BYU football’s alumni game was a hit — until former QB Max Hall ruptured his Achilles
John Beck-led Navy team outlasts Ty Detmer-led Royal team 26-20 at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo
A good time was had by all in BYU’s second annual alumni game on Friday afternoon at LaVell Edwards Stadium.
Well, almost everyone.
As the Navy team was edging the Royal team 26-20 in front of about 5,000 fans braving Provo’s 30-degree temperatures, former Cougars quarterback Max Hall suffered a ruptured right Achilles tendon.
“This was awesome. So many emotions and feelings come to you when you step onto this field after putting so much time, sweat, blood into the game. It was just fun to be with the guys again.” — Former BYU defensive lineman Bronson Kaufusi, who played tight end in the alumni game.
A source acknowledged that the injury occurred when Hall was celebrating a big play for the Royal team, even as the winningest QB in school history continued to sign autographs and take pictures with fans as though he was going to be OK.
Hall signed autographs and took pictures with fans on the East sidelines well after the game had concluded, his shoeless right leg propped on a table and crutches nearby.
Hall’s former BYU teammate, receiver Austin Collie, played for the victorious Navy team but said the quarterback’s injury threw a bit of a damper on the festivities.
Regulation ended in a 20-20 tie, more or less.
The Navy team scored a touchdown when former BYU QB and current 3DQB quarterback whisperer John Beck threw a short TD pass to Cody Hoffman, but the try for two was unsuccessful.
Mitch Mathews caught a pass from Beck but was out of bounds.
Ty Detmer and the Royal team took over, but former defensive back Spencer White, wearing Andrew Rich’s No. 22 and playing in Rich’s place because the former standout safety’s son was ill, intercepted a pass that deflected off a receiver’s hands and the Navy team began celebrating.
It wasn’t nearly as dramatic as last year’s ending, when Hall threw a Hail Mary to former BYU linebacker Bryan Kehl as time expired.
“Man, that was fun. I grew up watching Ty. I was coming to games back in the day. I was here for the Miami win. It was awesome talking to him pregame, and playing against him was a lot of fun,” said White, who lives in Lehi and is a software salesman.
White said he was ready to go as a last-minute replacement because he works out a bit and because his wife is a personal trainer. The game-winner was White’s second interception.
Detmer was 14 of 22 for 187 yards and two TDs with two interceptions. Former BYU defensive lineman Bronson Kaufusi, who played tight end in the NFL for a couple seasons, caught a 6-yard touchdown pass.
“This was awesome,” Kaufusi said. “So many emotions and feelings come to you when you step onto this field after putting so much time, sweat, blood into the game. It was just fun to be with the guys again.”
Also for the Royal team, Hall was 5 of 7 for 70 yards and a TD. Colby Pearson (four catches, 93 yards) and Kaipo McGuire (three catches, 32 yards, TD) also had big games.
Beck completed 24 of 34 passes for 235 yards and three TDs for the Navy team, while Brandon Doman was 4 for 4 for 80 yards and a TD.
Hoffman caught eight passes for 100 yards and a TD, and was arguably the most outstanding offensive player, along with Beck.
Dennis Pitta (three catches, 36 yards) and Mathews (three catches, 42 yards) also had nice games.
Fahu Tahi and Algie Brown caught touchdown passes.
“I mean, it was competitive. I am not going to lie,” said Beck, who did some throwing with Pitta and Collie once a few weeks ago in Southern California.
“I wanted to play well, and I wanted the guys around me to play well. At the same time, it is your teammates you are playing against. There are guys on the other side that are Cougars, that are BYU guys. A lot of laughs, a lot of smiles. It was really cool.”