If you were there, you remember. And if you recall nothing else about the events of Oct. 5, 1991 at Husky Stadium in Seattle, you remember...
YAKIMA — If you were there, you remember. And if you recall nothing else about the events of Oct. 5, 1991 at Husky Stadium in Seattle, you remember two plays.
Washington’s opponent on that sunny, 74-degree afternoon, Arizona, tried a run on its first play from scrimmage. But with a resounding crack that echoed throughout the stadium and electrified 72,495 fans, Steve Emtman flattened quarterback George Malauulu before he could hand off.
Next play, same thing. Another horrific Emtman hit on Malauulu meant another Wildcats loss, and a football game’s tone had been irreversibly set.
“That was one of those games that sticks out in your mind,” Emtman said Wednesday at the Yakima Convention Center after being inducted into the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association Hall of Fame. “Everything went right for me that day. I got a tackle for loss where I totally missed the tackle and the running back tripped over my foot.”
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Ensuing details such as the final score (UW, 54-0) seemed lost on most in attendance, including Arizona coach Dick Tomey.
“Steve Emtman has to be the best defensive lineman in the country,” Tomey said that day. “Nobody blocks him and the folks around him are great football players. Washington has as good a team as the Pac-10 has had, ever.”
The 1991 Huskies (12-0) were national co-champions with Miami, and Emtman, a junior from Cheney, won the Lombardi Award as the nation’s best lineman while finishing fourth in balloting for the Heisman Trophy.
Wednesday he was first, the initial member of a nine-person, one-program class to be enshrined.
Two other athletes, Mark Hendrickson (Mount Vernon tennis, basketball and baseball) and Chuck Richards (Stadium swimming) joined coaches Steve Escame (Foster and Decatur speech and debate, tennis and volleyball), Jake Maberry (Lynden basketball), instructor Wayne Lackman (Gig Harbor choral), official Jack Reynolds (wrestling, softball), administrators Buddy Gibson (Oakesdale) and Barbara Twardus (Seattle School District, WIAA executive board) and the Wilson boys swim program.
Hendrickson, a Washington State basketball standout who played in the NBA and CBA and pitches for the Los Angeles Dodgers, was unable to attend. Neither was Richards, a 1972 Olympic gold medalist.
Dick Hannula, who coached Wilson to 24 straight state swimming championships and was a Hall of Fame inductee in 2004, represented that program.
But Emtman, still as imposing as the 6-foot-4, 280-pound terror he was at the UW, was front and center.
Emtman, 37, was the first player chosen in the 1992 NFL draft (by Indianapolis) and was named last year to the College Football Hall of Fame. He owns a real-estate development company and still has strong ties in Cheney.
“I have a project in Cheney called Terra Vista,” Emtman said. “It’s starting this summer, and we plan to do over 1,300 [housing] units there over the next 10 years. So I’m excited to move forward in my new career, and I know the only person who will hold me back is myself.”