Western loses in OT for 2nd week in a row with 30-27 loss at The Citadel

What has been a difficult season for Catamount (2-5, 0-5 SoCon) fans just got more difficult on Oct. 21. On the road against The Citadel (2-5, 2-2 SoCon), Western wasn’t expected to win, but instead of going out silently, they led for much of the game. Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be. Western lost in overtime for the second week in a row and fell to 1-5 in overtime games all time in school history. The game started off well for the Cats as they reached halftime with a 17-7 lead. The scoring started after freshman linebacker Kadeem Morgan picked off a Citadel pass on the Bulldog 24-yard line. Three plays later senior quarterback Bennett Swygert found Michael Hines in the endzone for a nine-yard pass to give the Cats a 7-0 lead. Early in the second quarter the Cats got another interception as freshman safety Angelo Brown picked off a Bulldog pass at the Citadel 45-yard line and took it all the way back to put Western up 14-0. The Citadel struck back this time as they used 16 plays to go 75 yards before finding the endzone on a two-yard run by Nuru Goodrum. With 4:11 left in the second quarter, Western used the passing game to move the ball down the field and set up a field goal with 35 seconds left for a 17-7 lead. The Citadel chipped away at the lead in the third quarter with 29-yard field goal to make the game 17-10 going into the fourth. In the fourth quarter, the Bulldogs just took over. The Bulldogs wore down Western with the run as they used up the first seven minutes of the fourth before tailback Tory Cooper busted through with a two-yard touchdown to tie the game at 17. Western struck back quickly though as tailback Darius Fudge broke loose with a 50-yard touchdown run to take the lead back at 24-17. The score might have been a little took quick as the Western defense had no time to rest. As a result, the Citadel marched right down the field again and tied the game with an 11-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Duran Lawson to Rontreal Tyler. Neither team could muster another score so the game headed into overtime. This time kicker Jonathan Parsons hit in overtime instead of missing. Parsons nailed a 35-yard field goal, but the Citadel had one last chance to match the score or win the game. With the Western defense sucking wind, the Bulldogs went straight to the run as Tory Cooper ran four straight times for 25 yards and the touchdown to win the game. Western put up 27 points but that stat is misleading because the offense did most of that with big plays. Tailback Darius Fudge had 129 yards rushing and one touchdown but he only had 15 carries. As a result Western only held the ball for about 22 minutes, while The Citadel held onto the ball for about 38 minutes thanks to tailback Tory Cooper’s 36 carries for 200 yards and two touchdowns. The time of possession was a key factor in the defense’s fourth quarter collapse. Western will try to bounce back on the road against a tough Wofford team that only lost to Appalachian State 14-7.