El­lis’s TD caps rally for Cavs

The Washington Post Sunday - - SPORTS - BY HANK KURZ JR.

CHAR­LOTTESVILLE — Matt Johns was at a loss for words, and so the first thing he did was laugh.

“It’s hard to de­scribe how much we needed that,” Vir­ginia’s quar­ter­back said af­ter the Cava­liers ral­lied to pull even on the fi­nal play of reg­u­la­tion and then beat Syra­cuse, 44-38, in three over­times Satur­day night. “Just morally, phys­i­cally, men­tally, just every­thing.”

The vic­tory snapped a twogame los­ing streak for Vir­ginia (2-4, 1-1 ACC) and came in a way that Coach Mike Lon­don said he hopes can pro­vide a spring­board of con­fi­dence and sim­i­lar suc­cess as the Cava­liers head into the sec­ond half of the sea­son.

First, the Cavs drove 88 yards in 19 plays, eat­ing up the fi­nal 6 min­utes 52 sec­onds on the game clock, to set up Ian Frye’s ty­ing 25-yard field goal as reg­u­la­tion ex­pired. Then, they traded touch­downs with the Orange through two over­times be­fore stuff­ing Syra­cuse in the third for the vic­tory.

They even got a call to go their way to make the ty­ing drive pos­si­ble. It ar­rived in the form of a face-mask penalty against the Orange as Al­bert Reid was tack­led for a six-yard gain on third and 15 at the be­gin­ning of the drive. The ad­di­tional 15 yards kept the drive alive.

“I re­mem­ber look­ing up and say­ing, ‘Thank you, big guy. I ap­pre­ci­ate that,’ ” Lon­don said.

In the third over­time, Jor­dan El­lis scored on a three-yard run af­ter Vir­ginia held Syra­cuse to a 48-yard field goal try that missed. The Cava­liers sacked Eric Dungey for a six-yard loss on third and 10 from the 25 to force the long kick, which would have been Mur­phy’s ca­reer best.

The play left Dungey, a fresh­man, dis­gusted with him­self.

“I saw the pres­sure com­ing and I should have got­ten rid of the ball,” he said. “It’s frus­trat­ing.”

It didn’t help the Orange that over­time went quickly, not al­low­ing its de­fense to rest af­ter Vir­ginia’s reg­u­la­tion-end­ing drive.

“I thought they kept play­ing hard,” Orange Coach Scott Shafer said of his play­ers. “It was hard to tell from the side­line an­gle, but any gas they had, they left it on the field. . . . The kids are ex­hausted, that’s for sure.”

The Orange (3-3, 1-1) lost its third in a row.

The sec­ond over­time went quickly. Vir­ginia scored in three plays, with Taquan Mizzell run­ning the last 13 yards for a touch­down. Syra­cuse, start­ing at the 12 be­cause of a Vir­ginia penalty, needed just one play as Dungey rolled right and found Steve Ish­mael just in­side the right py­lon.

Syra­cuse got the ball first in OT and needed only five plays, with Dungey hit­ting Ervin Phillips with a seven-yard touch­down pass. A tar­get­ing foul against Zach Brad shaw on the play forced Vir­ginia to start its drive at the 40, and on third down, Johns rolled right and hit Canaan Sev­erin for 36 yards and the ty­ing touch­down.

Vir­ginia trailed most of the game but got the ball with 6:52 left in reg­u­la­tion and used it all to tie it. The drive cov­ered 88 yards in 19 plays, was high­lighted by Johns’s 11-yard pass to Mizzell on fourth and three from near mid­field and ended with Frye’s 25-yard field goal.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.