Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Late Kickoff Return for Td Lifts Virginia by Georgia in Peach Bowl

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Late Kickoff Return for Td Lifts Virginia by Georgia in Peach Bowl

Article excerpt

Virginia's Demetrius Allen said he merely was thinking about moving into field-goal range when he fielded a kickoff. But he did much more, running 83 yards for a touchdown with 57 seconds remaining in the Peach Bowl to snap a 27-27 tie with Georgia. His heroics gave the Cavaliers a 34-27 victory.

Allen raced down the left sideline, barely avoiding going out of bounds, and boosted the Cavaliers to victory in Atlanta. The touchdown came on the ensuing play after Georgia had tied it on a fumble return for a TD.

"We came close all year, but we were always a block or two away," Allen said. "When I got past the kicker, I knew it was over."

Allen's return spoiled the final game for coach Ray Goff, whose firing was announced a week before Georgia's regular season finale against Georgia Tech, a victory that got the Bulldogs into the Peach Bowl.

"It's not going to be my last game," Goff said. "I hope it's not. I plan to coach again. I told the players to win it for themselves."

Jim Donnan, who had been coaching at Marshall, already has been named Goff's successor.

The Bulldogs gained the 27-27 tie with 1 minute 9 seconds remaining when Jason Ferguson scooped up Patrick Jeffers' fumble and returned it 10 yards.

A celebration penalty cost the Bulldogs 15 yards on the ensuing kickoff, helping set up Allen's return.

Allen also scored on an 83-yard pass from Mike Groh in the second quarter, getting behind the defense for the catch at the Georgia 40.

Virginia finished the season 9-4, with two of its losses coming on the final play of games. Georgia closed 6-6, leaving Goff with a 46-34-1 record in his seven seasons at his alma mater.

"We put ourselves in a hole and special teams killed us all night," Goff said. "There were also some silly plays and penalties that hurt us."

Virginia's Tiki Barber ran for 103 yards on 20 carries, scoring on a 1-yard run and setting up a field goal with a 55-yard punt return.

Hines Ward led Georgia's rally from an early 14-0 deficit, passing for 413 yards. …

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