CSU rally falls short as PC holds on for 17-14 winSeptember 13, 2003
By CSU Sports Information
CHARLESTON, SC – Presbyterian College opened up a 17-0 lead in the fourth quarter and then held off a late Charleston Southern rally to win, 17-14, evening their early season record at 1-1 at Buccaneer Field on Saturday afternoon.
Charleston Southern (0-3) scored a pair of touchdowns in the final 6:04 of the contest but came up short on their attempt to recover an onside kick with :40 left in the game.
"It was like a distance race where we let Presbyterian build a big lead and we battled back but just fell short at the tape," said CSU head coach Jay Mills. "I thought our young men played with tremendous heart and determination. We found a way to put ourselves in position to win at the end but we just came up a little short."
Freshman quarterback Collin Drafts, making his first collegiate start, led the second-half comeback. Drafts completed 21-of-29 passes for 206 yards and a touchdown, adding 48 yards rushing. Drafts’ 14-yard touchdown pass to Edward Gadson with :46 left in the contest brought the Bucs’ to within three.
"We hung in there together and kept fighting and fortunately we were able to make some plays near the end to give us a chance," said Drafts. "I think we made a lot of progress today offensively, at least in the second half, but we still have a long ways to go. It was nice to take some positive steps but in the end we still didn’t get the win. We’ll keep working at it."
Presbyterian built an early 14-point lead, starting with a one-yard run by Corey Fidler with 8:20 to play in the first quarter. PC quarterback Zack Ellis connected with Terry Meng on a 20-yard touchdown pass on the second play of the second quarter, building a 14-0 lead with 14:18 remaining in the first half. PC’s defense held CSU to only 80 yards in the first half.
The teams battled scoreless in the third period before the Blue Hose stretched their lead to 17 with a 22-yard field goal from Ryan Moll with 11:11 remaining in the game. CSU answered with their most impressive drive of the season, covering 69 yards on 10 plays with Robert Adams scoring from a yard out with 6:04 left in the contest.
Ellis led PC’s winning effort with 206 yards passing, completing 20-of-39 passes on the day. Neither team was able to reach triple digits in the rushing department with PC finishing with 98 yards on 37 attempts and CSU managing 89 yards on 32 carries. CSU out-gained the Blue Hose, 215-124, in the second half.
"I was really proud of the defense," said Mills. "They really did a tremendous job in the second half. For the second straight week they kept us in the game and gave us a chance to win. They played with great determination this afternoon."
Freshman linebacker Jonna Lee and junior linebacker Bowe Butler led the defensive effort for CSU, each totaling eight tackles.
Charleston Southern returns to action next Saturday, hosting West Virginia State at 1:30 p.m.Related Item: Box Score