BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — “The Philly Special” was found in Texas.
Of the two trick plays involving quarterbacks in Super Bowl LII Sunday night, Nick Foles’ came from his old high school playbook in Austin, Texas.
Foles became the first quarterback in Super Bowl history to catch a touchdown pass, occurring with 34 seconds remaining in the first half of the 41-33 upset victory over the Patriots.
Leading 15-12, the Eagles elected to go for it when faced with a fourth-and-goal at the Patriots’ 1-yard line.
Foles lined up under center, then moved to flank the right tackle as he called out signals. After the ball was snapped to running back Corey Clement, Foles waited a few seconds as Clement ran left and lateraled to tight end Trey Burton, who floated a pass to Foles in the end zone for the touchdown.
Eagles coach Doug Pederson said the team put that in the playbook a month ago after discovering Foles’ alma mater, Westlake High School in Austin, executed the same play.
Pederson called the play “Philly Special.”
Sunday night, Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger tweeted he ran that play when he attended Westlake High School.
When Ehlinger performed the play in 2015, he made a one-handed catch falling into the end zone.
“I did see that clip,” Foles said Monday. “It was very similar to what we did ironically. He scored on it as well, he made a great catch. I guess it’s a Westlake quarterback thing. It was really cool.”
The trick play surprised the Patriots. Defensive coordinator Matt Patricia said his team got caught looking at Clement running toward the left side and nobody accounted for Foles.
“We drew it up a couple of weeks ago, sitting in coach’s office just working through that,” Eagles offensive coordinator Frank Reich said. “We’ve been practicing it and then this week, we just spent a lot of time on it. I’ll tell you what, for a coach to call that play in that situation, are you kidding me?”
The other trick play was Patriots quarterback Tom Brady dropping a pass thrown by wide receiver Danny Amendola early in the second quarter.
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