COLLEGE FOOTBALL INDEPENDENCE BOWL : Louisiana Tech Kicks Away Shot at Win, Ties Maryland
Freshman Chris Boniol kicked a 29-yard field goal as time ran out Saturday night to give Louisiana Tech a 34-34 tie with Maryland in the Independence Bowl.
Lorenza Baker, whose nine tackles helped him win defensive player of the game honors, set up the game-ending kick by returning a short kickoff 41 yards to the Maryland 40.
The Bulldogs (9-3) moved to the 11 with four seconds left, then decided to go for a tie rather than make a last bid for a touchdown.
Maryland (6-5-1) took a 34-31 lead with 52 seconds left on Scott Zolak’s 15-yard, fourth-down touchdown pass to Barry Johnson. Zolak, who completed 18 of 28 passes for 214 yards, was sacked on the previous play by Baker.
Louisiana Tech went ahead, 21-14, on Michael Richardson’s one-yard scoring run with 10:35 remaining in the third quarter.
Richardson, offensive player of the game, scored two touchdowns and rushed for 81 yards in 27 carries.
Maryland went 80 yards in seven plays to get within 21-20, with Troy Jackson going the last 11 yards for his third touchdown, tying an Independence Bowl record. Dan DeArmas, who made 47 consecutive extra points, missed the kick wide left in what proved to be the difference of the game.
Gene Johnson threw seven yards to Bobby Slaughter with 5:52 left in the third quarter to increase Louisiana Tech’s lead to 28-20. The score came four plays after Eddie Brown’s 63-yard kickoff return.
Tech overcame a 14-0 deficit to tie the game, 14-14, on James Davis’ three-yard scoring run with 17 seconds left in the half.