Steve Young broke the huddle at the old Provo High School football field with some of the same fire that fueled his Hall of Fame career. Under the Friday night lights, as a surprise late addition to the annual BYU Alumni Game, Young called a play he had seen work before.

The former San Francisco 49er and BYU star took the snap and waited for his receivers to cross in the back of the end zone against the Navy defenders. Aleva Hifo (2016-2019) broke free to Young’s left, and the lefty floated it to him for the touchdown.

“The play was called ‘Shake! Shake! Shake,’” Young told BYUtv while trying to catch his breath. “I coached the girls in flag football last fall. The touchdown was Taylor Swift’s ‘Shake, Shake, Shake.’ I didn’t need any of the Cougs stuff (Riley Nelson’s playbook), I’ve got my own stuff. Taylor Swift won the game.”

Young (1980-1983), who started the touch football game playing for Team Navy but threw an interception to linebacker Uani Unga (2012-2013) on the second play, did his own Taylor Swift move to “shake it off” and return for one more drive in the second half.

Apparently more comfortable throwing to guys wearing royal jerseys instead of navy, Young switched teams and promptly drove his new squad down the field with a series of short passes.

“I was headed home,” Young said. “They said, ‘Do you want to run one more play?’ I said, ‘OK, I’ll run a play’ and it turned into this.”

Much to the crowd’s delight, Young’s Royal roster hoisted him up onto their shoulders. The former Super Bowl MVP raised his hands into the air like he had just won another one. Not a bad ending to a day that Young didn’t see coming.

“I didn’t know (the game) was tonight,” Young said. “I was on campus, and someone said, ‘You know there is the alumni game tonight.’ I said, ‘I’ve been wanting to get to the alumni game for years!’ So here we are. My arm feels better than I thought it would. So, what the heck. Let’s see what we can do.”

Not to be upstaged by BYU’s most decorated quarterback, Max Hall (2006-2009), the program’s winningest signal caller (32 wins), marched Navy down the field and re-took the lead with a touchdown strike to receiver Cody Hoffman (2009-2013).

“We need to get more of them here,” said head coach Kalani Sitake, who wraps up spring practice next Saturday. “We need to get the legends here so the fans can interact with them. For our team culture, it’s great to have these mentors here performing. You can see our guys getting into it. It’s a lot of fun.”

Quarterback Jackson Brown (2002-2005) gave Royal the lead back with a fourth quarter touchdown pass and circus catch by Neil Pau’u (2017-2021).

Navy responded with a drive to the Royal goal line but Jake Heaps’ (2010-2011) pass to Devon Blackmon (2014-2015) fell incomplete as time expired, giving Royal an 18-13 victory.

The game was played at the old Provo field because LaVell Edwards Stadium is having its playing surface replaced.

First half touchdowns included passes from Riley Nelson (2009-2012) to Mitch Juergens (2014-2016) and from Heaps to Hoffman.