BYU-Cal Notebook: Harline proud to be in Cougar Hall of Fame

September 9, 2018

When Jonny Harline was announced at halftime as one of the 2018 BYU Athletic Hall of Fame inductees, of course the play that made Harline a legend in Cougar football lore was shown on the Jumbotron.

BYU fans young and old know about the play where Harline’s teammate quarterback John Beck scrambled away from Utah defenders for what seemed to be an eternity before finally finding Harline alone in the endzone. Harline went to his knees to secure the catch, giving the Cougars an improbable 33-31 comeback win over its archrivals in 2006.

The play is so immortalized that a “LEGO” version of the play can be found on YouTube.

For Harline, seeing the play never gets old.

“It can’t be old, it’s what you always dream about doing when you’re a kid,” related Harline. “I would be a little bit ungrateful to get sick of it. It’s awesome. Everything you can ask for.”

In his three-year BYU career Harline hauled in 121 catches for 1,788 yards and 17 touchdowns. In 2006, he was named first team All-American by several publications including ESPN, The Sporting News, and SI.com. Now, he’s a member of the prestigious BYU Athletic Hall of Fame.

“It has been really great experience,” Harline stated. “I found out a few months ago, so it has caused a lot of reflection about my career, thinking about the friendships I had with my teammates and coaches, lessons that I learned, progress that I made. It’s been really cool to look back at that a little bit more than usual and see how much it really blessed my life.”

Sharing the moment with Harline was his wife Tiare and children, Leila, Lucas and Gabriel. Harline was indeed grateful to have them at his side as the fans celebrated his success.

“It was even better (to have them here),” Harline said. “They get to come down on the field and experience it and and get on the grass. It’s awesome.”

Now 12 years removed from his glory days at BYU, Harline teaches fifth grade at a private school in the Las Vegas area and also owns a shaved ice franchise.

Harline seems positive about the fortunes for the 2018 Cougars.

“They’ve obviously put in some good work and made some improvements,” Harline said. “There’s still steps to be made to be a great team, but the pieces are there. It was a great win last week.

Harline, who competed when BYU was part of the Mountain West Conference, sees independence as mostly a positive for the BYU football program.

“I think it’s great thing in a lot of ways. There are obviously a couple of cons. They (teams since going Independence) have gotten to go play in stadiums with a lot of tradition and go all over the country. They’ve got a lot of exposure all over the place while we got to mostly just to play in the western United States.”

Other Hall of Fame inductees were men’s volleyball’s Russell Holmes, diver Aaron Russell, women’s volleyball standout Lindsey Steele Metcalf and golfer Daniel Summerhays.


The BYU defense had two takeaways in the second half. The first was a fumble, forced by Butch Pau’u and returned for a touchdown by Dayan Ghanwoloku. Isaiah Kaufusi then came up with the first interception of his career.

Ghanwoloku’s touchdown was the first defensive TD for the Cougars since Micah Hannemann’s 46-yard interception returned for a TD at Utah State in 2017.

White out conditions

In a jersey reversal of sorts, BYU chose to wear its white jerseys and pants, what would be typical road game fare, while the Cal Bears came out with blue jerseys and pants accented with gold numbers and trim. The vast majority of fans participated in the “white out” for the home opener.

Lyons’ last season

It was announced that longtime BYU radio color analyst Marc Lyons would be retiring after 39 years behind the microphone. Besides his radio duties, Lyons taught and coached at Olympus High School and was the offensive coordinator when the Titans won the 1985 4A state title.

Cal connections

Saturday’s game was the fifth time BYU and Cal have met. BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe coached at Cal from 1997-2001. BYU running back Squally Canada grew up approximately 20 minutes from the Berkeley campus.

Pac-12 members?

Cal is the second of four Pac-12 opponents the Cougars will play in the 2018 campaign. BYU will play at Washington later this month and end the season at Utah on Nov. 24. Utah defeated Northern Illinois 17-6 Saturday, a team the Cougars will host on Oct. 27. Former Lone Peak star Chase Hansen’s fourth quarter pick-six sealed the win for the Utes against the Huskies.

Extra points

BYU captains for the game were Sione Takitaki, Butch Pau’u, Zayne Anderson and Corbin Kaufusi … Cal won the toss and elected to defer its choice to the second half. The Cougars chose to receive the first half kickoff while the Golden Bears decided to defend the south endzone to begin the game.

The alumni flagbearers were the Doman brothers

Wide receivers Bryce (1988, 1992-94) and Cliff (1996-99), and quarterback Brandon (1998-2001) … the team flags were carried out by Kamalani Kaluhiokalani, Tanner Jacobson and Uriah Leiataua, while the flag of the state of Utah was carried out by Lorenzo Fauatea … Announced attendance was 52,602.

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