FOOTBALL: Untimely Mistake Deflates BC In Fourth Quarter
Published: Sunday, October 21, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 19:01
ATLANTA — Quarterback Chase Rettig saw the possibilities running through his head.
“I think if we would’ve gotten the ball there … We had a lot of momentum and we were moving the ball well on offense…” Rettig began before trailing off when referencing the turning point in Boston College’s loss to Georgia Tech on Saturday.
All it takes is one mental lapse to ruin a comeback.
Down by 14 early in the fourth quarter, it looked like the Eagles had a chance to make up for their awful start and rally. The Yellow Jackets started the second half as if a much-needed W had already been written next to their name, but Rettig and BC had other ideas.
The comeback started with a 40-yard bomb on a deep post from Rettig to junior wide receiver Alex Amidon for a touchdown and was followed by another drive ending in a touchdown reception for tight end Chris Pantale. The defense, which was torched for over 400 yards in the first half, forced a long field goal and then a punt from the Georgia Tech offense. The triple option was stunted, at least for now.
On the next Yellow Jacket drive, with all of the momentum going BC’s way, a false start penalty set Georgia Tech back too far, forcing another fourth down punt. But just like it’s happened all season, an untimely mistake took the wheels off.
Freshman defensive back Ameer Richardson got a good jump off the line of scrimmage and had a clean look at the punter. As the ball left the punter’s legs, Richardson continued his motion and knocked him over, resulting in a personal foul and a Georgia Tech first down. BC never had a chance after that.
“We looked like we were getting some momentum there,” head coach Frank Spaziani said. “It’s a similar scenario that’s happened in a couple of games where we dig a hole and then work ourselves out of a bit—and then rough the kicker. It’s inexcusable.”
Richardson alone isn’t responsible for the loss, but the play was a microcosm of the Eagles’ inability to make the right play when necessary.
“We made too many mistakes in certain situations and not enough plays to get it done,” Spaziani said.
Both the offense and the defense missed opportunities earlier in the game, but that fourth- down penalty could not have come at a worse time for BC.
“That one hurt,” senior linebacker Nick Clancy said. “Like I was saying about third down conversions, it’s one of those things when something like that happens it kind of takes the wind out of your sails.”
The defense had trouble getting the Yellow Jacket triple option off the field all game. Georgia Tech converted third down after third down, including one third-and-26. When the Eagles finally got the stop they needed, disaster struck.
Despite the deflating play, the BC defensive players refused to pass blame.
“For that to happen, it definitely hurt a little bit, but at the same time the defense kind of likes that,” Clancy said. “We don’t mind having the pressure on us. When push comes to shove, we’re ready for the challenge.”
The BC defense did not answer the challenge on Saturday, but the squad did its best to rally, at least in spirit, following the flag.
“It’s tough, but we just said, ‘Shoot, let’s get back out there and keep chipping away and keep working,’” said linebacker Steele Divitto. “There’s a lot of fight in this team, and there’s a lot of fight in these guys.”