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Goessel grad finds internet fame with trick play

Hiebert made switch to 11-man football

Staff writer

Leading Sterling College, 20-0, in the final game of the season on Nov. 14 and near the end zone, Bethel College coaches called a trick play with a tricky name: ace left zoom 48 granny.

Junior quarterback Garrett Hiebert, a Goessel High School graduate, was nervous about the play because the team only practiced the play about 10 times, he said Friday. One factor worked in their favor though.

“I was pretty sure they would blitz,” he said. “That gave it a chance to work.”

The Threshers faked a toss sweep play to the right, but Hiebert lobbed the ball over his head with both hands without looking — like a bride throwing her bouquet.

While the ball was still in the air, a blitzing linebacker tackled Hiebert. The first sign he had that the play worked was the cheering of the crowd. Then he saw officials signal the touchdown.

Tight end Joel Maple had boxed out the Sterling linebacker covering him and caught the pass for a touchdown.

Someone uploaded a video of the play to YouTube on Nov. 18, where it can be found with a search of “Bethel College Football Trick Play.” Two days later, the video had been viewed more than 1.3 million times.

The Threshers went on to win the game, 30-0, for a 3-7 record in Hiebert’s first year starting. His two years as a reserve player gave him time to make the transition from eight-man football.

“It was a big and different thing, going from eight-man at Goessel,” he said.

Changes to the passing game were a stark difference, he said. The field is more crowded passing in 11-man football, with five receivers and as many as six or seven defenders. Eight-man football has four receivers and five pass defenders.

“It’s a lot more congested,” Hiebert said.

Practice has been dramatically different, as well. In high school, everyone played offense and defense. Now Hiebert only has to worry about practicing as a quarterback.

His major is business administration. Fall has been busy with classes and practice, but it is worth it, Hiebert said.

“It’s been a lot of fun,” he said. “I wasn’t ready to be done with sports after high school.”

Hiebert is also on the track and field team, where he has earned NAIA All-America honors twice in the javelin throw.

Bonds with his teammates are close, he said. Everyone knows where their teammates are from and what they like to do.

“It’s fun to be on a team again,” Hiebert said.

Myron and Ann Hiebert, of rural Goessel, are his parents.

Last modified Nov. 24, 2009

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