Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Illustration for article titled Western Kentucky Found One Of The Strangest Ways To Lose A Football Gameem/em

Unless you’re a fan of either team, or are Tim Burke, you were most likely not watching Saturday night’s college football game between one-win schools Western Kentucky and Old Dominion. You missed a nutty finish!

With 1:37 left in the fourth quarter, the Hilltoppers took a 34-27 lead on Gino Appleberry Jr.’s two-yard touchdown, but the Monarchs would not go quietly. ODU quarterback Blake LaRussa engineered an eight-play, 79-yard drive that ended with a TD pass to Travis Fulgham. WKU wanted to use the nine remaining seconds to attempt a game-winning field goal and avoid overtime, but instead it doomed them.

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The Hilltoppers’ first field goal attempt fell short, but the defense had 12 men on the field, so they had a chance to re-kick, five yards closer. The second attempt also missed and Old Dominion’s Isaiah Harper caught the ball; he ran it back WKU’s 17-yard line and also drew a grabbing-the-facemask flag. Since the game can’t end on a defensive penalty, all of this set up a 26-yard field goal attempt by ODU’s Nick Rice, and he nailed it.

Here’s the good shit, courtesy of Burke:

The play on which Harper returned the ball was called “special.” ODU head coach Bobby Wilder was glad his team pulled it off, but he admitted there was a little luck involved. From the Virginian-Pilot:

“We were fortunate it worked out the way it did,” Wilder said. “I’m just really proud of our kids to execute.”

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Harper’s runback wasn’t lucky, though. He knew that he had a good shot at drawing a flag if he stayed upright:

“The field goal team is a bunch of linemen,” he said. “You’ve got to try to beat them to one side, and I ended up going to the short side of the field.

“O-linemen aren’t used to tackling, so I knew that if I kept fighting they were going to do everything they could to take me down. In this case, he grabbed my face mask.”

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This ending was the coolest thing in college football this weekend, excluding Urban Meyer losing.

[Virginian-Pilot]

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