Rome, Ga., Oct. 4, 2014 – The Washington University in St. Louis football team had its 1,000th game in school history spoiled by a late rally as Berry College posted a 29-23 overtime win Saturday night in front of 4,241 fans at Barron Stadium in Rome, Ga.
Berry improves to 1-3 with the win, while Washington U. falls to 1-4. The win for Berry was their first in school history as the program is in its second season.
Washington U. took a 23-10 lead into the fourth quarter when Berry scored 13 answered points to send the game to overtime. Berry QB Dale Jackson connected with Josh Bullock for a seven-yard TD pass to make it 23-17 before completing a 63-yard TD pass to Trey Ciresi after a blown coverage by the Bears. The extra point by Harrison hit the left post to keep the game tied.
After Washington U. was stopped on 4th-and-1 on its first possession of overtime at the Berry 16-yard line, Jackson completed a 25-yard pass across the middle to an open Bullock on the Vikings first play in OT for the game-winning score.
Sophomore QB J.J. Tomlin was 26-of-38 for a career-high 298 yards and three TDs. Tomlin, who was making his first start since Sept. 13, was picked off two times in the fourth quarter. Sophomore wide receiver Hank Childs had a season-high nine catches for 81 yards, while sophomore WR Kevin Hammarlund had six catches for 84 yards and two touchdowns in the first half.
Sophomore running back Austin Smestad ran for a career-high 76 yards on nine carries as Washington U. tied a season-high with 120 rushing yards. WUSTL had a season-high 418 yards of total offense in the loss.
Berry struck first after a 24-yard field goal by Campbell Harrison, but WUSTL answered right back as junior kicker Alex Hallwachs connected from 30-yards out to tied the score at 3-3 with 3:40 left. The big play of the drive was a 45-yard pass from Tomlin to junior tight end Max Elliott.
The Vikings jumped back in front at 10-3 with 10:07 left in the second quarter after Jackson scored from two yards out on 4th-and-2.
A 49-yard punt by junior punter Alec Stanke pinned Berry inside its 20-yard line midway through the second quarter. Senior linebacker Fade Oluokun forced a fumble that senior defensive back Joe Quinlan recovered, and then three plays later, Tomlin tossed a TD to Hammarlund to tie the game at 10-10.
After a defensive stop, Washington U. had enough time to drive down the field to take the lead before half. Tomlin and Hammarlund connected on four receptions for 63 yards during the drive, including a 14-yard fade route for a TD with 15 seconds left before half to push the lead to 17-10.
Tomlin was efficient in the opening half connecting on 15-of-18 passes for 181 yards and two TDs. Washington U. had a 212-176 advantage in total yards, and was 3-for-3 in the red zone.
Tomlin found Childs open in the corner for a 27-yard touchdown pass to extend Washington U.'s lead to 23-10 with 8:01 to play in the third. The extra point for Hallwachs went off the right goal post to keep it a 13-point game.
Berry totaled 439 yards of total offense in the win, as Jackson finished 29-of-47 for 373 yards and three TDs. Ciresi had six catches for a game-high 135 yards and a TD.
Sophomore defensive lineman Danny Nowak led the defensive unit with four tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks, while freshman defensive Garris Goe added a sack to increase his conference-leading total to 4.5. Stanke punted seven times for a 42.1 average, including a 64-yarder.
WUSTL begins a two-game home stand against Hendrix College on Saturday, Oct. 11. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. at Francis Field.
Bear Notebook: Washington U. and Berry have split the two all-time meetings … The Bears have lost four-straight road games dating back to 2013 … WUSTL has scored 20 or more points in five-straight games for the first time since 2004 … The Bears are 18-of-21 in the red zone this season … Head coach Larry Kindbom is 2-5 all-time in overtime games in his 26-year career at Washington University … The Bears are 1-4 for the first time since 2012.