South Alabama shows guts and wins nail-biter at UC-Davis

October 24, 2010 · By · Filed Under Football 

South Alabama Head Coach Joey Jones talks with Courtney Smith during a stoppage in play against Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas.

South Alabama’s game against UC-Davis really lived up to its billing. It had excitement, adversity, tough play, heart and a little luck. This recipe came out in favor of the Jaguars, 24-21. But most of all it answered some lingering questions that Coach Jones wanted answers to. The Jags were behind against Nicholls State early in the game, but pulled away in the second half. However, the Jags needed some fourth quarter heroics and a little luck to pull out the win in California.

The Jags had to overcome four turnovers, two interceptions thrown by Brennan Sim and two fumbles, one from Sim and another by Bennett late in the game and frankly nearly disastrous, for the win. However, the defense continued to step up and make plays when necessary. Anthony Taylor made two crucial sacks on the final Aggie drive to set up the attempted field goal to send the game into overtime.

Coach Jones wanted to see what his team could do if they were down in the fourth quarter. He wanted to see how his kids would respond having to play a full four quarters of football. Well, he got his answer alright.

“We came through at the end, the defense did a great job,” said head Coach Joey Jones. “We fumbled the ball on the 30, but we sacked them and made them kick a field goal that was fortunately wide right.”

“I have to tell you, UC-Davis is a great, first-class football team,” Jones continued. “We came out to California and beat an extremely good football team tonight. They have great players and are very well-coached team. We had so many setbacks during the game, whether it was penalties or turnovers, but never had the feeling we were out of the game. Our kids kept playing hard. It’s just a great statement for our program. People have been asking me all year long, and I know where we are now; we beat a great I-AA program that won its conference last year, is probably going to win it this year, and beat San Jose State this season. We’re up there. Are we Division I-A yet? No, but we’re probably close.”

The Jags will return to Ladd-Peebles stadium to round out their season with three consecutive home games. The first of which will have Georgia State, in their first season of football, coming to Mobile coached by former University of Alabama head coach Bill Curry on Saturday, October 30th. Kickoff is scheduled for 4:00pm.

Continue for a more detailed breakdown of the game.

South Alabama took the opening kickoff on 26 yard line after Freshman TJ Glover returned the kick 22 yards. Brennan Sim opened the game with a six yard completion to Courtney Smith. Back to back runs by Kendall Houston went for nine and six yards. Then the Jags had to burn their first time out with 13:18 left in the first quarter.

After the time out, Sim connected with Kevin Helms for 13 more yards to the Aggie 40 yard line and a Jaguar first down. Houston rushed for two yards, followed by Santuan McGee’s two yard run for 3rd and 6 at the Aggie 36. Corey Waldon would come us just short of the first down after gaining five yards on a Sim completion. On 4th and 1 from the Aggie 31, Coach Jones opted to go for the first down. Houston would take the handoff and gain a crucial two yards to keep the Jags drive alive.

After an incomplete pass by Sim, he would scramble for four yards to the Aggie 25. Sim’s next pass to Jeremy Jones would go for 8 yards down to the 17. Another complete pass from Sim to TJ Glover would put the Jags at the Davis 10 yard line. Kendall Houston would cap off the drive with a 10 yard touchdown run. A false start on the point after wouldn’t matter to McGlon. The 13 play drive covering 74 yards in six minutes for a touchdown is the Jags longest scoring drive of the season.

UC-Davis would start at their own 7 yard line after an error on the return. The Jags defense would come out strong, forcing a three and out on the first series. The Aggie punt would go 34 yards but Glover would get it all back on the return.

Sim would run for a yard on first down but would find Courtney Smith in the back of the end zone on the next play for a 13 yard touchdown pass. A false start on Kevin Helms on the PAT would back the attempt try to the 8 yard line. McGlon would miss the attempt, however a personal foul on the Aggies would give McGlon another try at the four yard line. This attempt would be good and the Jags would lead the Aggies 14-0 with 6:32 left in the first quarter.

The ensuing UC-Davis possession would start with a 27 yard kickoff return to the 35 yard line. On 3rd and 8 from their own 37, Aggie quarterback Randy Wright would complete a 14 yard strike to just across the midfield stripe. After a three yard rush, Wright would complete another pass for 10 more yards, down to the Jaguar 36. A seven yard rush to would lead to a 26 yard pass from Wright to Sean Creadick down to the three yard line before being forced out of bounds. Then a three yard run by running back Corbin Cutshaw would put the Aggies on the board, 14-7 with 2:49 left in the first quarter.

Glover would return the Aggie kickoff 28 yards to the USA 37 to start their next possession. The drive would begin with a seven yard run by Sim, then a 17 yard pass completion to Courtney Smith would put the Jags at the Davis 39 yard line. But a holding call on center Trey Clark would back the Jags up 10 yard for a 1st and 20 from the 49 yard line. Sim would fumble the ball after a two yard run and the Aggies would recover, ending the Jags drive.

After a short completion and a short run, Wright would connect with Creadick for 19 yards to the Jaguar 31 as time expired in the first quarter. An incomplete pass followed by a rush for no gain would have the Aggies facing 3rd and 10. An 8 yard completion to Josh Reese would spot the ball at the Jaguar 23 facing a 4th and 2. The Sean Kelley field goal attempt would sail wide right and give the Jags the football.

The first play would see Houston rush for five yards. Then Brennan Sim would find Corey Waldon for 19 yards out to the Jaguar 47 yard line. The Jags would cross mid-field with a pass completion to Glover for four yards. Then Glover would rush for three more yards to set up a 3rd and 3 at the Aggie 46. Then Brennan Sim would throw the first interception by a Jaguar quarterback this season at the UC-Davis 38 yard line.

The Jag defense would step up again. Holding the next two run plays to 2 and 1 yard respectively before Logan Bennett would sack Randy Wright for seven yards forcing a punt on 4th and 14 at the Davis 34 yard line.

After back-to-back turnovers by Sim, it was CJ Bennett’s turn to run the offense starting at the Jaguar 36 yard line. Houston would open the series with a two yard rush. Then back to back completions for Bennett, first to Lemontis Gardner for six yard followed by Bryant Lavender for seven to cross mid-field to the Aggie 49. After another two yard run by Houston, Bennett would get sacked for a nine yard loss back to the USA 44. The Jags would have to use their second time out of the half with 6:15 left in the second quarter. After the timeout Bennett would get sacked again, this time for only one yard. Scott Garber’s punt would be downed at the Aggie 10 yard line with 5:25 left until halftime.

Wright’s first pass would go for 12 yards and a first down, but the would only gain one yard in the next three plays before punting it away again.

Glover would fair catch the punt at the USA 45, giving the Jags great field position to start their next drive. Back to back incomplete passes would have the Jaguars facing 3rd and 10. Bennett would find Jereme Jones, but he would come up two yards short. Garber’s punt would go 41 yards to be downed at the Aggie 6 this time.

Randy Wright would go deep for Sean Creadick, but would be intercepted by Jonathan Cameron at the Aggie 41 yard line. Houston would run for four yards to the Davis 37, but back-to-back incomplete passes by Bennett would bring up 4th down. The Jags would then use their final timeout of the half as some indecision occurred as to whether the Jags were going to attempt a long field goal or punt the ball. Garber would come out and punt the ball. Davis would return the punt seven yards to the Davis 15 yard line.

With 1:53 the Aggies went into a hurry-up offense, completing pass after pass. The first two were to Creadick for 22 yard and five yards respectively. Then a completion to Josh Reese for six yard would put the Aggies at their own 49 yard line. A substitution infraction against the Jags would be declined.

Wright would then complete a pass to Creadick again for a loss of one yard. Then the Aggies would find forward gear again with completions of five yards to Tom Hemmingsen, 10 to Creadick and Troy Yudin for 22 yards put the Aggies at the Jaguar 15 yard line. Then quarterback Wright would run for eight yards before going out of bounds at the Jaguar 7 yard line. Wright would cap off the drive with a touchdown pass to Creadick with 15 seconds left until halftime, tying the game at 14. Davis’ drive would cover 84 yards in nine plays using only 1:38 seconds off the clock.

McGlon would kick off to begin the second half. The kickoff was fielded at the 21 yard line then returned 17 to the Davis 38 yard line. The Aggies could only muster one first down going 12 yards in six plays before punting the ball out of bounds at the Jaguar 15 yard line.

Sim would complete his first pass of the second half to Houston for three yards. Then Houston would rush for four more out to the Jaguar 22 yard line. Sim would then complete a five yard pass to Jereme Jones for a first down on 3rd and 3. Houston would then get stopped for a one yard loss on his next rushing attempt. Sim would try to hit Courtney Smith, but the Aggies would get flagged for pass interference giving the Jags another 1st and 10 at their own 41 yard line. Houston would then run for four yards out to the 45 yard line. Sim’s next throw towards Courtney Smith would be complete for 11 yards to the Aggie 44 yard line. However, Sim would throw his second pick of the game at the Davis 34 yard line and stalling another prospective South Alabama drive.

The Jaguar defense stepped up again, forcing a three and out by the Aggie offense. The Davis punt went out of bounds at the South Alabama 29 as they tried to keep the ball out of Glover’s hands.

Sim would return to the game with an incomplete pass on first down. Sim would hit Ralph Turner for five yards on second down but would throw another incomplete pass to bring up 4th down. A false start on Michael Wilson would back the Jags up five extra yards to the Jaguar 29 yard line. Garber’s punt would go 46 yards then fumbled but recovered by the Aggies at their own 21 yard line.

Two consecutive rushes by the Aggies would go for six yards by Josh Reese and 10 yards by Nick Aprile. On the first down play, the Jags would be caught on another substitution infraction as they tried to get player onto and off of the field. On 1st and 5 from the Aggie 42, Cutshaw would run for no gain, but Charlie Higgenbotham would be flagged for a face mask, moving the ball across mid-field to the Jaguar 43. After an incomplete pass, two consecutive Aggie rushes would go for 7 yards and 19 yards respectively putting the Aggies at the Jaguar 17 yard line. Coach Jones would be forced to call a time out with 4:17 left in the third quarter. Coming off of the time out, Randy Wright would complete a strike to Tom Hemmingsen for a 17 yard touchdown to give the Aggies the first lead of the game at 21-14.

TJ Glover would give the offense a spark when he returned the kickoff 43 yards to the mid-field stripe to start their next possession. Trying to spark some life in the offense, South Alabama put Myles Gibbon into the game. Gibbon’s first pass went to Waldon for eight yards to the Davis 42 yard line. Santuan McGee would then rush for 13 yards, but it would come back when Kevin Helms was flagged for a hold. The ten yard penalty would put the Jags back at their own 48 yard line.

Gibbon’s next attempt was incomplete to Waldon again, but UC-Davis would be flagged for pass interference to put the ball at the Davis 37 yard line. Gibbon would be sacked on the next play for a loss of three, but he would make up for it by running for 13 yards and a Jaguar first down at the Aggies 27. Kevin Helms would be flagged for a falst start, backing the Jags up five more yards for a 1st and 15.

Gibbon would hit McGee for nine yards to the Davis 23 yard line. Then McGee would rush for two more yards setting up a 3rd and 4 at the Aggie 21. Coach Jones would call a time out with 37 seconds left in quarter. Houston would get the carry after the time out, but the Aggie defense sniffed it out and dropped him for a one yard loss. Coach Jones sent in Jordan Mean for the field goal attempt, which was good from 39 yards to cut the Aggie lead to four points at 21-17.

Jordan Means kickoff would sail to the one yard line, but Corbin Cutshaw would return it 40 yards to the Aggie 41 as he was forced out of bounds by Means. Cutshaw’s spark would dwindle as the South Alabama defense would step up, with a little help by a false start on 3rd and 1, to force a three and out.

The Aggie punt would go out of bounds at the Jaguar 13 yard line with Bennett returning under center to lead the offense. His first pass would be complete to Lemontis Gardner for 12 yards. This would be followed up with consecutive rushes by Santuan McGee for six and 21 yards respectively. With 1st and 10 at the Davis 48 yard line, Bennett would find Courtney Smith open for 13 yards to the Davis 35 yard line. A run by Bennett would pick up eight more yards to get to the Davis 27 yard line.

The Aggie defense would stiffen on the Jags by stopping McGee for no gain then dropping Houston for a one yard loss. Then on 4th and 3 at the Aggie 28, the Jags rolled the dice and went for it. However Bennett’s pass would fall incomplete turning the ball over on downs.

Nick Aprile would open the Aggie drive with a 17 yard run out to the 45 yard line. After an incomplete pass, Wright would complete his pass to Creadick for nine yards to the USA 46 yard line. Higgenbotham would stop Aprile for no gain bringing up 4th down. After a delay of game penalty the Aggies would punt. TJ Glover would field the punt at the 16 yard line and return it nine yards to the Jaguar 25 yard line.

Starting the drive with 6:55 left in the game, it was gut check time for the Jags. Bennett would open the drive with a completion to Jereme Jones for 14 yards. Then Santaun McGee would rush for 16 more yards to cross mid-field to the Davis 45 yard line. McGee’s next run would be stopped for no gain. Then CJ Bennett would find Courtney Smith open down the sideline for a 45 yard touchdown pass as the Jags retake the lead at 24-21 with 5:29 left in the game.

After an 11 yard return on the kickoff, the Aggies started at their own 15 yard line. Wright would run for seven yards on first down, then he would connect with Aprile for five more and a first down. Wright would then hit Creadick for 11 more yards and another first down at the Davis 43 yard line.

The Jags would then force three consecutive incomplete passes to bring up a 4th and 10 at the Davis 43 yard line. Randy Wright would scamper for the first down, gaining 11 yards to keep the Aggie drive alive at the Jaguar 46 yard line. After an incomplete pass, Wright was sacked for eight yards by Jake Johnson to bring up a 3rd and 18 at the Aggie 46 yard line. South Alabama would call its final time out of the game with just 2:21 remaining.

Wright’s passing attempt would fall incomplete bringing up 4th and 18. The UC-Davis coaches decided that they would trust their defense to get a stop and sent on the punting unit. The 31 yard punt was downed at the Jaguar 23 yard line with 2:06 left in the game.

The Jaguars, needing only a first down or two, send CJ Bennett back into the game. On first down he would run for three yards with the Aggies using a time out to stop the clock with 2:01 left to play. Santuan McGee would run for six more yards on second down, coming up just a half-yard shy of the first down. The Aggies would call their second time out of the half with 1:53 left to play. Then with 3rd and 1 at the USA 32 yard line and going on a hard count, a mix-up between the center, Trey Clark, and Bennett resulted in a fumble that was recovered by the Aggies at the South Alabama 33 yard line with 1:52 left in the game.

On first down the Jaguars Anthony Taylor sacked Wright for a six yard loss back at the USA 39 yard line with the clock still running. Wright would then find Creadick open for a 22 yard gain down to the jaguar 17 yard line, still with the clock running. Then on 1st and 10 at the 17 yard line, the Aggies stop the clock on an incomplete pass. Anthony Taylor would get a huge sack on the quarterback for a loss of eight yards back to the Jaguar 25 yard line. Then a Davis fumble at the 27 was recovered at the 22 by Josh Reese and advanced five yards back to the Jaguar 17 yard line. The Aggies let the clock run down to 3 seconds before using their third and final time out of the game to set up a potential game-tying field goal.

As time ran out Davis’ kicker, Sean Kelley, sailed the 34 yard kick wide right right preserving the win for the Jaguars, 24-21.

On the ground the Jags were led by Santuan McGee on the ground with 53 yards on eight carries. Kendall Houston had 14 carries for 47 yards and a touchdown.

Courtney Smith caught six passes for 105 yard, including the game winning 45 yard touchdown score in the 4th quarter. Jereme Jones added four catches for 35 yards, Corey Waldon had three catches for 32 yards and Gardner and Glover both added two catches for 18 and 11 yards respectively. Five other Jags caught passes as well.

Brennan Sim went 13-for-18 for 116 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. CJ Bennett was 7-for-13 for 105 yard with a touchdown and two sacks. Myles Gibbon completed both passing attempts for 17 yards and a sack.

TJ Glover ended the game with 150 all-purpose yards, 11 receiving, 93 on kick returns and 43 more on punt returns.

Scott Garber punted four times for an average of 40 yards with three kicks being downed inside the 20.

For UC-Davis, Nick Aprile lead their rushers with 44 yards on seven carries. Josh Reese had eight carries for 26 yards. While Sean Creadick had a game high 12 receptions for 147 yards and a touchdown. Tom Himmingsen added three catches for 36 yards and a touchdown.

Coulton Schmidt punted eight times for an average of just over 34 yards per punt with only two of them being downed inside the 20 yard line. Sean Kelley attempted two field goals, missing both from 41 and 34 yards.

The Jags committed four turnovers, two interceptions and two fumbles. UC-Davis threw one interceptions and fumbled twice, losing none. The Jags would run for 131 yards for the game while passing for 238 for a total of 369 offensive yards. The defense would allow 109 yards on the ground and 238 through the air for a total of 347 yards against the Aggies.

South Alabama would be flagged nine times for 65 yards while Davis was flagged only five times for 43 yards.


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