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BYU Defensive Lineman Khyiris Tonga Scores Rushing TD In Scrum Formation

Nov 16, 2019, 3:42 PM
khyris Tonga of byu makes tackle...
Photo Courtesy of BYU Photo/Jaren Wilkey

PROVO, Utah – BYU defensive tackle Khyiris Tonga is a 6-4, 321-pound lineman for the Cougar defense. Now, he can add running back to his title as well.

In an entertaining third quarter between BYU and Idaho State that saw a lot of big plays, the Cougars brought out their “scrum” formation while in the red zone.

BYU’s “scrum” formation was created by Ed Lamb while he was at Southern Utah and it features defensive personnel in the package. Last week, the call to run a scrum play on 2nd & 9 late in the fourth quarter against Liberty drew criticisms, but on Saturday against Idaho State, everyone loved seeing Tonga get a chance to run the ball.

After quarterback Zach Wilson popped off a big run, the Cougar offense was at Idaho State’s five-yard line. BYU then brought out the scrum package and linebacker Austin Kafentzis handed the ball off to Tonga for a gain of 3. The Cougars went to the Tonga well again for a second consecutive play and it resulted in a touchdown.

The touchdown run was Tonga’s first of his collegiate career.

When Tonga was a prep standout at Granger High School, the West Valley City native played tight end and had a few touchdowns on the offensive side. But none at the collegiate level.

Tonga, a junior, is considered one of the top NFL Draft prospects on the 2019 BYU football team. Having played three seasons with the Cougars, Tonga is draft-eligible to withdraw from BYU and enter the league. NFL scouts have to like the versatility of a massive lineman who can deliver results on both sides.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12-3 pm) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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