BGI Play of the Game: Willie Parker's 75-yard touchdown run
Share with others:
DETROIT - The play is called Counter 34 Pike, and it's one of the signature running plays in the Steelers playbook. They rely on it the way a dog relies on water.
The Steelers pulled it out last night, just when they needed it most, and all Counter 34 Pike did was bring the Super Bowl trophy back to the 'Burgh.
"It feels good, real good," said running back Willie Parker. "I'm standing up here and we got the ring."
The Steelers did what few thought possible two months ago, and they did it by beating the Seattle Seahawks, 21-10, last night in Super Bowl XL, a game that will be remembered for some of the longest and most entertaining plays in NFL history.
Parker, though, got to author the biggest - a 75-yard touchdown run on the second play of the second half that energized the Steelers and propelled them to their first Super Bowl championship in 26 years.
It was the longest rushing play in Super Bowl history and shook the Steelers from the lethargy of a first half in which they gained just 113 yards and produced six first downs - their worst first-half showing since a Nov. 28 defeat in Indianapolis.
"It was big, real big," Parker said. "It gave us momentum."
The play could not have come at a better time for the Steelers, who had bumbled their way through the opening 30 minutes and were fortunate to be leading at halftime, 7-3.
But, on the second play of the third quarter, offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt called Counter 34 Pike - a play in which guard Alan Faneca pulls from the left side - and Parker did the rest.
He cut behind Faneca's block on rookie linebacker Leroy Hill and ran 75 yards for a touchdown, outracing safety Etric Pruitt down the field before playfully diving into the end zone.
The other big block was delivered by right tackle Max Starks, who cut off rookie middle linebacker Lofa Tatupu, the Seahawks' leading tackler, to spring Parker into the open field.
For Parker it was his longest run since he had an 80-yard touchdown in a 41-0 victory in Cleveland on Christmas Eve. And it gave the Steelers a 14-3 lead.
"It worked out good," Faneca said. "I got a good seal block on that."
Parker finished with 93 yards on 10 carries, his most productive game of the postseason. Nobody will remember the other nine carries.
They will just remember the one.
Counter 34 Pike.
"People of Pittsburgh, we're coming home, and we're coming home to celebrate with y'all," Parker said.
First Published February 6, 2006 12:00 am