Eagles Down Seminoles In Thriller

For the second week in a row, the Boston College Eagles staged a thriller, as they downed Florida State. The Eagles jumped out early, taking a 21-6 lead into half time. Florida State stormed back in the third quarter and tied the game early in the fourth. The fourth quarter was the Montel Harris show as he ran for 99 yards and one score to seal the win for the Eagles.

What appeared to be Coach Bobby Bowden's final trip to Boston College was spoiled as his Seminole team was unable to overcome an early deficit and fell to the Eagles 28-21. BC put up 401 yards of offense, including 128 in the fourth quarter to win their second consecutive over their division rival.

The game started slow for both teams as they traded punts on their first drives. On their second possession, Florida State put together a nice drive that began on the BC 46. They reached the BC 16, but the drive stalled and they settled for a field goal.

Boston College started their second possession at their 21 and Dave Shinskie engineered a nine play drive that was capped off by a Montel Harris touchdown run for four yards. Shinskie was very sharp, hitting three passes for a total of 57 yards. The biggest one came on a 3rd-and-11 at the FSU 35. Shinskie hit Rich Gunnell for a 14-yard gain to keep the drive alive.

Florida State appeared to be ready to trade scores with the Eagles as they took their next possession and marched down to the BC one yard line. On four tries they were unable to punch it in. On fourth down Alex Albright sacked Christian Ponder to give the ball back to the Eagles at the twelve.

Dave Shinskie engineered an 11 play, 88-yard drive that ended with a Shinskie pass to Rich Gunnell for a touchdown. The key to the drive was a 62-yard pass from Shinskie to Colin Larmond on 3rd-and-13 from the BC 12 yard line. Florida State sent a blitz and Shinskie stood in and hit Larmond streaking down the sideline.

After trading fumbles, Boston College got the ball back with four minutes left at their own 35. Shinskie was once again masterful, leading the Eagles down the field on 4-of-4 passing for 58 yards. The last completion was a perfect ball under pressure to Jeff Smith on a wheel route that resulted in a touchdown.

Florida State was not done. Christian Ponder lead the Seminoles on a seven play drive that lead to a field goal with time expiring. Ponder was 4-of-6 for 39 yards, setting up a 39 yard field goal. That ended the scoring in the first half with the Eagles holding a 21-6 lead.

The third quarter was rough for both offenses. Boston College went conservative and could not get much going. They had the ball for six minutes, but managed just 58 yards and were forced to punt twice. Florida State's first drive ended in a punt as well. The second drive for Florida State changed the game. Ponder started the drive at his ten and marched his team down the field on three big passes of 20, 33 and 28 yards. The result was a Florida State touchdown. The score was not 21-to-13.

On BC's first drive of the fourth quarter, they decided to start throwing the ball again. An incompletion and then a nine yard completion set up a third and inches. Shinskie tried a sneak and it clearly looked like he made the mark. An egregiously bad spot by the linesman resulted in a fourth and one. BC elected to punt, giving FLU the ball at their 16.

Ponder was still hot as he lead his team down the field on 4-of-4 passing for 68 yards. FSU looked like they were stalling in the red zone again, but a questionable pass interference call gave them four new downs at the BC one. Jermaine Thomson punched it in and FSU converted the two-point conversion to tie the game.

At this point all the momentum was with Florida State. On the ensuing kick-off, Jeff Smith fumbled the ball, setting up Florida State at the Boston College 29. The Eagle defense stiffened and forced FSU to try a 37-yard field goal. It was wide right, preserving the tie and giving the Eagles the ball back at their 20 yard line.

A quick completion to Rich Gunnell got things started as BC began to slowly march down the field. Facing a 3rd-and-10 from their 43, BC got a very generous pass interference call to preserve the drive and set them up at the Florida State 42. Then Montel Harris broke loose for a great run that started left and saw him cut across the field through the secondary, reaching the pylon on the right side of the end zone. The 42-yard TD put the Eagles on top for good.

One the next drive Florida State marched to the BC 27-yard line but the drive ended with three straight incompletions by Ponder. The Eagles mixed up their coverage, dropping seven and eight guys into the zone. This seemed to confuse Ponder as his throws were way off the mark. BC took over at their 27 with two minutes remaining.

Once again, Montel Harris got loose in the secondary, battling through the line for a 39-yard gain, putting the Eagles at the FSU 34 with under two minutes left on the clock. From there, BC was able to run out the clock and seal the victory. The win puts BC at 2-and-1 in conference and 4-and-1 on the season.

Dave Shinski was 13-of-22 for 212 yards, including two touchdowns. Montel Harris ran the ball 25 times for 179 yards. He had 99 yards in the fourth quarter. Overall, BC 189 yards on the ground, averaging five yards per carry.


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