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Saturday, October 22, 2005

Cougars hand Tigers loss in OT

Take down...A host of Tigers slide on the wet field at Hunnicutt Stadium as they tackle Capital's running back during third-quarter action in Princeton Friday night. (Staff photo by John Nelson)
PRINCETON - The Cougars “Capital-ized” on Princeton mistakes, as Capital dealt the Tigers a 31-24 setback in double overtime at Hunnicutt Stadium Friday night. The Mountain State Athletic Conference game featured wild momentum shifts, mistakes in the kicking game, and some heroic rallies by both clubs.

Princeton was looking to convert a third and goal in the second extra period when a Tigers' turnover ended the game. Earlier in the second extra period, Capital's James Harris scored from four yards out to put Princeton in a “must score situation.”

When the game began, it didn't look like the Tigers would be extended as they jumped to an early lead. They fashioned touchdown drives of 42 and 87 yards in their first two possessions. Brandon Cory, who rushed for 118 yards, gave the Tigers a 6-0 lead early in the first period, powering into the end zone from five yards out, then William Gardener scored an 18-yard “student body left” sweep at the 11:22 mark in the half and Princeton led, 12-0.

The Tigers were on the move on their third possession, but a holding penalty and unsuccessful field goal attempt kept Capital within striking distance. Two mistakes in the kicking game would give the Cougars the breaks they needed.

After the Tigers muffed a Capital punt, the Cougars took advantage of a short field, piecing together a 49 yard drive. Heath Parker's 37-yard TD sprint made it 12-7 in favor of Princeton. After a Tigers' three and out, Trayquan Casey's 15 yard punt return set up another Capital score. Quarterback Malik Witten connected with flanker Steven Bumpus on a 30-yard touchdown and the Cougars took a 14-12 lead to the locker room at halftime.

Capital expanded its advantage to 21-12 on a 67-yard Witten-to-Bumpus bomb late in the third quarter.

The Tigers answered. Princeton quarterback Chris Belcher's 45-yard pass to wideout Mark Corvin set up James Johnson's nine-yard touchdown as the third quarter ended, and Manuel Testa nailed a 22 yard field goal with 3:29 remaining in regulation, sending the game to overtime.

Both clubs settled for field goals in the first extra period, before Capital's Harris scored what proved to be the game-winner in the second OT.

Both clubs ended the game with 5-3 marks.

at Hunnicutt Stadium

Capital ..............................0 14 7 0 3 7 - 31

Princeton............................12 0 6 3 3 0-24

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