Rockets Scrubbed at Launching Pad

Detroit, Michigan - The sixth annual Motor City Bowl was all set to be a great game between the #2 team (University of Toledo Rockets) in the Mid-American Conference and the #5 team (Boston College Eagles). All kinds of records were set on Thursday night at the new Ford Field, but the game was decided early on.

In front of a crowd of 45,765 the Boston Eagles jumped out to an early 7-0 lead and never looked back winning 51-25. In fact the Eagles scored on all but one first-half possession, that being their last possession due to the fact time ran out on the game clock.

The Eagles set a new school record with their 42 first half points breaking their own record of points scored in a half in a bowl game that was set on January 1, 1985 in the Cotton Bowl. The Eagles scored their first touchdown on a two-yard run by Derrick Knight. Knight ran for 37 yards total in the Eagles opening drive of 59 yards.

The Eagles got the ball back after they held the Rockets to 29 yards before Brandon Hannum kicked a 42-yard punt. The Eagles then took to the air completing six passes. One to Keith Hemmings for 33 yards on a 3rd and 11 play, one to Brandon Brokaw for 16 yards, two to Joel Hazard for a combined 19 yards and two to Grant Adams including a 17-yard pass for the Eagles second touchdown. The entire drive for the Eagles took them down the field in 88 yards on 9 plays.

The Rockets were able to move the ball downfield on their next possession, included in their 44-yard drive was a pass completion from Brian Jones to Donta Greene for 35 yards. However the Rockets couldn't move the ball past the Eagles 17-yard line and had to settle for a 35-yard field goal by Jason Robbins. Despite the field goal the Rockets still trailed 14-3.

The Eagles next drive started on their 31-yard line and was capped of by a 40-yard pass from Brian St. Pierre to Hazard. An 18-yard pass to Keith Hemmings set up Hazard's touchdown reception. The touchdown gave the Eagles a 21-3 lead early in the second quarter.

On the Rockets next drive Donta Greene took the kickoff and returned it 35 yards to the Toledo 40-yard line. Aided by a 20-yard run by quarterback Brian Jones and a 10 run by Lance Moore the Rockets capped off a nine play 60 yard drive on a 2-yard run by Trinity Dawson. Dawson's run gave the Rockets their first touchdown and pulled them back to within 11 points at 21-10.

Following a 32-yard kickoff return by Will Blackmon the Eagles drove down the field in 10 plays covering 68 yards before Horace Dodd rush for a 5-yard touchdown. Dodd's touchdown ended up being the winning touchdown and gave the Eagles 28-10 lead. A 20-yard pass to Grant Adams a few plays earlier helped set up Dodd's touchdown run.

In an effort to keep the Eagles of the field Rockets head coach Tom Amstutz chose to go for a first down on a 4th and 1 from UT's 40 yard line. Instead of running the ball the Rockets chose to try to complete a pass to Greg Grothous but the pass fell short and gave the Eagles a chance to capitalize and that is what they did. On the very next play St. Pierre completed his second 40-yard touchdown pass of the evening. This time Grant Adams hauled in Pierre's pass to give the Eagles a 35-10 lead.

The Rockets next drive would have been a three and out if not for a Boston College personal foul call that gave the Rockets a first down. However the Rockets were still forced to punt and Ralph Parent was able to get a hand on the punt which ended up going just 5 yards past the line of scrimmage giving the Eagles good field position at the Rockets 42-yard line.

A 19-yard pass from St. Pierre to Keith Hemmings was sandwiched in between 4 runs by Brandon Brokaw (runs of 4 yards, 12 yards, 1 yard and 1 yard). Brokaw scored the Eagles final touchdown of the first half on a 1-yard run.

The Rockets then were able to drive 65 yards in 4 plays; one a 47 yard pass from Jones to Carl Ford and on the very next play Jones hit Ford again for a 9 yard touchdown pass. The Rockets elected to go for the two-point conversion and after a pass interference call on Boston College, Trinity Dawson ran the ball in for two points. A scuffle occurred after the play resulting in the ejection of Toledo's starting tackle Nick Kaczur.

Both teams went into the locker room at the half with the Eagles up 42-18. The 42 points scored by Boston College set a new Motor City Bowl record for points scored in either half. Only one other time has Toledo allowed 42 points in a half and that was in 1998 against Ohio State.

The second half was the same story for the Rockets. Even though the defense woke up a bit, they were still out scored and out hustled. The Rockets were held to a three and out on their first possession of the second half and settled for a 23-yard punt by Jason Cox giving the Eagles great field position at the Rockets 44-yard line. Aided by a personal foul penalty and a second Toledo player being ejected from the game, the Eagles were able to get as far as the Rockets five yard line before settling for a 23-yard field goal from Sandro Sciortino.

The Rockets had their chances on their next drive but even a 26-yard pass from Jones to Dawson couldn't help them get any further than the Eagles 35-yard line. On a 4th and 1 from the Boston College 35-yard line the Rockets again tried to go for the first down but fell short when Derric Rossy sacked Jones for a 6-yard loss.

The Rockets defense then woke up for one drive and did something they hadn't done up until this point in the game. They held the Eagles to a three and out. But were given a gift when Jones threw an errant pass that Blackmon intercepted for Boston College. Blackmon picked of the pass at the Eagles 48-yard line and returned it to the Rockets 23-yard line. The Rockets defense was able to keep the Eagles from getting a first down on the drive so the Eagles settled for another Sciortino field goal this time a 35-yard field goal.

Toledo's next possession began after Greene returned Sciortino's kickoff 23-yards to the Rockets 26-yard line. Jones than connected with Lance Moore for a 29-yard pass and he also threw complete passes to Trinity Dawson (5-yards), Ford (16-yards) and Greene (yards). The big play of the drive came on a 30-yard pass from Jones to Manny Johnson for a Rockets touchdown. The touchdown capped of the scoring for the Rockets and made the score 48-25 in favor of the Eagles.

The Eagles capped of the scoring early in the 4th quarter when they drove 42 yards down the field on 8 plays and settled for Sciortino's record breaking 45-yard field goal. Sciortino tied a Motor City Bowl record by kicking three field goals in a game and he set a Motor City Bowl record for kicking points with 15.

Toledo's last gasp ended after the Rockets drove 62 yards down the field only to have a Jones pass picked off at the Eagles 2-yard line by Trevor White. Brian St. Pierre set a Motor City Bowl record with 10 straight completions for Boston College. Toledo's Carl Ford set a Motor City Bowl record with 10 receptions. Boston College also tied a Motor City Bowl record with six touchdowns. The attendance of 45,765 set a Motor City Bowl record of people in the stadium.

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