Tigers coming off wild win on the road
Published on -10/17/2012, 10:40 AM
By CONOR NICHOLL
The Fort Hays State University football team led Southwest Baptist (Mo.) University by 11 with 7 minutes, 12 seconds remaining in the third quarter.
"Guys were like, 'Yeah, we got it now, we've just got to keep it basically,' " junior quarterback Tarean Austin said. "Obviously, we didn't do that."
Instead, SBU scored 21 straight points and led by 10 with 11:05 left in the game after the Bearcats picked off an Austin pass and returned it 46 yards for a touchdown. Afterward, running backs coach Ryan Kelly spoke with Austin.
" 'We are going to get this ball back and we are going to go down there and win this ballgame,' " Austin recalled Kelly saying. "It brought me up, and it brought some motivation throughout the offense. And the defense played a good game and got us back the ball."
Fort Hays, helped by an eight-yard touchdown pass with three seconds left from senior backup quarterback Anthony Sheppard to senior wide receiver Cornelius Gallon, won 37-34 in overtime.
"It was an unbelievable play to me," Austin said. "The clock was running down. It was who wanted it more. Obviously, we did."
Fort Hays moved to 2-5, 2-5 MIAA, while Southwest Baptist dropped to 1-6, 1-6 MIAA.
"Our kids did a really good job of fighting back," second-year coach Chris Brown said in his weekly news conference Tuesday. "We never should have got ourselves in that situation anyway. ... A lot of ups and downs. I like the up part, not the down part so much."
The frenetic finish was possible partly because of junior Shaun Ohlde, the team's fifth-string running back who mainly plays on special teams.
Ohlde rushed 29 times for 91 yards and could see plenty of time Saturday afternoon in a home game against Lincoln (Mo.) University (1-6, 1-6 MIAA). Game time is 2:30 p.m. at Lewis Field Stadium. The contest is the MIAA TV Game of the Week. Senior Andre Smith and junior Edward Smith suffered season-ending injuries early in the year.
Then freshman Addie Brown had an elbow injury versus SBU. Coach Brown said Addie Brown will not play Saturday and should miss two to three weeks. Freshman Treveon Albert also had his IT band bother him and carried the ball just three times for four yards.
Coach Brown thinks Albert could play Saturday.FHSU has moved Sheppard and redshirt freshman defensive back Shaquille Cooper to running back this week.
"Right now, Treveon is not as bad as we thought he was," Coach Brown said. "We are hoping that we get him back this week. It's just a matter of pain tolerance, if he can deal with the pain enough to play.
"We worked Shepp in there (Tuesday) and he has done an excellent job for us, and then we moved Shaquille Cooper over as well," he added. "Shaq played tailback in high school, and he looked sharp out there today as well, like he never missed a beat."
Last Saturday, Sheppard had to step in for Austin in the final seconds when the starter was a little banged up. In the final minute, Austin rushed for two yards to the SBU 2-yard line on second down, but had to leave the game. On the next play, Sheppard came in and was sacked for a six-yard loss to set up fourth down from the Bearcat 8-yard line.
"We wanted him to throw the ball away because the clock stops and give him some time," Brown said. "It was quick. We called two plays when Tarean went down."
On fourth down, Brown first thought Sheppard was going to spike the ball/ "Good thing he didn't," Brown said.
Instead, Gallon noticed the defensive back playing a "little lackadaisical."
"I heard a lot of people on the sideline saying 'Spike the ball,' and I knew Shepp wasn't going to spike the ball," Gallon said.
Sheppard, who hadn't thrown a pass since Week 1, found Gallon for the score. It ended the best day of Gallon's Tiger career: nine catches, 155 yards and three scores.
"The funny thing about is, that ball, the way it was thrown, it was headed towards the pylon and it curved a good 10 feet and landed in Gallon's hands," Brown said. "... He stepped back and made a good throw. It's just kids making plays."