On the road with their backs against the wall, the Cedar Rapids Titans went with the connection that worked all game long.
Quarterback Sam Durley’s 26-yard touchdown pass to receiver Willie Carter with 53 seconds left lifted the Cedar Rapids Titans to a come-from-behind 39-36 win Saturday at Bemidji, Minn.
It was just the sort of clutch performance that was needed of Durley, who was pulled in the second half of last week’s loss at Nebraska. The first-year Titans quarterback finished with 172 yards passing and four touchdowns with one interception.
Durley repeatedly looked to Carter, who tallied season highs with eight catches for 107 yards and two touchdowns.
On the first play following the one-minute warning, Durley hit Carter along the wall, and Carter managed to break a tackle and dove across the goal line for the lead.
They even connected on a quick out route on the ensuing two-point conversion to close out the night’s scoring.
Former Iowa Hawkeye B.J. Lowery sealed the victory with an interception in the end zone to end Bemidji’s last-gasp drive.
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Cedar Rapids tailback Washaun Ealey had another nice game with a touchdown catch and a touchdown run.
The game featured nine lead changes, six in the second half.
Durley threw for 115 yards and three scores in the first half as the Titans turned a 13-7 deficit into a 21-16 halftime lead.
With 2:20 remaining in the game, Bemidji quarterback Ryan Balentine found receiver Josh Jarboe for 21-yard score and a 36-31 lead. Jarboe caught a game-high nine balls for 125 yards for Bemidji (2-5).
Over two minutes left Durley and Carter plenty of time to orchestrate the game winner.
Cedar Rapids (5-2) returns to the U.S. Cellular Center Saturday against Green Bay.
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