Bulldog special teams come up big in second consecutive home victory of season

September 25, 2008

by Justin Phillips

The Bulldogs entered Saturday night’s matchup against the Southeastern Lions in search of the momentum they created in their thrilling first-week win over the Mississippi State Bulldogs.

With the assistance of an early season bye-week helping to refocus the team, the Bulldogs used aggressive special teams play and an explosive offensive showcase to down the Lions, 41-26, before a crowd of 17,623 at Joe Aillet Stadium.

Two of the standout Bulldog special teamers displayed their playmaking abilities against the Lions in the second quarter as the Bulldogs took an insurmountable lead heading into the half.

Phillip Livas and Weldon Brown combined for 107 return yards in the second quarter alone as the Bulldogs found ways to take advantage of Southeastern’s numerous special teams’ mistakes.

The special teams’ showcase began when Livas fielded a low punt from Southeastern and sprinted 57 yards into the endzone, virtually untouched. The dramatic return touchdown was the first punt return for a score in the young sophomore’s career.
Livas already has a kickoff return for a touchdown in his brief stint as a return specialist.

Senior defensive back Weldon Brown capped off the big play in the second quarter for the Bulldogs with a 50-yard blocked field goal return for a touchdown, giving the Bulldogs a 28-23 halftime lead.

The defense would find its groove in the second half, led by sophomore linebacker, Kiamai Washington, as the young ball hawk blocked a field goal and forced a fumble in the game.

The Bulldog rushing attack sliced through the Lions’ defense, led by junior running back Daniel Porter. Porter’s Sportscenter-worthy 23-yard touchdown run in the third quarter highlighted the offensive outburst against Southeastern. Porter led all rushers with 97 yards on only 19 carries. Porter also added 53 yards on two receptions.

Bulldog quarterback Taylor Bennet, had an efficient night under center by completing 15 of 27 passes for 196 yards and one score. Bennett’s lone interception of the evening was returned for a touchdown in the first quarter.