November 25, 2010

Thankful for one final snap

More news about: Macalester
Trevor Miehe
Trevor Miehe finished his career with 35 touchdown passes, the best in Macalester football history.
Macalester photo by Christopher Mitchell, Sports Shot photo

By Adam Johnson
for D3sports.com

Macalester senior quarterback Trevor Miehe took the bookend snaps of the Scots successful 2010 season. However, it was what happened between those snaps that tells the true story of this determined, record-setting quarterback.

After taking the first snap of the season against Grinnell, Miehe needed just three and a half quarters to throw three touchdowns and set the school’s career touchdown passes record at 34.

The Scots lost the opener but Miehe (pronounced Mee-Hee) showed the senior leadership and control of the offense that coach Tony Jennison was expecting from him this season.

“Trevor was the emotional leader for us,” said Jennison. “I knew he had big team and personal goals coming into the season.”

In week two, Miehe continued to roll, extending his career record to 35 touchdowns with a 1-yard scoring pass to Jon Elliott. Then late in the second quarter Miehe broke free up the middle of the field but Cornell defenders pulled him down awkwardly and something didn’t feel right in his ankle.

“I felt a pop on the outside of my ankle,” said Miehe. “I figured they could just tape it and I’d return.”

Unfortunately for Miehe that wasn’t the case. He sat the rest of the game and on Monday he found out that tendons had been torn from the bone. He had two season-ending options; surgery or a cast. He chose surgery.

“It was super shocking,” said Miehe. “You don’t ever think it’s gonna happen to you.”

Ruled medically ineligible, Miehe could have walked away from the team. He could have focused on his studies, spent more time with his girlfriend or started looking for a job after college.

He didn’t.

Unable to throw touchdown passes himself, he turned his attention to helping sophomore backup Clark Bledsoe do it. He came to every practice and every game, contributed in video sessions and worked with Bledsoe.

“My career started when our starter was injured so I knew the opportunity Clark was about to get,” said Miehe. “I was just there to help him through the transition.”

Clark Bledsoe
Clark Bledsoe was as prepared as he could be, completing 63 percent of his passes for 15 touchdowns against six interceptions.
Macalester athletics photo by Jody Russell

Macalester entered the final game of the season with a 5-3 record and a chance to reach six wins for the first time since 1986.

With under four minutes remaining in the 2010 season and Miehe’s football career, the Scots took a 28-14 lead on Martin Luther. As Miehe watched the clock tick down, offensive coordinator Dan Larson approached him on the sideline.

“I basically asked him if he wanted the last snap of the season,” said Larson, recalling the sideline conversation. “The look in his eyes answered the question.”

“I thought he wanted to see the play sheet,” Miehe recalled.

What Miehe didn’t know at that time was that the Macalester coaching staff had talked about Miehe earlier that week. They shared their admiration for his dedication to the program and they concocted a “what-if” scenario that they felt Miehe truly deserved. In preparation, they received clearance from team doctors and secretly packed his helmet and pads for the trip to New Ulm, Minn.

“It only seemed right to get Trevor back on the field for one last play to finish his career and one of the best seasons at Macalester,” said Jennison. “It was up to the team to make it happen.”

As the defense battled Martin Luther, the clock continued to tick down. Miehe began changing into his pads and uniform with the help of his teammates.

“I was completely shocked,” said Miehe, choking up as he recalled the scene. “It was really emotional.”

Martin Luther scored with 33 seconds left and when Macalester recovered the ensuing on-side kick, the “what-if” scenario that the coaches had talked about was about to become a reality.

As Macalester’s offense huddled on the sideline, senior offensive lineman Collin Murphy was ready to protect his fellow senior as he had for four years.

“Nobody lays a hand on Trev,” Murphy yelled. “Nobody even gets close to him.”

Miehe called the “victory play” in the offensive huddle along the sideline and then walked, as best he could, out onto the field for his final collegiate snap. He took a knee, was untouched by the defense and mobbed by his teammates as they watched the clock tick down to 00:00.

“As a quarterback it all starts with the snap,” said Miehe.

In this case, it ended with one. One he never expected.

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