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Zips football: A tale of fake punts and Toledo Rockets

By George Thomas Published: November 29, 2013

The Zips showed their take-no-prisoners attitude early in the game on an extremely risky albeit gutsy call with the score tied at 10 and 2:07 left in the first half against the Toledo Rockets.  They eventually won 31-29.

Facing a fourth-and-three at their own 16, UA faked a punt and senior Austin Bailey raced 16 yards for a first down setting the offense up at their own 32.  From there a calm Pohl led his team down the field completing passes for chunks of yardage and eventually landing at the Rockets 2-yard line.  On first-and-goal Chisholm walked into the end zone for the score and the halftime 17-10 halftime lead.

It was one of many big plays in the game.  That particular one, however, has been in the team’s arsenal for a while.  Bailey has the option to run with the ball depending on the opposing team’s formation. 

“He made the choice on his own to do that (which) was probably great because we didn't have the guts to do it and he did.   He's a senior.  It's his team.  It was his game and he had the guts to do it,” coach Terry Bowden said.

By the same token, the Zips special teams stopped a first down attempt that the Rockets tried to run.

The Zips punted to  the Rockets with 8:23 left in the game. Their defense held and forced what looked to be a punt. Instead Toldeo’s Junior Sylvestre took the ball on the snap and tried to run around end on a fourth-and-seven.  He instead found UA’s Andrew Pratt waiting for him. 

The Zips followed on their next possession with a three-play, 52-yiard drive to grab a 31-17 lead with 6:33 left in the game.  White knuckle time soon came, however as Toledo scored twice before the clock ran out.  Remy put the game to within 31-29 with a two-point conversion being Toledo’s only obvious move with 59 seconds left in the game.

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