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Football Drops Heartbreaker

Rico Wallace scores one of his two TDs on the night. Photo by Ryan Kelly
Rico Wallace scores one of his two TDs on the night. Photo by Ryan Kelly

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – It was nearly the greatest comeback ever.

Trailing 20-0 with 7:25 remaining, Shenandoah scored three touchdowns to force overtime before falling 27-20 in OT to Christopher Newport University in USA South Conference football action Saturday night at POMOCO Stadium.

Shenandoah (2-3, 1-1 USA South) actually had a chance to win it in regulation, but Andrew Lloyd's PAT attempt following a Daniel Wright 2-yard TD rush hooked left and kept the game tied at 20-20.

The Hornets won the overtime toss and elected to play defense first, where CNU (3-2, 2-0) got a Lyndon Garner to Kentel Noel TD pass for the game-winning points.

Garner's pass was tipped by two SU defenders before Noel made a diving catch in the end zone.

On the Shenandoah possession, the Hornets attempted four passes but were unable to advance.

The overtime ruined a furious comeback by SU, as it combined two fourth down TD catches from Rico Wallace, a Brandon Martin INT and the Wright TD rush to force the OT.

Wallace, who set a school record with 12 receptions for 127 yards and the two TDs, also set a school record for TD receptions in a season with his second catch.

The All-America candidate now has 10 touchdown catches this year.

The Captains outgained Shenandoah 236 to 89 in the opening 30 minutes as the Hornets were held to just two yards rushing on 11 attempts, but only had a 6-0 lead thanks to two Stephen Denuel field goals.

CNU added another Garner TD pass along with a Markeese Stovall TD rush to take the 20-0 lead, but SU did not fold its tents.

Wright hit Wallace on a 4th down fade for the first TD and just over five minutes later, found him for a 14-yard strike to bring the visitors to within six points.

SU attempted an on-side kick following the TD, but the Captains' Jared Launder recovered to give the hosts the ball in Hornet territory.

It became Martin's time to shine at this point, picking off Garner and returning it all the way to the CNU 20 to put Shenandoah in prime position for the comeback victory.

Four plays later, Wright bowled over on 3rd and goal from the 2, setting up the PAT attempt.

Christopher Newport called timeout in an attempt to ice Lloyd, and the ploy worked as the kick missed left.

Wright set school records for completions and attempts with his 27 for 42 for 254 evening; he completed balls to four different receivers.

Byron Mitchell had 15 tackles, including eight solo, to lead the defense.

Shenandoah returns home next week to host Maryville (Tenn.) in a 4 p.m. USA South Conference contest.

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