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Oral History of Tylan Wallace's Walk-Off Touchdown

From left: WR Tylan Wallace, RB Justice Hill
From left: WR Tylan Wallace, RB Justice Hill

If you're a Ravens fan, you still love seeing replays of Tylan Wallace's walk-off punt return.

If you're a Ravens player, you still love talking about it.

Many players, some who often fly under the radar, played key roles in Wallace's improbable 76-yard scamper against the Rams.

Here are some of their thoughts and anecdotes as they reflected on a moment that instantly became part of franchise lore:

CB Jalyn Armour-Davis

The second-year cornerback shielded Rams gunner Shaun Jolly and allowed Wallace to catch the ball and break to his left where blockers were set up. Armour-Davis has only played 22 defensive snaps this season as part of the team's deep cornerback rotation, but he has found his niche on special teams.

"My job was to allow Tylan to start the return, giving him space to make the catch," Armour-Davis said. "Playing special teams has been a way for me to get on the field. Sure, I thought I might be playing on defense this year, but I'm still in the NFL, blessed to be doing what I've dreamed of doing. Everybody's road is different.

"The moment it happened, the feeling you got, you knew it was history. That was the first time I've been part of a miracle-type situation. It's something you'll never forget. I'm sorry my wife and daughter couldn't make it to the game, because my wife's pregnant and didn't want to be out in the rain. But she watched it on TV from home. I soon as I got back to my locker, she was on the phone."

S Daryl Worley and CB Ronald Darby

Worley and Darby were gunners on the play and double-teamed Rams cornerback Tre Tomlinson, pinning him against the sideline for a whopping six seconds to give Wallace time after he broke Royce Freeman's attempted tackle.

Worley was feeling fatigued in overtime, and was happy Wallace ended the game for several reasons.

"Honestly, if I was going to tell you what was going through my head, that was going to be my last play regardless," Worley said. "My body was tired, I felt like I was cramping a little bit, just giving it my all."

Darby is a nine-year NFL veteran who had never played special teams before signing with the Ravens this season. He's also been solid playing cornerback behind starters Brandon Stephens and Marlon Humphrey and is willing to do whatever role he's asked to help the Ravens win.

"Tylan just made a heck of a play," Darby said. "I'm a corner. Really, I just blocked my dude. Tylan did the rest."

Rookie LB Trenton Simpson

Simpson made a cutoff block on Cory Durden that was just enough to keep him from knocking Wallace out of bounds as he streaked down the sideline. The Ravens drafted Simpson in part because of his speed, thinking he could be a special teams demon. Simpson beat Durden to the spot and didn't even need to put his hands on him.

Simpson was hoping to earn more defensive snaps in his rookie season, but Wallace's touchdown reinforced Simpson's feeling that he's making a difference.

"Just trusting the process," Simpson said. "I'm in a great organization. They drafted me for a reason. Every opportunity I get to go out there, every rep I'm just trying to make the most of it so when my number is called, I'll call out there and make a play."

TE Charlie Kolar

The second-year tight end made perhaps the key block of the return, getting just enough of diving inside linebacker Charlie Hummel on Wallace's way to daylight. Ironically, Kolar and Hummel were roommates at Iowa State.

"Yup, I knew it was him when I threw the block," Kolar said.

It was clearly a legal block by Kolar, but he was still fearful that he might be flagged for a block in the back.

"A play of that magnitude, the absolute disaster is to be the guy who gets the play called back," Kolar said. "I was concerned because I knew it was close. I looked for a flag, and I didn't see one."

When Kolar saw Wallace streaking toward the end zone, he double-checked for a flag.

"Yeah, I looked back again," Kolar said smiling. "I still didn't see anything. I was thankful."

While many of his teammates ran to the end zone to celebrate with Wallace, Kolar didn't. He went to check on his college roommate first.

"It wasn't his fault," Kolar said. "He was disappointed, but he was good about it. I caught up with Tylan later. It was probably the most incredible play I've been a part of."

LB Del'Shawn Phillips

A veteran special teams player, Phillips made a smart decision on the return, avoiding a penalty by letting Freeman go instead of blocking him in the back or holding. Wallace was able to break Freeman's attempted tackle as Phillips peeled back to block Troy Reeder.

"I saw Tylan running towards me," Phillips said. "The angle we had, I knew I should peel back. Being a defensive guy, anytime I get to be a part of the Ravens scoring, I'm really excited. We put in hours and hours of hard work. He trusts me to peel back and make a block. I trust him to make a guy miss."

RB Justice Hill

Hill made the "touchdown block" – the final block on Rams punter Ethan Evans.

On a punt return against the Patriots last season, Devin Duvernay had a chance to take it to the house, but Hill didn't see the Patriots' punter quickly enough and he eluded Hill and forced Duvernay out of bounds. Hill wasn't going to let that happen again.

"It was almost the same situation last year. I was looking back, looking at the guys running towards Duv and didn't realize the punter was up there," Hill said. "This time, I was like, 'Let me make sure.'"

Wallace kept his feet after Shaun Jolly's attempted shoestring tackle, Hill blocked Evans, and Wallace was home free to the end zone.

QB Lamar Jackson

A comical moment occurred when Lamar Jackson grabbed rookie linebacker Josh Ross and blocked Darby from going back onto the field after they made blocks that took them into the Ravens bench.

Jackson was trying to keep everyone from flooding onto the field, or from knocking over a referee, before the play was over. He was playing the role of "Get-Back Coach."

"I grabbed the wrong people!" Jackson said. "But Tylan did his thing. He was long gone."

Special Teams Coordinator Chris Horton

The Ravens' special teams unit has had some tough moments this season with a punt return for a touchdown in Cincinnati, a punt block in Pittsburgh, and a blocked field goal at home against the Browns. Earlier in the game, Wallace (and others) lined up offsides on a punt to give the Rams a free first down that they turned into a touchdown drive.

Horton and his unit have kept grinding to improve and become more consistent. They were hungry for a breakthrough moment like that, and Horton's excitement came spilling out. A former NFL safety for several seasons, Horton showed he's still got some ups with a leaping celebration as he sprinted down the sideline alongside Wallace.

"I definitely felt it. My adrenaline was going," Horton said with a smile. "That is the best moment of my coaching career by far."

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