By Craig Degel
Arizona Daily Wildcat
The emotions of the Arizona football team went from demoralization, to elation, to sorrow all within a span of 30 minutes last night at Arizona Stadium.
The Wildcats were being beaten on both sides of the ball for most of the evening and appeared to be on the way to defeat. But trailing Georgia Tech 19-7 late in the game, the lucky stars that seem to shine over the Wildcats when they play the Yellow Jackets appeared and Arizona pulled out a 20-19 victory.
After the game, players learned of the death of their teammate Damon Terrell. Terrell, who was projected to be the starting tight end this season, died at University Medical Center reportedly around halftime, about 8:30 p.m. None of the players commented after the game.
For the second straight year, Arizona snatched a victory from Georgia Tech because everything that needed to go right for the Wildcats did.
Last season, trailing the Yellow Jackets 14-12, the Wildcats went on a 13-play, 60-yard scoring drive capped by freshman Kevin Schmidtke's six-yard touchdown run. Last night it was a blocked punt and a quarterback keeper that gave the Wildcats a victory.
Trailing 9-0 in the third quarter and basically being outhustled on both sides of the ball, the Wildcats mustered a touchdown when quarterback Dan White connected with tight end Mike Metzler on a slant in the end zone to bring the Wildcats to within two.
Metzler was the third-string tight end heading into Camp Cochise, but when Terrell went down and his backup, Tim Thomas, sprained his right knee, Metzler and Mike Lucky became the top two tight ends. But it has been Metzler who has shined the brightest. In two games the junior has three catches for 67 yards and two touchdowns. He had a 53-yard reception on the Wildcats' opening drive of the game.
The Wildcats still looked to be on the way to defeat until Armon Williams blocked a Georgia Tech punt on the Yellow Jacket four-yard line with just under two minutes to play. Moments later, White dove in from the one-yard line for the score to cap the stunning comeback.
UA players remained in their locker room for more than a half hour before quietly filing out. The crowd that gathered outside the locker room was silent as the Wildcats exited one by one, many of them in tears. The events of just 30 minutes before were now inconsequential. The Wildcats had earned a victory, but lost a friend.
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