By Arlie Rahn
Arizona Daily Wildcat
With just under seven minutes left in last night's contest, the stage was set for an upset that would have put a damper on a promising season for the Arizona football team.
The 17th-ranked Wildcats (2-0) were trailing Georgia Tech (1-1) 19-7 after being totally outplayed for three quarters. But then UA, who had managed only 140 total yards to that point, woke from its 53-minute slumber to pull off a comeback of 14 points in seven minutes to win 20-19.
The drive began when a quick 60-yard strike from quarterback Dan White to Richard Dice gave life to a somber Arizona crowd of 46,786. After a solid performance by the Arizona "Desert Swarm" defense, the Yellow Jackets were forced to punt. The Wildcats put a full house on the line in hopes that just one player might seep through the Georgia Tech line.
It was then that a hero emerged. Junior linebacker Armon Williams broke through and blocked the punt, giving Arizona a first down on the four yard line. Three plays later, with 2:21 left, White sneaked past the goal line to lead Arizona to its comeback win.
The celebration, however, was short-lived as the team learned in the locker room after the game that senior tight end Damon Terrell died at the University Medical Center around 8:30 p.m. Terrell had been hospitalized since Aug. 10 after collapsing during a conditioning run.
Due to the situation, the Wildcat players and coaches were not available for comment.
Still, the win was an important one for Arizona. The team had been dominated on both sides of the ball for most of the game. They managed only 13 yards rushing on 28 carries while throwing for 206 yards. The Arizona offensive line seemed to roll out the red carpet for the Yellow Jacket defensive linemen and could hardly manage a hole for the Wildcat running backs.
The usually sound defensive line allowed Georgia Tech running back C.J. Williams 154 yards on 30 carries. Williams' effort marks the first time an opposing back has run for more than 100 yards since Shaumbe Wright-Fair accomplished the feat for Washington State on Sept. 12, 1992.
The only two offensive sparks came from Dice, who had 77 yards on four catches and a touchdown, and junior tight end Mike Metzler, with two catches for 63 yards and a touchdown.
Georgia Tech broke onto the scoreboard when kicker Dave Frakes booted a 43-yard field goal with seven minutes remaining in the first quarter. That score followed Arizona kicker Jon Prasuhn's attempt from 52 yards that drifted wide right. And with 5:38 left, Prasuhn's woes continued as he hit the right upright from 51 yards.
The Yellow Jackets' offensive line then began to dominate as they marched 68 yards to the endzone with Williams capping the drive on a two-yard run.
But the Wildcats cut the lead to 9-7 when Metzler made a diving grab on a nine-yard pass by White to finish off a 51-yard drive that put Arizona on the scoreboard.
And just as the momentum seemed to swing back to the Wildcats, Georgia Tech free safety Ryan Stewart took the wind from their sails as he intercepted a third-down Dan White pass and raced 40 yards for the touchdown. Shortly thereafter, Frakes padded the lead as he kicked a 38-yard field goal to increase the Yellow Jacket lead to 19-7 with under 10 minutes remaining.
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