Sunday, September 7, 2014

Zenon, Jackets Down Tulane, 38-21

Tony Zenon and Tim Byerly each rushed for two touchdowns to lead Georgia Tech to a 38-21 victory over Tulane Saturday.

Zenon had a 19-yard touchdown run in the second quarter - the first of 24 consecutive points by the Yellow Jackets - and a 2-yard scoring run in the third quarter.

Byerly, the Yellow Jackets' short-yardage quarterback, had 1-yard touchdown runs in the first and fourth quarters.

The other Georgia Tech touchdown came on a 10-yard interception return by linebacker Quayshawn Nealy in the second quarter.

Georgia Tech (2-0) rushed for 342 yards and converted on 10 of 12 third downs.

Miscues by Tulane (0-2) set up four of Tech's five touchdowns - three interceptions of Tulane redshirt freshman quarterback Tanner Lee and a blocked punt in the fourth quarter.

A sellout crowd of 30,000 witnessed the first game in Tulane's Yulman Stadium. Saturday's game was the first on-campus home game for Tulane since 1974, a year before the Superdome opened.

On the first play from scrimmage, Tulane linebacker Eric Thomas sacked Georgia Tech quarterback Justin Thomas and forced a fumble, which defensive end Royce LaFrance scooped and return to the 8-yard line.

Three plays later, Lee found Justyn Shackleford for a 12-yard touchdown to give the Green Wave a 7-0 lead with just 88 seconds elapsed.

Tech responded with a 10-play, 75-yard drive, using all of the ground elements of its triple-option attack. Byerly came in for the first time on third-and-goal and covered the final yard to tie the game at 7-7.

The Green Wave regained the lead on the next possession with a 75-yard drive of its own, capped by a 24-yard end around by freshman wide receiver Teddy Veal.

The Jackets got even again when Nealy stepped in front of a Lee pass and returned it for a touchdown to make it 14-14 with 11:10 left in the second quarter.

Lee and the Green Wave offense answered quickly with a deep slant to Xavier Rush, who outran the Georgia Tech secondary for a 61-yard touchdown to give Tulane a 21-14 lead with 9:38 left in the half.

Georgia Tech's second interception of Lee - by Demond Smith - set up another tying touchdown. Zenon raced around left end for a 19-yard score with 2:51 left in the half to make it a 21-21 game.

Tech took its first lead of the day, 24-21, on a 46-yard field goal by Harrison Butker as time expired in the half, moments after a failed fourth-down try by Tulane.

Tulane got the ball to start the third quarter, but Lee's third interception - this time by Lawrence Austin - set up a 76-yard, 12-play drive by the Jackets that took 6:42 off the clock, capped by Zenon's second score.

A blocked punt by Matt Connors and a 46-yard return by Beau Hankins set up the Jackets at the Tulane 1. Three plays later, Byerly scored for the second time to give Tech its final score.

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