Back-up Crittendon lifts Samford to OT win over SE Louisiana

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Quincy Crittendon raced untouched into the end zone from 10-yards out for the game-winning touchdown in overtime to give Samford a 48-42 win over Southeast Louisiana in a second-round FCS playoff game Saturday.

It was the second straight walk-off, overtime touchdown for Samford’s back-up, walk-on quarterback. Crittendon, a redshirt freshman, raced 25 yards for a touchdown in the second overtime period to beat Mercer, 50-44.

Michael Hiers, the SoCon Player of the Month in November, was injured in the first overtime period against Mercer and saw limited practice time over the past week. He started against Southeast Louisiana, but came out after attempting three passes. Crittendon completed 26 of 40 pass attempts for 314 yards and four touchdowns without throwing an interception and ran for 94 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries.

Southeast Louisiana battled back from a 14-point deficit twice. After Crittendon fired a 48-yard touchdown pass to Judd Crockett to stake the Bulldogs to a 28-14 lead less than three minutes into the second half, Cephus Johnson III ran for two touchdowns less than four minutes apart to tie it.

Crittendon answered with a 25-yard touchdown pass to Jaylan Thomas to start the fourth quarter and Jay Stanton capped an 11-play, 73-yard drive with a 2-yard run to make it 42-28 with 10:36 to play.

The Lions came back again. Carlos Washington Jr. capped a 69-yard drive with an 8-yard run and Jessie Britt punched in from the 2 to tie the game with 37 seconds left in regulation.

Johnson raced around the right side on the second play of overtime, but had the ball punched out at the 6 and it bounced off the pylon for a touchback to end the Lions’ possession.

Kendall Watson caught seven passes for 110 yards and a touchdown for Samford (11-1), which now has won 10 straight games and is undefeated in six home games this season.

Johnson was 19 of 30 passing for 173 yards and an interception for Southeast Louisiana (9-4). He carried 15 times for 123 yards and three touchdowns.

Samford hosted a playoff game for the first time in program history after winning the outright Southern Conference title for the first time since 1936. The Bulldogs will travel to Fargo to face North Dakota State in a quarterfinal match-up Saturday. The Bison knocked off Montana, 49-26 in their second-round game.

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