Falcons rally for 30-29 win at Buffalo


BUFFALO — Even Disney would have rejected this ending as much too improbable.
That’s OK with the Bowling Green Falcons, who are not interested in movie deals, but only in winning
football games
The Falcons rallied for two fourth quarter touchdowns, the second one coming with 39 seconds, to play in
the game, to slip past Buffalo, 30-29 Tuesday.
“Today was just a battle of resiliency,” said BG head coach Dave Clawson.
The Bulls had dominated the first half, taking a 21-13 lead into the locker room.
“We could not get off the field (in the first half),” Clawson said about his defense. “We were missing
“At halftime we really challenged our defense,” he added. “We said: ‘We’re just tired of it. It’s been
nine games. We’re not hitting our gaps, we’re not making tackles … We have enough good players here.
At what point is someone going to step up and start making plays.’’’
Bowling Green’s defense rose to the challenge in the second half, stuffing the Bulls’ offense, which had
put up a total of 302 yards and three TDs in the first 30 minutes. Buffalo was limited to 109 yards in
the second half and its only TD came on a short-field score after a dropped punt by the Falcons.
“I think the whole key to this game was how well the defense played in the second half,” Clawson said.
“Our defense really stepped up the second half.”
A total of 54 of Buffalo second-half yards came on a fourth-quarter possession when the Bulls were
attempting to run out the clock after the Falcons
had stalled at the UB 4-yard line with 8:09 remaining in the game.
Buffalo did take 5:10 off the clock, but the Falcons finally held and got the ball at the 25-yard line
with 2:59 left in the game.
From there, Tyler Sheehan engineered an 11-play 75-yard drive for the winning touchdown.
Sheehan was 6-of-10 passing on the drive for 81 yards and he also ran for 4 yards for a first down. The
Falcons were hit with a holding call in the final minute inside the 10-yard line. But on the next play
after the penalty Sheehan responded with an 18-yard scoring pass to Freddie Barnes. With Matt Norsic’s
PAT the Falcons had a 30-29 lead.
“That’s just a great quarterback and a great receiver being on the same page,” Clawson said.
“He (Barnes) was actually my secondary read. I was reading it inside-out,” Sheehan said about the final
“As I looked inside, I saw Freddie completely beat his guy on the outside and I just wanted to throw him
a good ball.
The Falcons had two screen passes on the final drive and Chris Wright made two important catches,
including a key 12-yard reception for a first down.
“We practice the two-minute drill every day. I’m more confident in that situation than any other because
I know when we play fast we don’t let the defense set up and we’re pretty effective,” Sheehan said. “I
just knew it was now or never.”
After BG’s score, the Bulls ran four plays, but BG held. James Schneider and Jordon Roussos had a big
sack of quarterback Zach Maynard on UB’s final possession and Cody Basler forced Maynard out-of-bounds
on the fourth down play, well short of the first down.
The two teams exchanged first-quarter scores with BG’s TD being set up by a blocked punt from Marquese
Quiles. P.J. Mahone recovered the blocked punt at the 1-yard line and two plays later Willie Geter
scored and Norsic’s kick tied the game at 7.
Geter had another 1-yard scoring run to cap an 82-yard drive in the second quarter, but UB had drives of
80 and 81 yards to take a 21-13 lead into the half as Norsic missed the PAT.
The Falcons started the second half with a drive inside the 20-yard line, but had to settle for a 34-yard
field goal from Norsic.
UB’s final touchdown came with 9:04 to play after a muffed punt by Geter gave UB the ball at the BG
5-yard line.
The Falcons got back into the game with 10:34 remaining after Mahone blocked a punt and recovered it at
the UB 17-yard line. Five plays later Sheehan scored on a 5-yard run to make it 29-23.
Then after stalling, the Falcons defense got a stop when it was needed and Sheehan directed the final
scoring drive.
“Special teams hurt us,” said UB head coach Turner Gill. “Just some simple things where we didn’t execute
what we were told to do on the football field. That caused us to have two blocked punts.
“Offensively, you have to get some points in the second half. With an explosive offense like they have
you cannot settle with not getting points in the second half. And defensively, you’ve gotta be able to
stop them. We stopped them for a little while but you’ve gotta be able to do it the whole game.”
Bowling Green improved to 4-5 overall and 3-2 in the Mid-American Conference with the win and Buffalo is
3-6, 1-4.

No posts to display