A Comeback for the Ages
The turnaround started after Gene Singletary intercepted an Antonio Henton screen pass and raced 31 yards for a touchdown on the first play of the fourth quarter. On the Eagles’ next drive Chris Collins forced a fumble on Lee Chapple - the sixth turnover of the game - but the Eagles quickly bounced back.
Redshirt-freshman Brett Layson blocked Blake Cain’s punt and the Eagles were in business on Western’s 27. Four plays later Chapple found Raja Andrews for a 12-yard score. It was the first TD reception by Andrews this season... 31-10 with 10:43 remaining.
Another 3-and-out by the defense eventually set up the Eagles on their own 49. Chapple rushed for 14 yards, Zeke Rozier had a 13-yard scamper and Chapple got down to the one on a 6-yard run. Jarrell Crawford scored his first collegiate touchdown from a half-yard out and Adrian Mora nailed the extra point... 31-17 with 6:39 left.
On the ensuing kickoff Patrick Bolen tried the onsides kick. As the coverage team sealed Western on the block, Bolen was able to recover the ball on the GS 41.
Chapple hit Tim Camp for 24 yards then the redshirt-freshman quarterback rushed for another 13. After a sack, GS faced 3rd-and-19. Chapple hit Terence Hall for 18 yards, down to the 13. On fourth down, Henton came back to the field. On a double-reverse and pitch back to Henton, the sophomore QB found Andrews wide open in the endzone for another TD... 31-24 with 4:39 left.
Chapple rushed for six yards and hit Andrews for another eight and a first down. On his 1-yard run, Chapple suffered an ankle injury and Henton entered the game. He was sacked for an 11-yard loss, then an incomplete pass set up 4th-and-20.
Henton threw a bomb down the right sidelines for Andrews that fell incomplete, but pass interference on Antoine George gave the Eagles a first down on the WCU 46. Two plays later Henton found Hall over the middle, and he raced down to the six. Two plays later Henton rolled to his left. As the coverage closed in on him, Henton threw a shovel pass to Camp wide open in the endzone. Mora’s kick split the uprights... 31-31 with 32 seconds remaining.
Western was forced to punt on fourth down with five seconds left. Andrews muffed the punt return - the Eagles’ seventh turnover of the game - but Andrews tackled Joe Clark-Dear on the Western 25 to send the game into overtime.
The Eagles lost the coin flip and went on offense first. For the second time in his freshman year, Adam Urbano took a pitch on the first play of overtime, received key blocks and raced 25 yards down the right sidelines for the score... 38-31 Eagles.
Jaynes tried hitting Andrerius Thomas in the left corner of the endzone, but Wiggins was right there to break up the pass. Dakota Walker sacked Jaynes on second down, then the redshirt-freshman quarterback just overthrew Kyle Garland on third down.
“I am extremely proud of our team, they overcame adversity throughout the game and never quit for a minute,” said Hatcher. “We lost a couple of close games recently. I hope this game is a good foreshadowing of the good things to come for this program.”
Not only were the Eagles able to overcome seven turnovers, the most since seven during the 1998 National Championship game against
The defense held Western to a 3-and-out on the opening drive, keyed by a 9-yard sack by Chris
On 3rd-and-long, Dion Dubose made the stop on the pass play but the defense was called for roughing the passer to set up 1st-and-10 from the 14. A pass interference call in the endzone spotted the ball on the two. Jaynes found Adam Hearns on a 3-yard touchdown reception but Larry Beard blocked the extra point attempt.
Blake Bostic hit a 37-yard field goal, making it 9-0 with 11:36 left in the second quarter.
Western got a 40-yard TD pass from Jaynes to Thomas with 5:20 left in the first half, and after an interception, Warley scored from nine yards out less than two minutes later as the Catamounts took a 24-0 lead into the locker room.
Mora put the Eagles on the board with 2:52 left in the third nailing a 34-yard field goal. That marked the fifth straight game (in all five games of his collegiate career) the redshirt-freshman converted a field goal, this time for the team’s first points.
“Offensively we came out very dead, which was disappointing because I thought we had one of our best weeks of practice ever,” said Hatcher. “Our team showed their true colors today... They never quit, never stopped believing.”
In the fourth quarter and overtime, the Eagles rolled up 241 yards of offense and no penalties while holding Western to -2 yards.
Henton finished the game 14-of-26 for 154 yards and two touchdowns but committed three turnovers. He also rushed for 69 yards on 21 carries. Chapple finished 10-of-14 for 140 yards and a score through the air while rushing for another 14 yards. However, he also committed three turnovers.
Urbano rushed for a season-high 83 yards on 11 carries and his fifth rushing TD of the year.
Andrews caught eight passes for 121 yards and matched a career-high with two touchdown receptions. Those eight pass receptions give him 99 in his career, breaking Monty Sharpe’s all-time receptions record (93). It was also the third time this year Andrews recorded 100-plus receiving yards - setting a GS season record and tying Sharpe’s career record for most 100 yard games.
“Raja is a real good leader. He has been battling an injury all season but he keeps making play after play. Raja is really deserving of the honor,” said Hatcher.
Hall caught three passes for a season-high 66 yards. Camp caught his fourth TD pass this year, finishing with 40 receiving yards on three receptions.
GS rolled up 503 yards of offense, compared to Western’s 236.
True-freshman Dubose, making his first collegiate start, led the team with eight tackles. Brandon Echols also made seven tackles.
Warley rushed for a game-high 102 yards on 22 carries, but the Catamounts only recorded 92 yards overall on the ground. Jaynes completed 13-of-35 passes for 144 yards and two scores. Every one of Western’s scoring drives was 53 yards or shorter.
Michael Shaw led the defense with 16 tackles and Adrian McLeod finished with 15 stops.
The Eagles travel to The Citadel next Saturday (Nov. 1), kickoff scheduled for 1 p.m.
GAME NOTES: Beard blocked his second extra point attempt of the year and the fourth time the special teams blocked a kick... The Eagles were stopped on 4th-and-1 from the Western 31 late in the first quarter. GS entered the game 11-of-16 converting fourth downs this year but would finish 2-for-4... GS out-gained Western 45-25 in total yards in the first quarter but was flagged five times for 63 yards (eight times for 89 yards in the first half alone compared to Western’s four times for 31 yards)... Andrews tied the career receptions record on a fourth down catch early in the third quarter. He set the record on the Eagles’ next drive, a 31-yard reception... Garryon Taylor made his first catch of the year during the first quarter. The junior wide receiver also made his first collegiate start... The 24-point halftime deficit matched the largest of the season (24-0 in season-opener at #1
- Category: Football
- Published on Saturday, 25 October 2008 00:04