's head.

He kicked the bouncing ball another 20 yards out of the end zone to keep UT from recovering it. The safety pulled Tennessee within two, 24-22, with 2:56 left. Arkansas kicked off, held the Vols on four downs and appeared to have it locked up.

But on second down, Hog quarterback Clint Stoerner rolled to his left, stumbled and placed the ball on the ground in his right hand, trying to keep his balance. The ball squirted free, and UT tackle Billy Ratliff pounced on it at the Arkansas 43 with 1:43 remaining.

Travis Henry got to the huddle, and Tee Martin and the offensive line looked up at Henry and said: "Take the ball to the promise land" and he did. He ran 15, 15 and 11-yards to their 2-yard line.

On the next play he made it to the 1-yard line. Then on the very next play he leaped over left tackle Chad Clifton and rolled into the end zone in five plays to give Tennessee Vols its miraculous 28-24 victory with 28 seconds left.

Tennessee learns from experience and this comes once in a life time! So take heed for another chance to go forward toward your goal, SEC Champions. First you must stop Kentucky's high powered offense and play like there's no tomorrow. Is this your destiny, only time will tell! Go Vols Beat Wildcats!!!


The Greatest 2 Minutes in Tennessee History ....

"Henry, Take the ball to the promise land"

1998 Season

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