|Randolph-Macon 24, Catholic 20||Sept. 22, 2001|
WASHINGTON - An unsuccessful last-second pass by quarterback Derek McGee (Shamong, N.J./Cherokee) as time expired propelled Randolph-Macon to a 24-20 victory against Catholic in an Old Dominion Athletic Conference contest. Faced with a fourth-and-11 from the Yellow Jacket's 27-yard line, McGee launched one last heave into the air, but ended up overthrowing the ensemble that gathered in the end zone.
The Yellow Jackets struck first in the first quarter after holding CUA on fourth down. Hunter Price hit wideout Wes Buckner on a 55-yard scoring strike to make it 7-0. On the ensuing possession, the Cardinal offense had to punt. Price then led his troops on a 12-play 90-yard drive, capped off by his 1-yard plunge on the first play of the second quarter to make it 14-0. Catholic answered right back as McGee hit sophomore Pat Truxillo (Frederick, Md./Thomas Jefferson) on a 14-yard pass that got through a bevy of Yellow Jacket defenders to cut the lead to 14-7.
After the teams traded punts, CUA could not take advantage of a fumble recovery deep in RMC territory before the half. Junior defensive back Denis Campbell (Silver Spring, Md./Paint Branch) picked up a fumble by RMC's E.J. Bush and returned it to the Yellow Jacket 34-yard line. But just four plays later, McGee was sacked on fourth down by Dan Senters to end the scoring threat.
Randolph-Macon used the momentum of the defensive stand to get into the end zone just before the end of the half. Price hit Matt Gardner on an 8-yard score with just 34 seconds left in the second quarter to maintain the two-touchdown lead. Price finished the day 21-for-35 for 308 yards and two scores.
The third quarter saw Catholic score twice off of key turnovers. Senior defensive tackle Drew Anderson's (College Park, Md./Gonzaga) interception early in the third quarter put the Cardinals at the RMC 12-yard line. The very next play McGee would find Truxillo again in the end zone to make it 21-14. Truxillo finished with a game-high seven receptions for 73 yards and two scores.
David Ping hit a 27-yard field goal for the Yellow Jackets on the next series to raise the lead to 24-14, but Catholic wasn't about to hand it in just yet. After a holding penalty put the Yellow Jackets on their own 17-yard line, the CUA defense rose to the occasion as sophomore linebacker John Blattner (Lutherville, Md./Loyola) picked off a pass and rambled in from 13 yards for the score. Greg Stokes' extra point was wide left making the score 24-20.
Catholic would get one last chance at a comeback late in the fourth quarter as CUA started at midfield with just under three minutes left. A combination of rushes and passes put CUA no closer than the 26-yard line. With 47 seconds left, McGee was called for intentional grounding on third down, moving CUA back all the way to the 43-yard line and the loss of the down. His last-ditch effort went over the head of his receivers and gave RMC the win.
McGee finished the game 21-for-33 for 196 yards and two scores. Senior running back Dan Boyle (Warminster, Pa./Archbishop Wood) grinded out 77 yards on 22 carries. Freshman wide receiver Nick Bublavi (Norwood, Pa./Interboro) caught three passes for 59 yards in his first collegiate start. On the defensive side of the ball, junior linebacker Ryan Welsh (Glen Mills, Pa./Salesianum) made 10 stops, including four for losses.
Catholic (1-2, 0-1 ODAC) returns to action next Saturday as they travel to Philadelphia to take on Division I-AA LaSalle at Franklin Field at 1 p.m.