Yesterday, the Demons added another thrilling victory to their collection, scoring 10 points in the last 16 seconds to knock off the undefeated UWE Bullets and take their record to 4-2.
The match-up boasted two of the league’s toughest defenses. Exeter had not allowed a team to score against them on their first possession all season. This did not change against UWE, with the Bullets punting the ball away after three plays. In stark contrast, the Demons offense clicked immediately, with a long run by running back Cody Yellowlees-Bound setting up a short rushing touchdown by Quarterback Finlay Brown. As the game progressed, UWE began to show why they are considered one of the top University American football teams in the country. Long running gains and short passes were proving to be a successful combination for the Bullets. Late in the first quarter, they got on the scoreboard with a short rushing touchdown. The extra point was converted and, with no points by either team in the second quarter, the score was 7-6 at halftime.
The second half picked up where the first had left off, with the Demons continuing to turn the ball over and the Bullets piling up yardage. Just as it seemed Exeter was going to go down the field and score, someone would suffer from “fumbilitis” and lose possession of the football! UWE eventually scored on another run midway through the third quarter. Up to this point, Brown and his magic feet had largely been held in check by the Bullets defense. However, on a play where he was meant to throw the ball, Finlay took off and sprinted all the way to the endzone. Instead of kicking for one point, Coach Damon Kirby went for two but Yellowlees-Bound was stopped inches short of the line. The score was 12-14 to UWE and the game was finely poised. Another rushing touchdown by the UWE half back had seemed to put the game away, as the Demons trailed 21-12 with less than two minutes to play. Exeter had one final drive to try to close the gap on the Bullets. The offense moved quickly down the field and on a reverse play, receiver Will Budge eluded several Bullets defenders and scored with a spectacular dive into the corner of the endzone. The extra point was converted, leaving the Demons trailing 19-21 with 4 seconds left. The only chance the team had was to recover the kick-off. In the style of Brucie in the film “The Longest Yard”.
The kick was short and high. Two UWE players stared dumbstruck at the ball, as it landed at their feet. Linebacker Mike Drake didn’t hesitate though and dived to recover the ball for the Demons. About 2 seconds were left in the game. The Demons’ season rested on the right boot of kicker Jamie Sancto, with a 48 yard field goal attempt, which is a long way for even an NFL pro!
The ball was snapped, the hold was down and Sancto ran up and smacked the ball towards the posts. He had nailed the kick but the ball was dropping and… YES! It cleared the crossbar by inches. The ensuing scenes would not have looked out of place in a Hollywood movie. The entire team rushed the field and were jumping around in ecstasy. Sancto was carried off on his teammates’ shoulders, with players and coaches alike hugging and high-fiving.
They had completed an amazing comeback and, not for this first time this season, pulled of an incredible upset.