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TUSKEGEE, Ala. | Facing what many would seem an insurmountable deficit in the fourth quarter, the 11th-ranked Tuskegee University Golden Tigers pulled off one of the greatest comebacks in school history.Tuskegee logo trans

Trailing by 16 with just over nine minutes to play, Tuskegee scored 21 unanswered points in a span of 4:23 to pull out a 21-16 victory over 21st-ranked UNC-Pembroke at Cleve L. Abbott Memorial Alumni Stadium Saturday afternoon.

Tuskegee (5-0) for the first time 2008, when the team reeled off 10 consecutive victories to start the year, trimmed the lead eight when Jayjerien Craig capped off a 12-play, 84-yard drive with an eight yard run down the right sideline with 8:32 to play in the contest. The two-point conversion was good when Craig took the pitch left and ran into the end zone to cut the deficit to 16-8.

Needing a stop and another score, the Golden Tigers turned to the defense as Kalil Gray and Osband Thompson converged on UNC Pembroke (4-1) quarterback Patrick O’Brien. The ball was stripped from O’Brien on the sack, and Thompson ripped away from him on the bottom of the pile with 8:20 to play in the quarter to set up Tuskegee on the 18-yard line.

Kevin Lacey hit Desmond Reece on the very next play on an 18-yard pass in the corner of the end zone to trim the 16-14 with 8:13 to play. The two-point conversion was no good as the pass was dropped at the one-yard line, but the Golden Tigers trimmed the deficit to two in a matter of 19 seconds.

After trading possessions in the final minutes, Tuskegee took over at their 24-yard line with just over minutes to play. It took the Golden Tigers just two plays to make the stadium erupt. Lacey dropped back and laid the ball over the middle to Reece, who caught the ball at the UNC Pembroke 40 and outran the defenders to the end zone for a 65-yard touchdown. The reception and kick from Dalton Hall resulted in a 21-16 Tuskegee lead with 3:55 to play in the game.

UNC Pembroke had one list ditch effort with under a minute to play, but O’Brien’s pass over the middle was picked off by Tuskegee safety Eugene Leach and the celebration began.

Next week, Tuskegee travels to Columbus (Ga.) to face Morehouse College in the Tuskegee-Morehouse Classic. The game will kick off at 2 pm (est) at AJ McClung Stadium, and can be heard on the Tuskegee Digital Network.


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