'Roos rally falls short

SHERMAN, Texas – Andy Braly threw two fourth quarter touchdown passes as the ’Roos made a furious comeback attempt against DePauw University, but a late field goal for the Tigers proved to be the difference as the ’Roos fell 31-28 on Saturday afternoon at Jerry Apple Stadium. The loss snaps a four game win streak for the ’Roos and drops them to 5-4 overall and 3-3 in Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference play on the season.

Austin College jumped out to an early lead when Scooter Means capped off a nine play, 80 yard drive with a tough eight yard touchdown run to make it 7-0 with 6:39 left in the first quarter. Andy Braly completed passes of 21, 16 and 11 yards and Zach Mamot added a 20 yard run on the drive.

The ’Roos seemed to have the momentum squarely in their favor when Matt Finke blocked a field goal early in the second quarter and still holding onto the 7-0 lead, but after Means was stopped just inches short of the endzone on fourth down to turn it over on downs, DePauw quarterback swung a screen pass to Jon Ellis, who raced 97 yards for the score with just under five minutes left in the half.

Austin College put together another strong drive on their next possession, going 61 yards in eight plays but after Braly was sacked at the DePauw 14, Jonathan Hersh’s field goal sailed just right and gave the ball back to the Tigers with 1:29 left in the half. On the ensuing possession Dick completed 5-of-8 passes to drive DePauw 80 yards, culminating in a touchdown throw to Bryan Mulligan with six seconds left before halftime. The point after was wide, making it 13-7 going into the break.

The Tigers forced the ’Roos to go three and out on the first possession of the second half and quickly got deep into Austin College territory on a 45 yard punt return by Mulligan. Four plays later Ellis plunged in from the one yard line to make it a 20-7 game with 12:07 left in the third.

The ’Roos responded on the ensuing possession, with Mamot bursting around the left edge and taking it 49 yards for the touchdown to make it a six point game less than three minutes later, but on the next DePauw drive Dick tossed his third touchdown pass of the game, this time a two yarder to Mitch Willsey with 6:42 remaining to make it 28-14.

That remained the score until early in the fourth quarter when Braly found Ed Amerson for a 17 yard touchdown set up by a pass interference call against the Tigers, cutting it to a 28-21 game with 9:32 left to play. The Tigers managed to take nearly seven minutes off the clock on their next drive, going 46 yards in 12 plays with Jordan Havercamp nailing a 38 yard field goal to make it 31-21 with 2:44 remaining in the fourth.

The ’Roos moved quickly down the field with Braly completing 5-of-9 passes for 52 yards and adding a key 15 yard scramble to pick up a first down. Braly found Ross Hasten in the back of the endzone from five yards out to cut it to a 31-28 game with 54 seconds on the clock, but the Tigers recovered the onside kick and ran out the clock to preserve the victory.

Braly finished the game completing 13-of-25 passes for 162 yards and a pair of touchdowns and added 71 yards on 16 carries. Mamot rushed six times for 91 yards and a score, and Hasten added 67 yards on nine carries. Evan Coachman had a career game with eight receptions for 100 yards, and Amerson added three catches for 52 yards and a touchdown. As a team, the ’Roos rushed for 296 yards on 48 attempts but had three trips inside the DePauw 10 yard line that resulted in zero points. Andy Stowe led the team with 10 tackles, including one for loss.

Dick completed 21-of-33 passes for 319 yards, including 236 in the first half, and three touchdowns. Ellis carried the ball 23 times for 82 yards and a score and added 131 receiving yards and a touchdown on three catches. Chris Gasbarra had five catches for 50 yards, and Tarren Collins led the Tigers with eight tackles.

Austin College is off next week and then closes out the season with a trip to San Antonio, where they will take on rival Trinity University with kickoff set for 1:30 p.m. on November 15.