Williams shines in USF's comeback win

That collective gust of wind around 2:45 Saturday afternoon was from University of Saint Francis football fans after an Indiana Wesleyan University two-point attempt that failed leaving the No. 7 Cougars with a 31-30 win.

Posted: Oct 20, 2019 11:30 PM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. -- That collective gust of wind around 2:45 Saturday afternoon was from University of Saint Francis football fans after an Indiana Wesleyan University two-point attempt that failed leaving the No. 7 Cougars with a 31-30 win.

USF won its fifth game of the season after trailing 14-0 after one quarter and 21-14 at halftime against the Wildcats, who had their four-game winning streak halted. USF rises to a three-way tie with IWU and Siena Heights University for second-place after IWU suffered its first loss in three MSFA Mideast League games.

Martell Williams gave the Cougars the jolt of energy needed on the third play of the third quarter when he galloped 66-yards for a touchdown that knotted the score at 21 after Gavin Gardner kicked the PAT. Williams scored on USF's next possession to give the Cougars a 28-21 lead. Williams finished with his second consecutive 100-plus yards rushing game with 175 yards on 22 carries.

"Not givin' up, believing in each other, that's how we won today," Williams said after USF outscored the Wildcats 17-0 in the third quarter.

Take Chrys Colley for example. After IWU's Brayden Smith caught a pass over Colley for a five-yard touchdown with 39 seconds to play, Colley made the play to deny the two-point conversion pass from running back Jesse Deglow to tightend Charlie Hill.

IWU attempted an onside kick that bounded out of bounds and all USF had to do was snap the ball to QB Heath Simmons, who took a knee as the clock ran to zeros.

Whew!

"It took some grit, I mean being down at the half, and we had not played well in the last couple weeks," USF Head Coach Kevin Donley said after his 331st career win. "Defense got some stops, we made some plays on offense. It was a tough, hard fought battle. We won the second half. I'm proud of these guys."

While Williams put up a season high and career best rushing, redshirt freshman Heath Simmons threw for 172 yards in his first start in place of junior Matt Crable, who sustained a leg injury in the win over Concordia. Simmons connected on 13-of-22 passes with one interception AND a 31-yard touchdown pass to senior Dan Ricksy in the first quarter. A bad snap on an IWU punt attempt gave USF the ball at the IWU 31-yard line to set up USF's first scoring play with 45 seconds to play.

P.J. Dean, who hadn't played since the win at Robert Morris on Sept. 21, logged some playing time and scored USF's second TD on four-yard run to tie the game at 14 with 5:50 to play. IWU quarterback Zach Blair led the Wildcats back to the lead connecting with Hill for an eight-yard TD pass with 52 seconds left in the half.

Gardner's 35-yard field goal with 14 seconds left in the third quarter gave USF a 31-21 lead while tying Gardner for the career field goals lead with 23 joining Emerson Ueber (2011-13) at the top of the list.

If Donley could have one play back, it was a fourth-and-1 in the fourth quarter.

"Hindsight is 20-20, but if I had it to do over, we'd have punted there," Donley admitted. "But we got it done."

A high snap threw the timing off leading to an Eli Wallace rush of a minus-1 rush at the USF 44. The Cougars defense rose to the occasion limiting IWU to a 33-yard Ben Von Gunten field goal with 7:18 to play.

IWU's final drive started with 5:15 to play, covered 64 yards in 11 plays.

Ricksy finished with 86 yards on four receptions to lead USF receivers.

Nick Lucas finished with 11 solo tackles on defense, 12 total to lead the USF defense. Ryan Johnson and Jalen Moss had three PBU's apiece, but the No. 2 team in NAIA with 24.5 sacks came away empty-handed for the first time this season playing with James Jamicich, who did not play due to an injury.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 730969

Reported Deaths: 13434
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1000031743
Lake53771970
Allen40668678
St. Joseph35733552
Hamilton35629408
Elkhart28577442
Tippecanoe22402219
Vanderburgh22310397
Porter18776308
Johnson17970379
Hendricks17244315
Clark12985191
Madison12673339
Vigo12449247
LaPorte11928211
Monroe11893170
Delaware10696186
Howard9924216
Kosciusko9410117
Hancock8284141
Bartholomew8070156
Warrick7784155
Floyd7669178
Grant7060174
Wayne7051199
Boone6700101
Morgan6576139
Dubois6156117
Marshall6050111
Dearborn581378
Cass5808105
Henry5720103
Noble561384
Jackson501773
Shelby491996
Lawrence4546120
Harrison435872
Gibson435492
DeKalb428485
Clinton427453
Montgomery424189
Whitley396139
Huntington391980
Steuben387857
Miami381866
Knox371990
Jasper366047
Putnam360760
Wabash354179
Adams341354
Ripley339770
Jefferson330981
White314354
Daviess297399
Wells291581
Decatur285492
Fayette280762
Greene278985
Posey271533
LaGrange266770
Scott266354
Clay260247
Randolph240781
Washington240732
Spencer232131
Jennings230149
Starke216654
Fountain212346
Sullivan211942
Owen200256
Fulton195440
Jay195130
Carroll189320
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Perry183037
Rush173425
Vermillion169143
Franklin168135
Tipton162845
Parke146316
Blackford134932
Pike134334
Pulaski116845
Newton107834
Brown102141
Crawford99814
Benton98614
Martin89115
Warren82115
Switzerland7918
Union71010
Ohio56811
Unassigned0416

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1085733

Reported Deaths: 19441
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1261201400
Cuyahoga1124072120
Hamilton801491206
Montgomery515591014
Summit47292946
Lucas42275788
Butler38396584
Stark32412907
Lorain25046481
Warren24313300
Mahoning21629588
Lake20725369
Clermont19803238
Delaware18537133
Licking16436212
Fairfield16230200
Trumbull16082468
Medina15309264
Greene15099244
Clark14017299
Wood13113189
Portage12890203
Allen11675232
Richland11382199
Miami10686217
Wayne8843211
Columbiana8816229
Muskingum8815133
Pickaway8582121
Marion8539135
Tuscarawas8487244
Erie7917154
Hancock6929127
Ross6858155
Ashtabula6830170
Geauga6697148
Scioto6417101
Belmont5920167
Union571048
Lawrence5560102
Jefferson5544151
Huron5439119
Darke5364123
Sandusky5359121
Seneca5290121
Athens520058
Washington5160109
Auglaize491984
Mercer480885
Shelby470093
Knox4495110
Madison436661
Putnam4287100
Fulton423969
Ashland423189
Defiance421097
Crawford3978107
Brown395057
Logan382376
Preble379898
Clinton372963
Ottawa367479
Highland355662
Williams340275
Champaign333458
Guernsey316253
Jackson312652
Perry295350
Morrow285639
Fayette282250
Hardin271464
Henry269366
Coshocton265357
Holmes2611101
Van Wert243763
Adams238552
Pike237734
Gallia235949
Wyandot231555
Hocking215462
Carroll191647
Paulding173340
Meigs144940
Noble133337
Monroe132342
Harrison108537
Morgan108523
Vinton83515
Unassigned02
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