Close But No Cigar
(Monroe, LA) Ten lead changes and 40 points were not enough to lift the Gators to their first victory over the visiting Beaumont Drillers at the Monroe Civic Center Saturday. The Drillers, behind the running and scoring skills of Roland Hays, nipped the Gators 48-40. Hays pounded the Gator defense single handed running up 91 rushing yards on 21 carries and five Driller touchdowns.
The Gator offense, behind the cheers of 1025 Gator fans and new starting quarterback Donald Allen, managed to march 25 yards downfield on the opening series putting the Gators up 6-0 - their first lead of the season.
Beaumont was held to four plays on their first possession turning the ball over on downs. Twin City, however, was unable to put points on the board with the ensuing possession following two seven-yard sacks and a five-yard off sides penalty.
The Drillers scored their first touchdown early in the second quarter on a Roland Hays four-yard rush to the right side. The extra point by Marc Whitman gave Beaumont a 7-6 lead, the first of 10 lead changes.
Striving to go into the locker room with a halftime lead, the Gators made a last gasp effort to take the lead. Teddy Garcia booted a 21-yard field goal to put the Gators up 9-7. Unfortunately for the Gators, the kickoff traveled only 30 yards and was returned 13 yards to the Gator 17. With 0:06 remaining, Marc Whitman nailed a 22-yard field goal to put the Drillers back on top 10-9.
The second half was a scoring fest. Each team combined for 69 points. The Drillers scored on their opening second half possession on a 28-yard Damone Scott to Pat Palmer pass to the right side giving the Drillers a 16-9 lead.
At 11:24 in the third quarter, Gator quarterback Donald Allen threw deep to Demetrius Jenkins in the end zone. Jenkins was slammed into the wall forcing a 28-minute game delay. Jenkins was taken by ambulance to the hospital. The Gators settled for an incredible 45-yard field goal by Teddy Garcia.
At the 9:05 mark, the Gator's Dameon Wooton recovered a Roy Locks fumble at the Gator 20 yard-line returning it 30 yards for the touchdown putting the Gators back on top 18-14. Each team rallied alternately in the tit-for-tat scoring affair setting up for an exciting finale.
At 3:08 remaining in the game, Beaumont went on top 41-34 on a one-yard Damone Scott quarterback sneak. Marc Whitman's kickoff was then returned 28-yards by Richard Johnson to the Driller 15-yard line. Quarterback Donald Allen fumbled the two-point conversion keeping the score at 41-40 Beaumont.
The Drillers were able to put one final touchdown in the books at the 1:35 point. Final score Beaumont Drillers 41, Twin City Gators 40.
Leaders for the Gators in rushing were Donald Allen (7-56, 2 touchdowns) and Eddie Lumpkin (8-28). Allen also added 68 yards passing and one touchdown. His receivers were Levi Washington (5-31, 1 touchdown) and Gino Williams (3-26). The big yards were on kickoff returns. Ronald Johnson returned seven Beaumont kickoffs for 217 return yards and one 49-yard touchdown. Kicker Teddy Garcia booted three field goals from 21, 45, and 24 yards respectively.
The Gators fall to 0-6 on the season and 0-4 in the conference. The travel to Lakeland, Florida next weekend to take on the Lakeland Thunderbolts.
Ronald Johnson returned seven kickoffs for 217 return yards and a 49 yard kickoff return for a touchdown.
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