In his debut as a starter, senior quarterback
John O' Korn
did not disappoint, rushing for three touchdowns and throwing for a fourth to help St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)
beat Columbus 38-28.
O'Korn, who backed up Max Lescano last season, led Aquinas to 20 unanswered points to overcome a sloppy first half, despite striking first with a 32-yard field goal to take a 3-0 lead.
Columbus sophomore quarterback Tucker Beirne
, a highly-touted transfer from Colorado, received a rude welcome to Florida football. Before completing his first pass, he was intercepted by Aquinas defensive back James Crawford
Beirne began to develop a rapport with Jesus Wilson
, as the duo connected over the top of the Aquinas defense on a 52-yard pass that brought Columbus inside the 10-yard line. That set up a 3-yard touchdown by Daryl Chestnut
to give Columbus a 7-3 lead early in the second quarter.
With momentum seemingly on its side after forcing an Aquinas punt, Wilson fumbled the fair catch giving Aquinas the ball at the 29-yard line.
That set up a 3-yard sneak from O'Korn, as Aquinas regained the lead 10-7.
Aquinas continued its harassment of Beirne on Columbus' next drive, as Chris Washington
snagged an interception. The Raiders drove down the field and set up for a 35-yard field goal with less than a minute to play, but a botched snap gave Columbus life before halftime.
Two plays later, Chestnut found a hole and exploded for a 77-yard touchdown run to give Columbus a 14-10 lead heading into the locker rooms.
Turnovers plagued Columbus again in the third quarter as a botched toss play once again gave Aquinas good field position. The Columbus defense held, setting up another Tucker-to-Wilson connection, a dazzling 40-yard touchdown reception to give Columbus a 21-10 lead.
However, O'Korn began to take over for Aquinas, rushing for his second touchdown to bring Aquinas within four.
After Columbus botched a punt, Aquinas regained the lead at the start of the fourth quarter thanks to O'Korn's third touchdown run of the night, a 17-yard scamper to make it 24-21.
Aquinas continued its dominant second half with an O'Korn screen pass to Fred Coppet
that went for a touchdown, giving Aquinas a 31-21 lead with eight minutes remaining.
A Lorenzo Woodley
touchdown with less than six minutes to play brought Columbus within three, 31-28.
Columbus would get no closer, as O'Korn led another impressive drive that was capped off by another Coppett touchdown.View Qwixcore log