Terry runs for 1 last touchdown as Spartan career comes to a close
SAN DIEGO — Just like he has for his entire football career, quarterback Damion Terry received the snap. Just another play, much like the thousands he’s seen over practices and games.
Except, well, this time it was a little different. He rolled left on the option, elected to keep it, then he dived for the touchdown. Though he said he knew beforehand the coveted end zone was within reach.
“Once the play call was called, I ran that play before. I was familiar with it, I’m comfortable with it,” Terry said. “I told the running back, ‘I’m keeping this, I’m going to go in and score.’”
And score he did, putting the Spartans up 35-3 en route to their blowout win over Washington State in Thursday's Holiday Bowl. It was even MSU’s fifth straight touchdown drive, showcasing the Spartan dominance.
But the score wasn’t just one of the six Spartan touchdowns on the day, it was Terry’s moment.
Fellow quarterback Brian Lewerke — who was sidelined due to a hard hit just moments before — came running onto the field after the play to hold for the PAT attempt.
“It was an awesome moment for Damion to able to go in and score a touchdown in the last game,” Lewerke said. “I’m very happy for him, I’m so glad he was able to do that.”
And it was Terry’s many teammates who had a little extra to celebrate alongside him.
“That just means the world to me,” Terry said. “My teammates are like my brothers. I really look at them as all my brothers. Their support, rallying around the sidelines, that means everything to me and I’ll never forget that.”
But more importantly for the Erie, Pennsylvania, native, he found the end zone. In his last career game as a Spartan, no less.
It was an exclamation point on a career that didn’t go exactly as planned.
As the door slowly closes on Terry’s career, he’s still not 100 percent sure what his Spartan legacy is. Though he hopes fans and comrades will remember certain aspects of him.
“I just want to be known as a good leader/great teammate,” Terry said. “I just remember the whole year going by I’m just telling my guys like Cody (White), ‘I’m living through you today.’ And try to get guys pumped up like that.”
Head coach Mark Dantonio postgame explained how emotional it is — even for him all those years ago — to take off your jersey one final time.
Which made that final touchdown all the more special.
“I didn’t wake up this morning thinking I was going to score a touchdown,” Terry said. “That’s, wow, just unforgettable and I’m very grateful for it.”