Sept. 23, 2006
By Jesse Hulsing
Seattle -- At 4:12 PM when the Husky-UCLA game kicked off, the rafters were shaking, the fans were screaming and Husky Stadium was officially rocking. But soon, cheers were overtaken by groans of exasperation that could be heard all the way across the picturesque Lake Washington.
For the first quarter of Saturday's game, the Husky Offense could not move the ball. Tallying negative four yards of offense in the first fifteen minutes. Simply put, the Dawg's looked flat.
"It was mental," said senior Sonny Shackelford. "We had guys out there that were so excited to play in the game. We were moving around a little too quickly because we were so excited. That is the thing, if you are overexcited, and just running around then you are not helping anybody. To the untrained eye it looked like we were flat, but we just weren't doing it the right way."
Down 16-0, deep into the second quarter, something clicked, and the Husky offense looked like a new team. With 1:05 left in the half Isaiah Stanback laced a 23-yard pass to Sonny Shackelford, to cap a 92-yard drive which gave the Huskies the momentum going into the locker room.
"The first one was really a call for the outside guys, and he just so happened to see me man-to-man," explained Shackelford. "He threw the ball up and I went and got it."
Shackelford, a highly recruited wide-out hailing from UCLA's back yard city of Beverly Hills, went on to have the best game of his collegiate career and help lead the Huskies to their biggest win of the year.
Coming out of halftime, Washington once again marched down the field, and within two minutes, Stanback found his hot receiver for another touchdown pass, this time a 28-yard shot.
"I'm so excited that Isaiah was able to throw me the ball. I was talking to him, and every receiver is going to do that. `Throw me the ball, throw me the ball'. This game he just happened to throw me the ball. I got quite a few catches."
Shackelford finished with nine catches and two TD's, both career high's. His 120 yards was the first 100-yard game by a Husky receiver this year. His effort helped push the Huskies to their second biggest home come back in Husky Stadium's 86-year history.
"I am a part of history now," said Shackelford. "I am happy that I was a big player in the game. I was a part of UW history and no one can take that away from me."
At 7:03 PM when the final victorious second ticked off the clock, Husky Stadium was still rocking, the rafters were still shaking, and the fans and players alike were ecstatic. Who wouldn't be? History had been made.