No. 14 GMC Rallies For Thrilling 35-34 Win Over No. 15 Navarro
No. 14 GMC Rallies For Thrilling 35-34 Win Over No. 15 Navarro
MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. – No. 14-ranked Georgia Military College twice rallied from double-digit deficits and eventually blocked a potential game-winning field goal with 10 seconds remaining as the Bulldogs held on to defeat No. 15 Navarro College (Texas) 35-34 in the 2015 season-opener Saturday afternoon at historic Davenport Field.
GMC (1-0) got the break it needed with 1:20 to go in the game when Navarro, which was nursing a 34-29 lead and trying to grind out the clock, fumbled on its own 17-yard line and Maurice Williams fell on the ball to put the Bulldogs in business.
It only took one play for GMC to capitalize as Tresvon Coakley rambled into the end zone to give the Bulldogs the 35-34 advantage with only 1:17 remaining.
After the two-point try failed, GMC turned to its defense to hold off a Navarro offense that had gone silent in the final quarter after posting 34 points in the first three frames.
Starting at its own 31 with 1:12 left on the clock, Navarro completed four passes to move down to the GMC 28 where the visiting Bulldogs set up for the potential game-winning field goal from 45 yards out.
But Cam Jackson darted in from the right side and blocked the kick to secure the GMC victory and kick-start the 2015 campaign in dramatic fashion.
“I don’t know if I’ve ever been involved in a longer game or a more exciting game,” GMC head coach Bert Williams said. “We made plenty of mistakes along the way, but we also came up with some big plays when we needed them. Our guys never quit .”
The game was a long one, lasting over four hours in the heat and humidity that pushed the heat index well above 100 degrees on the playing surface.
But it was worth the wait for GMC on this Saturday as the Bulldogs sent the home crowd home happy on Business/Industry Appreciation Day with the one-point win.
Navarro (0-1) raced out to a 13-0 lead midway through the opening quarter as Josh Cleveland had a 5-yard run and Patrick O’Brien connected on a pair of field goals from 35 and 28 yards.
But GMC finally got the offense going in the second quarter as the Bulldogs posted 23 points to eventually take a 23-20 lead at halftime.
Jordan Brown scored on a 22-yard run and Coakley scored the first of his two TDs on the day from six yards out to give GMC a 14-13 advantage.
GMC pushed the margin out to six at 20-13 when Brown scored his second TD on a 3-yard run.
Navarro came right back with a 8-yard scoring pass from Caraway to Calvin Jones, Jr. to knot the score at 20-20 with 1:43 to go before the half.
But GMC took advantage of good field position and quickly marched down field to set up Evan Pantels’s 31-yard field goal with just 11 seconds remaining before intermission.
In the third quarter, Navarro came out on fire just as the Bulldogs had done to open the game – scoring a pair of TDs to regain the lead that grew to 34-23.
Cleveland scored on a 13-yard run and Caraway found Del’Michael High open on a 2-yard scoring pass to give Navarro the 11-point cushion.
But here came GMC again as the home-standing Bulldogs closed the gap to 34-29 with 11:18 remaining on a Cameron Rosendahl-to-Leonard Wood 45-scoring pass, which ultimately set the stage for the dramatic finish.
NOTES: GMC honored Williams before the game by inducting him as the first member of the GMC Intercollegiate Athletics Ring Of Honor. Williams was presented a plaque before the game by GMC President LTG William B. Caldwell IV to recognize his induction into the Ring Of Honor. Williams was also honored for his record-setting victory to close out the 2014 season when GMC defeated Lackawanna College 20-8 to give the coaching legend his 119th victory with the Bulldogs and surpass Lew Cordell for the most wins at the College. … GMC also recognized Triumph Management, Lockstep Technology Group and Coca-Cola on Business/Industry Appreciation Day. Lockstep Technology Group presented a check for $25,000 to the College to establish an endowed scholarship with the GMC Foundation to support the GMC Online Campus. … GMC’s comeback win provided some revenge after last season’s 50-30 loss to Navarro in Corsicana, Texas. GMC trailed 29-6 in that game to open the 2014 season and eventually got to within 36-30 with 6:41 left, but couldn’t close the deal. … No rest for GMC as the Bulldogs tangle with Middle Georgia State College next Saturday at Davenport Field. It should be a little cooler with a 6 p.m. ET kickoff as GMC celebrates Faculty/Staff Appreciation Day.
GMC 35, Navarro (Texas) 34
GMC 0 23 0 12 – 35
Navarro 13 7 14 0 – 34
Navarro: Josh Cleveland 5 run (Patrick O’Brien kick) 10:51
Navarro: O’Brien 35 FG, 5:14
Navarro: O’Brien 28 FG, 2:10
GMC: Jordan Brown 22 run (Evan Pantels kick) 12:35
GMC: Tresvon Coakley 6 run (Pantels kick) 12:02
GMC: Brown 3 run (kick failed) 8:53
Navarro: Calvin Jones, Jr. 8 pass from Bivins Caraway (O’Brien kick) 1:43
GMC: Pantels 31 FG, :11
Navarro: Caraway 13 run (O’Brien kick) 12:22
Navarro: Del’Michael High 2 pass from Caraway (O’Brien kick) 1:18
GMC: Leonard Wood 45 pass from Cameron Rosendahl (run failed) 11:18
GMC: Coakley 17 run (run failed) 1:17
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