Pro Hockey News

Saturday, September 13, 2014

No. 24 South Carolina Knocks Off No. 6 Georgia

COLUMBIA, S.C. – After inclement and stormy weather in the Columbia area caused an hour and 26-minute delay to the start of the game, lightning struck as No. 24 South Carolina took down No. 6 Georgia, 38-35, on a rain-soaked evening at Williams-Brice Stadium. After Georgia kicker Marshall Morgan missed his second field goal of the night with 4:24 left on the clock, the Gamecocks were able to run out the clock as senior quarterback Dylan Thompson narrowly converted on a fourth-and-one at midfield with 1:26 left in the game. 

When play finally started, the Gamecocks elected to receive and Thompson proceeded to pick up big chunks of yards through the air with a 21-yard pass to senior wide receiver Nick Jones, followed by a 20-yard strike to senior tight end Rory Anderson. Junior wide receiver Shaq Roland got into the action as a 13-yard gain on third-and-six moved the Gamecocks into the red zone. Three plays later, Thompson hit Roland along the left sideline where the wideout snuck just inside the pylon for a 10-yard score.

It only took Georgia two plays to respond though as quarterback Hutson Mason connected with Isaiah McKenzie for a 36-yard pass down the right side. On the ensuing play, Mason dumped off a short pass to Sony Michel who cut to the middle of the field and had an open lane to the end zone for a 33-yard touchdown to tie the game at 7-7 with 10:02 on the clock. 

Less than two minutes later, a fumble by junior running back Brandon Wilds on the Gamecocks 26-yard line was recovered by Georgia’s Lorenzo Carter. The fumble led to a 36-yard field goal from Morgan to give the Bulldogs a 10-7 advantage.

After junior running back Mike Davis was pulled down for a five-yard loss on Carolina’s next possession, Thompson hooked up with Roland for a 17-yard first down. Four plays later, facing a second-and-eight with the Georgia defense coming, Thompson avoided pressure and scampered for a 10-yard run. On third-and-nine from the Georgia 38-yard line, the Bulldogs’ Devin Bowman appeared to end the drive with an interception, but the defensive back was flagged for pass interference on the play to extend the Gamecocks’ drive. Two plays later, sophomore wide receiver Pharoh Cooper caught a 13-yard pass just as Georgia’s Toby Johnson was called for roughing the passer, moving Carolina inside the 10-yard line. On the following play, Thompson found Cooper on the left side where the receiver put a quick left-to-right move on his defender before racing into the end zone for an eight-yard score to put the Gamecocks up 14-10.

Georgia running back Todd Gurley nearly regained the lead for the Bulldogs on the next drive, but a holding call negated a 54-yard run and the Bulldogs were unable to muster anything after the penalty. Two drives later though, Morgan was able to pull the Bulldogs within one at 14-13 with a 26-yard field goal after Georgia’s drive was extended earlier on an unsportsmanlike penalty on sophomore spur Jordan Diggs after senior defensive back Brison Willliams had appeared to end the drive after stopping Gurley for no gain on a third-and-five.

Thompson continued to find open receivers as he marched the Gamecocks down the field, finding Damiere Byrd for a 24-yard completion and Jones for a 20-yard pass, before connecting in the back of the end zone with Anderson for an 18-yard touchdown to give Carolina a 21-13 lead with 5:34 remaining in the first half.

With just over two minutes left, Cooper and Byrd rushed for back-to-back first downs as the Gamecocks tried to put together a scoring drive before the end the of the half. Jones came up with a big 25-yard reception along the sideline before taking a big hit to put Carolina at the 22-yard line. An eight-yard run from Davis set up sophomore kicker Elliott Fry for a 32-yard field goal to give the Gamecocks a 24-13 lead heading into the half.

Georgia struck on its opening drive in the third quarter as Gurley got loose for a 40-yard run to get to the South Carolina 25-yard line. The Georgia tailback eventually punched in a two-yard touchdown run, bringing the Bulldogs’ deficit to 24-20. South Carolina continued to have its way with Georgia’s defense on the following drive as Thompson went two-for-two and Davis and Wilds combined for 43 yards on the ground. On Wilds’ final rush of the drive his knee was ruled down before crossing the goal line, but Thompson capped off the drive with a one-yard touchdown rush to push the lead back to 11.

With 2:13 remaining in the third quarter, a personal foul on a Carolina punt put Georgia in good field position. Six plays later, Mason found Jay Rome in the end zone. The Bulldogs opted to go for two, and Mason connected with Michael Bennett to cut the deficit to three.

On the ensuing kickoff, junior tailback Shon Carson found space on the left side and picked up a career-long return of 42 yards to put Carolina on the Georgia 42-yard line. Davis picked up 19 on the first two plays of the drive before Wilds finished off the drive by breaking runs of 15 and 24 yards to extend the Gamecocks’ lead to 10 at 38-28 with 13:01 to play. Nearly six minutes later, Georgia responded with a one-yard touchdown run from Quayvon Hicks on an 11-play drive.

Four plays into the Gamecocks’ following drive, Thompson was intercepted across the middle by Georgia’s Damian Swann. With the ball on the Carolina three-yard line, Mason was called for intentional grounding as sophomore defensive end Gerald Dixon came at him unblocked. The Gamecock defense held Georgia to a 28-yard field goal attempt, but the Georgia kicker missed his second attempt of the night.

South Carolina was able to run out the final 4:24 of the game to hold on for the three-point win in front of the fifth-largest crowd in stadium history at 84,232.

Edward Waters Stuns Pikeville with Last-Second Touchdown

PIKEVILLE, Ky. – Edward Waters (Fla.) outscored the University of Pikeville football team 35-7 in the fourth quarter to complete an improbable comeback with a last-second heave into the end zone on Saturday at the Hambley Athletic Complex.

Trailing 48-42 with 35 seconds left, the Tigers (1-2) recovered an onside kick at their own 45 yard line with no timeouts. From there, Tyler Mahla completed a nine-yard pass on second down, then spiked the ball at the UPIKE 46 to bring up fourth and one with just a few ticks remaining.

Instead of looking for a short completion and dash out of bounds to get closer to the end zone, Mahla put up a 46-yard bomb that Devion Laws came down with to tie the score at 48 with no time left in regulation.

All of the pressure was on kicker Christopher Miglioranzi to seal the win, and his teammates made things even harder on him with a celebration penalty. But even after moving back 15 yards, he was able to guide the ball through the goalposts for the win.

UPIKE's Tyler Guffey, making his first collegiate start at quarterback in place of the injured Sani Warren, completed 13-of-17 passes for 207 yards and a pair of touchdowns. His main target was Aaron Jackson with three catches for 81 yards and a score, while Seth Millar finished with 71 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.

Defensively, Austin Baldwin and Donald Styles were all over the field, issuing nine and eight tackles, respectively to lead the Bears.

At the end of the third quarter, there was little doubt in the stadium that UPIKE would tally a win.

Millar scored the lone touchdown of the third frame with a six-yard run to put the Bears in front 41-14. Then after a three-and-out by the Tigers to start the fourth, backup quarterback R.J. Rosemond Jr. had a 17-yard keeper into the end zone to make it 48-14.

But the final 10 minutes changed everything as Edward Waters found success through the air, so much so that it finished the game with a 271-230 yard advantage passing.

First it was a nine-play, 92-yard drive that ended with Michael Love running in from a yard out, followed by Darryl Campbell finishing an eight-play, 61-yard drive with a two yard run. Then with just over three minutes to play disaster struck as EWC recovered a fumble at the UPIKE 19, then moved up 10 yards on a late hit to Mahla.

Mahla found Suwayne Hilton in the end zone on the very next play, and it was suddenly a two-possession game at 48-35. The Tigers went through their timeouts during UPIKE's next drive, stopping the clock as Millar struggled to find any openings.

After taking over on their own 33-yard line, Edward Waters got an incredible 32-yard, one-handed catch by Keronne Smith to keep the momentum. Add in another late hit by the Bear defense and a 13-yard Mahla keeper and it was a 48-42 game, allowing EWC to pull off the miracle with the onside kick.

Mahla finished 21-of-35 through the air for 271 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Smith was the leading receiver with 92 yards on seven catches and Diondre Wynn led the game on the ground with 97 yards on 12 carries.

Edward Waters finished with 482 yards of total offense, compared to 403 by UPIKE. There were 30 penalties called in the game with the Bears claiming 18 of them for 202 yards.

SEC: Ole Miss Cruises in Home Opener Against Louisiana-Lafayette

OXFORD, Miss. – On a cloudy Saturday at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, the Ole Miss football team’s offense and defense shined brightly, shutting down the Louisiana-Lafayette offense and shredding the Ragin’ Cajun defense en route to a 56-15 victory in the Rebels’ home opener.

“I’m really happy we went out and took control of the game and kept control of it,” Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze said. “There are some things we did not do particularly well today that we have to get cleaned up. Even though you may be the better football team on a given day, you still have to execute and do the things that will make you one of the top-tier teams in the country.”

The Rebel offense accumulated 554 total yards of offense, including 340 yards through the air and 214 yards on the ground. The defense held Louisiana-Lafayette to 322 total yards, including just 129 through the air. The Rebels’ “Landshark Defense” has now allowed just 189 yards passing over the past two games combined, and has allowed just two touchdowns all season.

Senior quarterback Bo Wallace completed 23 of his 28 pass attempts for 316 yards, four touchdowns and one interception. With his four touchdown passes, the Pulaski, Tennessee, native passed Jevan Snead for second all-time in Ole Miss history with 49 career touchdowns. Saturday was also the 10th 300-yard passing game of Wallace’s career, which ties him with former Rebel great Eli Manning for the most in program history.

“It was a really solid day from Bo,” Freeze said. “He played really well. The receivers played well. It was good to see us get some explosive runs. We beat a pretty good football team. Bo threw for 300-plus yards in basically two quarters.”

Ole Miss had a balanced rushing attack, as juniors Jaylen Walton and I’Tavius Mathers totaled 146 yards and two touchdowns on just 10 carries. Walton’s day was highlighted by a career-high 71-yard touchdown run, while Mathers opened the scoring for Ole Miss with a 56-yard scamper to the endzone.

Through the air, senior Vince Sanders had a career day with eight receptions for 125 yards and two touchdowns (all career highs). Even more impressive, all of the Macon, Mississippi’s production came in the first half of the game.

Senior cornerback Senquez Golson picked off two passes Saturday, and returned one of the two interceptions 59 yards for a touchdown.

“He had a solid day,” said Freeze of Golson. “This is the first year he decided he was going to really buy-in. It’s not that he was bad the last couple years. There’s no question the way he comes to work every day and allows me to coach him that he’s just a different guy. When someone does that and has success on the field, it’s very rewarding to see good things happen because a kid really decides to buy in.”

It was the first time since 2009 that Ole Miss has had a pick-six in back-to-back games.

Following two touchdowns in the first quarter which each elapsed 40-or-more yards, Ole Miss stretched its lead to 28-0 in the second quarter before Louisiana-Lafayette hit a pair of field goals before the half.

The Rebels then came out strong in the second half, scoring three touchdowns in the opening 7:12 of the third quarter to stake claim to a 49-6 lead.

Sophomore Jeremy Liggins ran in a two-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter for the first score of his career, and the final score read 56-15 following a Ragin’ Cajun safety with 2:25 to play.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: USF Falls To N.C. State, 49-17

TAMPA, SEPT. 13, 2014 – Freshman Ryeshene Bronson hauled in a 75-yard touchdown catch and sophomore Lamar Robbins returned an interception 46 yards for a score in USF’s 49-17 loss to NC State before a crowd of 27,269 at Raymond James Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

NC State (3-0) scored on five of its first seven drives on the way to grabbing a 35-7 halftime lead. Quarterback Jacoby Brissett completed 20 of 29 passes for 266 yards and two touchdowns, while Bra’Lon Cherry rushed for two touchdowns and added a scoring reception.

“We didn’t play well enough to beat a good football team,” head coach Willie Taggart said. “They got after us, especially in the trenches on both sides of the ball, and I thought that was a big difference in the football game.”

USF (1-2) was forced to punt on the game’s first drive and NC State grabbed a 7-0 lead with an 88-yard drive on its first possession. Brissett connected with Bo Hines for a 42-yard gain that got the Wolfpack to the USF 30 and Cherry capped off the seven-play drive with a 17-yard touchdown run with 9:20 remaining in the opening quarter.

The Bulls bounced back in a big way on the first play of their second drive when sophomore Mike White (Fort Lauderdale) threw a career-long, 75-yard touchdown pass to Bronson. It marked the first-career touchdown for Bronson, who was a four-star recruit out of Dunbar High School in Fort Myers.

“He’s another one of our freshmen that we think is really talented and can help our football team. He showed that today,” Taggart said.

Chris Dunkley’s 80-yard punt return for a touchdown, which would have given the Bulls the lead, was wiped out by a holding call on USF’s third possession before NC State regained the lead late in the first quarter. Brissett rushed for two first downs on the 12-play, 79-yard drive and the former Florida Gator threw a 17-yard touchdown pass to Cherry with 1:32 remaining in the quarter for a 14-7 lead.

NC State was back in the end zone four plays later after coming up with a turnover deep in USF territory. Defensive tackle Thomas Teal forced a fumble while sacking White, who appeared to be throwing the ball when hit, that was recovered by Brandon Pittman at the USF 19. Cherry scored his third touchdown with a 3-yard run that helped NC State grab a 21-7 lead with 14:16 to go before halftime.

The Wolfpack extended their lead to 28-7 with a 3-yard scoring run Jaylen Samuels with 9:44 remaining in the second quarter. Brissett posted his second touchdown pass of the half when he found Tony Creecy from 8 yards out with 2:20 remaining.
NC State’s offense scored twice more in the second half before the Bulls scored 10 unanswered points thanks to heads-up plays on special teams and defense.

USF’s special teams stepped up midway through the third quarter when the Wolfpack muffed a 56-yard punt by Mattias Ciabatti (Tampa) that was recovered by Rahmon Swain (Lithonia, Ga.) at the NC State 26-yard line. Senior Marvin Kloss (Naples, Fla.) cut the deficit to 49-10 with a 43-yard field goal with 5:19 remaining in the quarter. Kloss, a Groza Award Watch List member, is now 5-for-6 in field goal attempts and 2-for-3 on attempts from 40-plus yards this season.

USF cut the deficit even more when Robbins (Miami) stepped in front of Garrett Leatham’s pass and returned an interception 46 yards for a touchdown with 39 seconds remaining in the third quarter. It marked the second interception of Robbins’ career and the second touchdown scored by the USF defense this season.

The Bulls have scored five touchdowns on defense in a little more than a season under defensive coordinator Chuck Bresnahan.

And while young players like Bronson and Robbins produced for the Bulls, Taggart got a chance to give freshman quarterback Quinton Flowers some playing time. The former Miami Jackson High School standout completed 1 of 4 passes for 7 yards and added 32 rushing yards on six attempts.

“I wanted to see Quintin come in there and see if he can give us something,” Taggart said.

The Bulls begin American Athletic Conference play Friday, Sept. 19 against UConn back at Raymond James Stadium. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. and the game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN. Purchase tickets HERE.

“It’s huge, it’s the next game and it’s a conference game,” Taggart said. “One of our goals is to win this conference and it starts there, but we have to play a heckuva lot better if we want to do that.”