Blue Hose Football Falls at Georgia Tech
Both teams see their records even at 1-1. PC will next travel to Nashville, Tenn., to take on Vanderbilt at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday.
The Blue Hose recovered three fumbles, the most lost fumbles for the Yellow Jackets since giving up a trio in the 2010 Independence Bowl against Air Force.
PC scored with five seconds remaining in the game, its first-ever points in its fourth meeting against Georgia Tech. Aaron Mayes (Blythewood, S.C.) split the uprights on a 30-yard field goal to cap a nine-play, 62-yard drive that included PC's biggest play of the night, a 46-yard Demarcus Rouse (North Augusta, S.C.) scamper.
Lance Byrd (Jacksonville, Fla.) led the Blue Hose with 80 yards on the ground. Rouse followed with 63 yards on six carries. Arthur Williams (Baxley, Ga.) paced the receiving corps with six receptions for 42 yards while Donelle Williams (Starke, Fla.) collected eight total tackles. Joshua Polk (Lithonia, Ga.) picked up the team's lone sack and caused a fumble as well. All three PC quarterbacks saw time, combining for 98 yards through the air.
Georgia Tech gained 712 overall yards on the day but the Blue Hose held the home team to three points in the second quarter.
One of PC's most exciting plays came on a record-breaking return from freshman Branden Leston (Clearwater, Fla., pictured above) late in the second quarter. Tech quarterback Synjyn Days kept the ball on a one-yard sneak into the end zone, but the ball came loose and Leston took the fumble back 91 yards to set up the Blue Hose nine yards from paydirt. Unfortunately for the Blue Hose, the visitors were unable to convert from in close and the Yellow Jackets took back possession.
Leston's return set a new Division I record for longest recovery, eclipsing a Chetyuane Reeder 78-yarder set in 2007 against Charleston Southern. The freshman Leston later made a shoestring tackle on a long Vad Lee run to stop a sure Yellow Jackets touchdown at the end of the third quarter.
The Yellow Jackets struck quickly to open the game. Running back Zach Laskey broke through the middle and finished a 56-yard rush in the end zone as Georgia Tech took a 7-0 lead with 13:01 left in the first quarter.
PC stopped the Jackets on three downs on two consecutive drives. Keyadd Miller (Fort Mill, S.C.) and Mark Williams (Lithia Springs, Ga.) combined on a second-down play to bring down Orwin Smith for a two-yard loss.
The Yellow Jackets added to their lead thanks to a 58-yard Tevin Washington touchdown run. The quarterback took a fake handoff to the right side and ran to paydirt for a 14-0 Georgia Tech lead.
On the home team's next series, Synjyn Days punched in a three-yard run to give Georgia Tech a 21-0 advantage shortly before the second quarter.
PC put together a promising 49-yard drive through the end of the first quarter, highlighted by a Byrd 18-yard run and a pair of Williams catches. The series came to an end, however, when Georgia Tech blocked a Mayes 43-yard field goal attempt.
The Blue Hose caused the first turnover of the day, as Polk stripped a running Washington and Mark Williams (Lithonia Springs, Ga.) fell on the ball to halt a Yellow Jackets drive.
Georgia Tech ended the half with a David Scully field goal from 32 yards out to take a 24-0 lead into the locker room.
The Blue Hose recovered their third Tech turnover early in the third quarter. Bryson Brindle (Acworth, Ga.) leapt on Charles Perkins fumble, marking the first for the freshman and stopping another Yellow Jackets drive.
Georgia Tech scored on their next drive, using two passes to go 85 yards as Robert Godhigh hauled in a 45-yard Washington throw for a touchdown.
A Jamal Golden interception then set up a Vad Lee touchdown keeper to put the home side up 38-0 with 7:43 left in the third. The Yellow Jackets then added a two-yard Broderick Snoddy touchdown rush to start the fourth quarter and go up, 52-0, before capping their scoring with a short Matt Conners touchdown run.