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Harper gets Nolan out on island for late game-winning catch

POSTED September 3, 2011 11:37 p.m.

MANHATTAN — At some point Saturday night at sold-out Bill Snyder Family Stadium, it undoubtedly crossed the minds of some Kansas State fans about what happened to Kansas last year in its disastrous season opener.
The Jayhawks lost to North Dakota State 6-3, a member of the Football Championship Subdivision, and their season went awry.
Kansas State, sputtering from start to finish, was equally unsuccessful on Saturday night in its season opener against Eastern Kentucky, another Football Championship Subdivision foe, trailing 7-3 and under two minutes remaining.
But wide receiver Chris Harper was able to get Eastern Kentucky left cornerback Myer Nolan out on an island down the right sideline. Harper, a Wichita Northwest product, caught a 33-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Collin Klein to pull the Wildcats from the jaws of defeat as they rallied for a 10-7 victory.
“It was one of those moments that I will remember forever,” said Harper, a 6-foot-1, 225-pound junior. “Coach (Michael) Smith played in the NFL for a little bit, and he taught us the toe-touch, so I was pretty comfortable in the back of the end zone."
Harper beat Nolan in man coverage and caught Klein’s aerial in the back of the end zone as Kansas State avoided a potential season-ruining upset.
“We got those guys on their heels a little bit and we finally got it,” Harper said of the scoring play. “It was something we were setting up the whole game and they were giving it to us.”


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