Football team shows poise

Last season the Falcons earned the chance to play against more big name schools, and Saturday they took advantage of the opportunity.

They took advantage of second chances, played through questionable calls, never gave up on themselves and in the end came away with a thrilling 27-26 victory.

The Falcons made good on a second chance opportunity midway through the third quarter. The Boilermakers were flagged for illegal substitution during a BG punt and the Falcon drive was kept alive after they were awarded 15 yards and a first down. Josh Harris followed that play with a 37-yard completion to Cole Magner and an eight-yard touchdown pass to James Hawkins to put the Falcons ahead 17-10.

After taking a 20-17 lead early in the fourth quarter, the Falcon defense forced the Boilermakers to go three-and-out and give the ball right back to the Falcons.

With the momentum on their side, the Falcons went to work near midfield. Josh Harris’ first pass attempt of the drive was intercepted by Purdue’s Shaun Phillips at the BG 49-yard line. The ball appeared to hit the ground but was ruled an interception.

Harris barked at the referee to change the call but to no avail and the Boilermakers took over with good field position. The Boilermakers quickly took advantage of their opportunity when Kyle Orton hooked up with John Standeford for a 44-yard touchdown pass that put Purdue ahead 24-20 with 10:24 remaining in the game.

Despite this misfortune, the Falcons did not get discouraged. “Big time players keep their poise, which is what we did,” head coach Gregg Brandon said. “Nobody got flustered, nobody got rattled, guys kept their poise and executed, that’s the whole deal.”

Harris knew that the referee’s questionable call was not the end of the game for the Falcons.

“You can be angry for as long as you want to when the referee makes a call like that. But after it’s made there is nothing you can do about it,” Harris said. “We’re a fourth quarter team, we played 60 minutes of football. That’s what this team is known for, that’s what we want to be known for. That is our goal, that is what we do, that’s why we practice, that’s why we train so hard. We played 60 minutes of football, and when a play like that happens you just have to keep your head up and keep on playing.”

The Falcons did just that and when they got their next opportunity, they cashed in on it.

They took the ball 81 yards down field in ten plays and scored the winning touchdown when Harris found Charles Sharon between two Purdue defenders in the end zone with 2:08 remaining in the game.

“The fourth down play was nothing more than four deep, and someone had to make the play,” Sharon said. “Harris threw the ball up, and luckily I came down with it.”

The Falcons will look to keep their winning streak alive when they host Liberty this Saturday at 6 p.m.