Last week, we went way back in time to look at an Eagle Columbus Day tradition, this week, we travel back only a few years to find one of the great individual performances in BC history, Montel Harris' 264 yard, five touchdown effort on October 17, 2009 in a 52-20 win over former head coach Tom O'Brien and NC State.
2009 was a year in transition. The program had been staggered with the sudden departure of Jeff Jagodzinski and was now under the leadership of Frank Spaziani. Some liked the Spaziani hire, but many felt Spaz was more suited to be a life long assistant and continue to excel as a Defensive Coordinator. We all know where that story ended, but in 2009, there was still optimism around the program.
BC had opened the season 4-2, losing at Clemson and getting thrashed a week before the NC State game at #5 Virginia Tech, but also had wins over Florida State and a thrilling OT win over Wake Forest, forcing a turnover in OT to seal it.
This game, became the Montel Harris story.
The sophomore from Jacksonville, FL set the school record for yards in a game (264), previously held by Phil Bennett (253) in a 1972 win over Temple and touchdowns in a game (5) that eclipsed the old mark of 4 set by many people. Amazingly the single game record that had stood for 37 years would be broken four times in the same season just four years later.
The game was billed as one between a stout rushing defense in the Pack who had only yielded 62 yards per game and BCs run game, but Harris obliterated that with his first carry of the game.
The main weapon on this day, to go along with Harris' legs, was the BC Bazooka. The Bazooka formation was the Eagles version of the Wildcat. 167 of Harris' 264 yards were picked up on just five carries out of that formation.
Harris' first carry out of the Bazooka was a 70 yard run to the NC State 2, where he himself finished off the scoring drive. Russell Wilson (of Super Bowl fame indeed) would tie the game on a short TD run, before 26 year old freshman QB Uncle Dave Shinskie tossed a 59 yarder to Colin Larmond to but the Eagles back up 14-7.
NC State would counter with two field goals before Harris completely blew up.
With BC leading 24-13 at the half on a Steve Aponavicius FG at the gun, Harris would score three times himself in quarter three, from 10, 1 and 29 yards to put NC State out of it's misery at 45-13.
Harris would have a stellar BC career, one unfortunately marred at the end by injury and ultimately a transfer out of school eventually landing at Temple where he played for current Eagle boss Steve Addazio.
Harris would run for 3735 yards in essentially three seasons, making him the all time Eagle rusher at the time of his departure. Andre Williams would set the mark just a few seasons later, but only besting Harris by four yards.
His 787 carries for a career are 79 more than Derrick Knight for another Eagle record and he holds both the current freshman and junior yardage records.
The 2009 team would have a respectable 8-5 record, losing to USC in the Emerald Bowl, 24-13. The one game step back from 2008 would be repeated again in 2010 and then major slides all the way down to 2-10 signaled the end of the Frank Spaziani era...or error...your choice.
BC on October 17:
- 1902 - at Andover 24 BC 0
- 1908 - at St Anselm's 0 BC 0
- 1914 - at Bowdoin 20 BC 0
- 1925 - at BC 54 BU 7
- 1931 - Villanova 12 at BC 6
- 1936 - at BC 12 New Hampshire 0
- 1942 - at #11 BC 7 North Carolina Naval Flyers 0
- 1943 - at BC 7 BC Army Training 0
- 1947 - LSU 14 at BC 13
- 1952 - #15 Villanova 28 at BC 7
- 1959 - at BC 35 Dartmouth 12
- 1964 - at BC 10 Cincinnati 0
- 1981 - Navy 25 at BC 10
- 1987 - at Rutgers 35 BC 24
- 1992 - #20 BC 35 at #9 Penn State 32
- 1998 - #23 Syracuse 42 at BC 25
- 2009 - at BC 52 NC State 20
- Overall 8 wins, 8 losses, 1 tie
- Home 7 wins, 5 losses
- Away 1 win, 3 losses, 1 tie
- As a ranked team 2 wins, 0 losses
- Vs ranked teams 1 win, 2 losses