With time running out in the annual spring contest, Paul Millard connected with Jordan Thompson to bring the score within 35-33. After a timeout, the offense attempted to run off tackle with running back Wendell Smallwood, but the true freshman was met by safety KJ Dillon in the backfield, as the defense held on.
Travis Bell picked off a pair of passes (although one was called back).
Things started out well for the offense. Paul Millard completed a pass over the middle to walk-on Connor Arlia for a first down on the first play of the afternoon. The very next play, new receiver Kevin White caught a screen pass and gained nine yards, followed by fellow junior college transfer Dreamius Smith pounding it through the hole for the first down.
After that, it was all downhill.
That drive stalled after a couple questionable passes from Millard led to drops from White and Daikiel Shorts. New kicker Josh Lamber pushed his 41-yard field goal attempt wide right, prompting groans from the fans who had seen that one too many times last season.
The second drive under Millard was worse, resulting in a three-and-out and a sack.
The offense did not fare much better under Ford Childress. The first few plays were for positive gains before a sack pushed the offense back and Lambert came up short on a 48-yard field goal.
On the first play of the second drive, Childress went deep, only to be picked off by converted safety Travis Bell. The offense left the field visibly frustrated at the end of the first quarter, losing 17-0.
After a couple more stalled drives under Millard, Childress stepped in and, on the first play of his next drive, hit Jordan Thompson in stride on a post pattern. “Squirt” took care of the rest and sprinted to the end-zone for a 65-yard score.
It seemed as if that would jump-start the offense, as Childress completed back-to-back passes to Shorts, but poor blocking from the offensive line and a bad pass from Childress led to another punt.
Off-target passes littered the second half play-by-play as well, as Keith Patterson's defense tacked on a couple more stops. A spectacular run after the catch by Kevin White (that resulted in a touchdown), combined with two field goals from Josh Lambert (after missing his first two attempts), presented the offense with the final drive.
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