Products of the Calvert Hall College and Mount Saint Joseph football programs combined to hurt the Baltimore Ravens Oct. 15.
Adrian Amos starred for the Cardinals, Kyle Fuller for the Gaels. Now they’re National Football League teammates with the Chicago Bears, in the same defensive backfield, no less, Amos as a safety and Fuller as a cornerback.
Their big plays came in the fourth quarter of the Bears visit to M&T Bank Stadium, as Fuller deflected a Joe Flacco pass intended for Chris Moore into the hands of Amos at the Chicago 10-yard line. Amos promptly turned his first NFL interception into a 90-yard touchdown return, which helped the Bears stake an 11-point lead. While the Ravens rallied to force overtime, Chicago left Baltimore with a 27-24 victory.
The Amos-Fuller connection is ironic in multiple ways. The two were rivals in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference, and their happy homecoming came on the same field where Amos played his final high school game – the annual Turkey Bowl with Loyola.
Amos, 24, will always cherish first NFL interception.
“I made a play on the ball,” he said. “I tipped it up and just caught it, then tried not to get tackled. I’m just happy I made a play to help the team win. For it to come here at home in Baltimore, it was a great feeling. My granny was up in the stands with the rest of my family, so it was a great moment.”
That turnaround proved big, as the Bears were clinging to a 17-13 lead with the Ravens driving.
“It was the type of play that we (needed),” said the 25-year old Fuller, who has three brothers who also went on to the NFL. “The guys were working together. It was definitely big. When I saw him running down the field, I thought ‘This is getting even better.’”
After Amos weaved his way to his touchdown return, Fuller, a fourth-year pro out of Virginia Tech, could be seen on video making a fist in a happy, triumphant way.
Amos said he grew up a huge Ravens’ fans. He watched his father play 7-on-7 games and enjoyed seeing players such as Ray Lewis and Ed Reed on a regular basis.
This time, the third-year pro out of Penn State got to play on the field those two played on – and make the kind of clutch play both were known for.
“This was a dream come true, coming back to play in this stadium,” Amos said. “It’s a blessing in itself. Not a lot of people from Baltimore get the chance to be (on the field) in this stadium.”
Both Amos and Fuller are trying to have bounce-back seasons. Fuller missed all of 2016 after knee surgery. Amos lost his starting job in training camp but now has started three games after an injury to another player opened the door – and he’s played well.
The Amos touchdown, aided by a former rival in their hometown, made an emotional day that much sweeter. His teammates loved seeing it happen.
“Sometimes I call him ‘spatula hands’ because he doesn’t catch a lot of balls,” Chicago defensive lineman Akiem Hicks joked. “He definitely got it today, and then he took it to the crib (the end zone). That was an awesome feeling, (and)] I bet it was for him in his home.”