“It was a great day for the Commonwealth,” said coach Jeff Hafley after Boston College football topped Missouri in a 41-34 overtime thriller at Alumni Stadium on Saturday. The Eagles stay perfect on the season as they move to 4-0, and the Tigers fell to a .500 record at 2-2.
After forcing a punt on the first drive of the game, the Eagles kept the Tigers on the field with a roughing-the-punter penalty. The Tigers went back on offense on fourth-and-1, and were able to get the first down with a short pass up the middle. They finished the drive with a 9-yard play-action pass from quarterback Connor Bazelak to a dragging Barrett Banister for the touchdown.
On the first play of the game for the Boston College offense, quarterback Dennis Grosel was picked off by Shawn Robinson on a deep pass attempt.
After going three-and-out on their next drive, the Tigers pinned the Eagles back to their own 2-yard line with a 60-yard punt. In a tough spot, BC responded, going 98 yards on four plays, highlighted by a 67-yard touchdown run by Pat Garwo.
Mizzou scored again on its next drive, a 5-yard touchdown run from Tyler Badie, retaking the lead.
With neither defense able to do much to slow the offensive pace, the Eagles once again equalized on their next drive. On fourth-and-1 in the red zone, Dennis Grosel kept the drive alive on the ground, and then got the score in the air with a 7-yard touchdown pass to Jaden Williams in the back corner of the end zone.
Two drives later, BC’s defense was penalized for a late hit, putting Mizzou at first-and-goal at the 7-yard line. But the defense stood strong, thanks in part to a couple big tackles by Isaiah Graham-Mobley, forcing the Tigers to take a short field goal that put them up 17-14.
Looking to respond, Grosel was sacked in Tigers’ territory on third down, pushing the Eagles into deep field goal range. Freshman kicker Connor Lytton drilled a 49-yard field goal to tie the game at 17-17 at the end of the first half.
With the ball to start the third quarter, Boston College took its first lead of the game on Pat Garwo’s second touchdown of the afternoon, a 3-yard run up the middle, making the score 24-17.
On defense, the Eagles kept their momentum rolling when Josh DeBerry picked off Missouri quarterback Connor Bazelak on a deep pass attempt. BC ended the drive with another field goal, a 31-yarder, extending its lead to 27-17.
In the fourth quarter, Bazelak completed a 40-yard pass to Tauskie Dove on third down. Mizzou went on to shorten the deficit to 27-24 on a 1-yard touchdown run by Michael Cox.
BC punted on its next possession, which allowed Mizzou to score again on an 8-yard run by Tyler Badie, his second touchdown of the day.
Down by four with just over six minutes left to play, Boston College marched 60 yards down the field. With 25 seconds left, Travis Levy powered 5 yards up the middle for the touchdown, putting BC up 34-31.
Neither side looked like giving up at any point during this game, so back on offense with only 25 seconds to work with, Missouri gained enough ground to attempt a 56-yard field goal. In a remarkable play, Mizzou kicker Harrison Mevis managed to barely squeak the ball over the crossbar as time expired in regulation, sending the game straight to overtime.
In overtime, BC won the toss and elected to go on offense first. Zay Flowers ran a post route to the back corner of the end zone where he brought down Grosel’s 10-yard pass for the touchdown.
Missouri got the ball back, needing a touchdown to stay alive. An already electric Alumni Stadium exploded after Brandon Sebastian intercepted Bazelak’s pass in the end zone, securing the walk-off overtime win for the Eagles. Fans immediately rushed the field.
“The way they came out onto the field at the end of the game was one of the coolest moments I’ve had as a coach,” said Jeff Hafley after the game. “I just kind of put my hands up, and then the next thing I know, there was like 5,000 people on my back, and it was a blur.”
In a game with many heroes, running back Pat Garwo stood out for the BC offense, ending the game with 175 yards and two touchdowns on 25 carries.
After the game, Hafley had nothing but praise for his team: “This isn’t about what conference you play for…This is about a group of guys who, in a time where it doesn’t exist much, they love each other, and they play for each other, and they don’t flinch, and that’s why I’m so proud to be their coach. It’s awesome, and very emotional.”
With their confidence sky-high, the Eagles will be underdogs on the road next Saturday against No. 25 Clemson.
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