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FALCONS 44, ZIPS 20: BG zips past Akron

Talk about stepping up at the right moment.

Anthony Turner did that and then some in the Falcons 44-20 rout of the Akron Zips Friday night.

“AT has really done a great job at accepting his role and that role is expanding,” said BG coach Gregg Brandon. “The way we used him tonight is the way we need to use him.”

BG went into the game without two of its biggest playmakers on offense in wide receiver Corey Partridge and running back Willie Geter. So the offense was not expected to be as crisp – Turner would have nothing to do with that notion.

Turner stepped in for Geter and rushed the ball 12 times for 104 yards and one touchdown. Turner even caught three passes on the night for 16 yards and threw a 33-yard touchdown pass.

“It felt good to be involved with things, but the offensive line and Tyler Sheehan made everything the way it was,” Turner said. “They made their reads and took what the defense gave us. The offensive line made great blocks all night, they sprang a couple but I didn’t get to score.”

This performance out of Turner was coming from someone who basically saw the brunt of his action this season as a change of pace to quarterback Tyler Sheehan.

For the most part this season, Turner came and basically executed the “Tim Tebow Formation,” where he would line up at quarterback and gain the tough yards needed for the offense on quarterback draws.

Eventually Florida realized that they had to throw out of that formation to keep the defenses honest – BG realized this as well and turned Turner loose, and he connected on a perfect 33-yard pass to Chris Wright to give the Falcons an early advantage.

The ability to throw finally came through for the former quarterback and nobody was more excited than Turner.

“I don’t think I begged [Coach Brandon] enough,” Turner said. “We finally threw one there because they know whenever we run that package we are going to run. We threw it in and got them to come up and threw the ball deep and threw a touchdown.”

The Turner touchdown pass gave the Falcons an early 7-0 lead – a lead that they never relinquished.

It was a good jolt of energy for a team that may have needed a boost coming off last week’s loss to Ohio.

“Anytime the offense scores on the first drive, that’s always an attention getter for the defense to let them know we are here to play ball,” Turner said.

The offense seemed crisper than last week – it was almost as if the team needed Turner to step up just to ease some of the tension.

Turner responded by scoring throws for the first score of the game and then running it in for the second score of the game.

With a lead, it allowed the other players to step up on offense. Wide receivers Chris Wright and Jermiah Kelley filled the void left by Partridge.

Both players were able to catch touchdown passes for the team, and it made it easier for BG to not miss a beat without one of its best receivers.

“For us to win that game without [WR] Corey Partridge and [RB] Willie Geter, we had to have kids step up for us,” Brandon said. “I thought tonight that was huge on how we had players willing to do that.”

Quarterback Tyler Sheehan did not seem to be bothered by the lingering shoulder injury in completing 26 of 36 passes for 268 yards and two touchdowns.

Last week it seemed as if Sheehan was missing the open guys and throwing it into coverage. This week he made sure he found the open receiver.

The offensive production did not go unnoticed on the opposing sidelines.

“BG has a great offense,” said Akron quarterback Carlton Jackson. “They came out and executed. I don’t doubt our defense, but it happens. It was just one of those nights. They played well and hustled hard.”

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