ETBU Wins Home Finale 29-28

MARSHALL , Texas – East Texas Baptist University's football team closed out the 2005 home schedule here Saturday with a thrilling 29-28 win over Mississippi College in Ornelas Stadium. ETBU (5-4, 5-3 in the American Southwest Conference) rallied for the win on a 6-yard touchdown pass from freshman quarterback Antroin Broom to sophomore Yosmond Dodd with 12 seconds left, lifting the Tigers to a win over the Choctaws (1-7, 1-7). The victory for the Tigers snaps a three-game losing skid and sends ETBU into its season finale next week at McMurry in search of a winning season. Broom's pass to Dodd at the end capped a 6-play, 56-yard drive in 1:34 that enabled the Tigers to snatch victory from defeat after Mississippi College, which has not beaten ETBU since 2001, had rallied to take a 28-23 lead on Adam Shaffer's 34-yard touchdown pass to Dusty Coleman at the 7:23 mark of the fourth quarter. But the winning points of Saturday's game arguably came on the final play of the first half, when ETBU senior kicker Jeremy Seeton – honored earlier in the day as one of only four seniors on the ETBU roster – drilled a conference-record 61-yard field goal to give ETBU a 16-7 lead at the break. Seeton's mammoth kick finished just a yard short of tying the NCAA Division III record of 62 yards set by Rowan's Dom Antonini on Sept. 18, 1976. It was also nine yards longer than ETBU's previous long field goal of 52 yards set by Sean Struwe on Oct. 18, 2003. Broom's performance was also one of extreme promise for the Tigers. With junior starting quarterback Phil Van Cleave sidelined with an injured foot, Broom took advantage of his increased playing time by completing 19-of-27 passes for 220 yards and two touchdowns. Broom also chipped in 60 rushing yards on 15 carries with a touchdown, giving him three scores on the day and 280 yards of total offense. Junior running back RoShawn Johnson also had a nice day, rushing for 75 yards on 24 carries and hauling in four passes for 38 yards. The four catches give Johnson 47 on the season, which sets a new team record for single-season receptions. Overall the Tigers showed nice balance for the first time this season, rushing for 161 yards and passing for another 223. ETBU took the lead in the first quarter on Broom's 3-yard keeper, and Seeton's PAT gave the Tigers a 7-0 lead with 4:19 left in the first quarter. The Choctaws tied the game with 1:33 left in the opening period, as Austin Wilbanks hauled in an 11-yard pass from Shaffer to complete an 8-play, 75-yard drive. The touchdown was the first scored by the Choctaws' offense against the Tigers since 2002. ETBU regained the lead with 9:33 left in the second quarter, as freshman Chris Powell hauled in a touchdown pass from Broom. Seeton's extra point sailed wide left, however, and ETBU was left with a 13-7 lead. Seeton then closed out the scoring in the first half with his record kick, making it 16-7 at the break. The Choctaws came back out in the second half and scored on their first possession, with Kalvin Smith scoring on a 1-yard run to cap an 80-yard drive to make it 16-14. The Tigers bumped the lead to 23-14 with 5:53 to go in the third on Jordan Thomas' 6-yard run, but Coleman caught an 8-yard pass from Shaffer less than two minutes into the fourth and added his 34-yarder minutes later to give MC a 28-23 lead. ETBU came back with a 9-play, 61-yard drive that ended on downs at the Choctaw 11. MC took over with 2:53 to go in the game, but three running plays and a penalty later saw the Choctaws looking at a 4 th -and-8 from the 13. Kyle Kruse's punt of 49 yards was returned 6 yards by T. J. Davis to the ETBU 44, and the Tigers came back on the field with two timeouts and 1:46 left on the clock. Broom and Powell hooked up twice for 8 and 9 yards, respectively, to move the ball inside the MC 40, at the 39. Broom then hit Dodd for 14 yards, followed by another connection with Powell for 14, to move the ball to the Choctaw 11 with 32 seconds left. A holding call on ETBU moved the ball back to the 21, but a pass interference call against MC in the end zone on the next play set the Tiger offense up at the MC 6 with 18 seconds left. Broom's next pass found Dodd on a slant for the winning touchdown. Shaffer's desperation pass as time expired was picked off by Tyler Belrose at midfield. ETBU closes out the season next Saturday at McMurry, with kickoff set for 2 p.m. in Abilene's Shotwell Stadium. .