|Late Skyhawk field goal try sails wide |
JACKSONVILLE, Ala. — For the third consecutive week, the University of Tennessee at Martin lost an Ohio Valley Conference football game on the last play of the contest.
With six seconds left on the clock, Thursday night at Paul Snow Stadium in Jacksonville, Ala., junior Tom Hansen’s 48-yard field goal was wide left and the Skyhawks fell to the host Gamecocks 27-24.
The Skyhawks are now 0-6 on the year and 0-3 in the OVC standings. The three losses to Austin Peay, Tennessee Tech and now Jacksonville State, were by a combined nine points.
The Skyhawks were on the verge of ending their five-game slide late in the fourth quarter when Jessie Burton hauled in a Dexter Anoka pass and raced 85 yards for a touchdown.
Burton’s touchdown and a Hansen extra point gave the Skyhawks a 24-20 lead with 8:25 to play in the game.
Jacksonville State regained the lead with 1:46 to play when Cedric Johnson tossed an 8-yard pass to Taurean Rhetta for a touchdown. It was Johnson’s 36-yard completion to Derrick Harris that set up the score.
Big plays led to all of the scoring in the fourth quarter. The Skyhawks tied the game at 17-17 when Marcus Dawson scored on a 1-yard run. The touchdown was set up by two Anoka completions, a 48-yarder to Burton and an 18-yarder to Jamaal Akbar.
Jacksonville State broke the tie with Gavin Hallford’s 27-yard field goal with 9:33 to play. The field goal was set up by a 20-yard run by Johnson and a 28-yard completion from Johnson to Anthony Jones.
Burton and Anoka dominated the stat sheet with their big plays. Burton had two touchdowns and four receptions for 192 yards.
Anoka, who did not start the game, completed 8-of-15 passes for 226 yards and the two touchdown passes to Burton.
Jacksonville State’s Johnson completed 15-of-27 passes for 227 yards and a touchdown.
Both teams put their first points on the scoreboard in the second quarter. Jacksonville State scored first when Kenny Walker intercepted Skyhawk quarterback Cade Thompson and returned the pick 35 yards for a touchdown.
The Skyhawks answered the TD with a 44-yard field goal, the longest of the season, by Hansen with 2:22 to play in the quarter.
The exchange continued as Jacksonville State capitalized on a UT Martin pass interference call. The host Gamecocks set up their second touchdown of the quarter when Johnson connected with Josh Moten for 30 yards. With the ball on the 1-yard line, Johnson rushed around the left end for the score with 25 seconds to play in the half.
Anoka replaced starter Cade Thompson at quarterback and with four seconds left on the clock he connected with Burton for a 40-yard Hail Mary pass. The touchdown ended the Skyhawks’ streak of eight consecutive quarters without an offensive touchdown. The Skyhawks trailed at the half 14-10.
Weakley County Press Oct. 9, 2007