Jags Rally Late; Defeats Nicholls 41-40 in Overtime

September 25, 2016 · By · Filed Under Football 

Jaguar_Logo_720x544With their backs against the wall, the South Alabama stood tall and clawed their way to a win against Nichols State Saturday night at Ladd-Peebles Stadium.

The Jags needed a defensive stop and a drive in the final minutes of regulation to force overtime against the Colonels. Which they did.

Then in overtime, the Jaguars knew both defenses were tired so they ran the ball between the tackles, converting a critical 4th and inches on the drive, all the way to the endzone on the opening possession of overtime.

Nichols first play from scrimmage on their overtime position gashed the Jaguar defense for a big gain. They would eventually punch it into the end zone, but they were not going to go into another overtime period. It was going to end one way or another in the first OT.

On the first 2-point conversion attempt, the Jag defending seemingly intercepted the ball in the endzone but an offsides penalty gave Nichols a second chance from the one-and-a-half yard line. The Jaguar defense was ready for the run and stopped it cold preserving the 41-40 win.

The USA players will have plenty of film to review this week. They should pay close attention to how Nichols took advantage of every Jaguar mishap. It’s not often that a team can overcome four interceptions one a pick-six, a blocked field goal returned for a touchdown, and a kickoff recovered by the the opposing team.

The Jags dominated in offensive stats: 510 total yards to 230, 208 rushing yards to 161, 302 passing yards to 69, 24 first downs to 12, time of possession 32:16 to 27:44, 8-of-19 on third down to 3-of-13.

But the stat that ultimately determines the outcome was 41-40.

After the Colonels won the coin toss and deferred to the second half, the Jags opened with a 95 yard kickoff return by Xavier Johnson to take a 7-0 only :12 into the game.

Dami Ayoola would score for the Jags very early in the second quarter on a 3 yard run to make it 14-0. The Colonels would return the kickoff 77 yards to the Jaguar 20 but Randy Allen would deliver a painful hit to quarterback Chase Fourcade forcing a fumble that was recovered by Kalen Jackson.

The celebration was short lived though because on the very next play Dallas Davis’ pass is tipped and it falls right into Nichol’s players hands and there was no one in position to catch him.

Momentum had definitely shifted in favor of the visitors after a 49-yard field goal attempt was blocked and returned for a touchdown to tie the game up at 14-14. Later a pooch kick would be captured by Nichols in Jaguar territory to help make the 2nd quarter a nightmare for the Jaguars.

Dallas Davis was 25-for-50 with one touchdown and four interceptions and 302 yards. Xavier Johnson finished with 103 yards on 21 carries and two touchdowns. Tyrone Williams lead with 6 catches for 64 yards and a touchdown. Kevin Kutchera was huge with 4 catches fro 86 yards.

Now the Jags can correct what they see on film this week as they prepare to host their first top-25 ranked team in the nation when the San Diego State Azetecs arrive. The Aztecs look to revenge their loss to the Jags last season, which is the last game they dropped since then, giving them the 2nd longest winning streak in the nation behind Alabama.

The Jags will have to play a clean game, they can’t commit four turnovers and do what they did on special teams and expect to win.

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