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Northwestern backup quarterback Kain Colter filled in quite nicely for injured starter Dan Persa, leading the Wildcats to a 24-17 victory over Boston College in Saturday’s season opener at Chestnut Hill.
Colter threw completed 17-of-24 attempts for 197 yards and ran for 71 more in the Wildcats’ first victory since they lost Persa when he ruptured his Achilles last November.
Colter wasn’t the only backup in action. BC running back Montel Harris was out clearing the way for Andre Williams. Williams ran for 114 yards on 22 carries with two touchdowns.
In the end it was the Northwestern defense that proved to be too much for BC sophomore quarterback Chase Rettig and the offense. Rettig was pressured all afternoon including a sack on the final play of the game.
Rettig was chased from the pocket and eventually driven facemask first into the turf by Vince Browne.
Boston College came out fast and furious with a 65-yard Andre Williams run on the first play from scrimmage. BC couldn’t capitalize on the big start and would only come away with three on a field goal.
After a Northwestern field goal to tie it in the first, BC was the first to reach pay dirt when Williams scampered into the endzone.
The score came after a Luke Kuechly (19 tackles) interception was returned deep in Wildcat territory.
BC held the lead until Northwestern picked up the tempo and ran the hurry up offense right down the middle of the BC defense. The drive was capped off by a Colter 3-yard rush for a touchdown.
Northwestern opened the second half at the same torrid pace and once again quickly drove for a touchdown on their second consecutive 10-play drive. Mike Trumpy was the runner this time and put it in from five yards out. The score gave the Wildcats their first lead of the game at 17-10.
They added to their lead later on a pitch from Colter to running back Adonis Smith on the option.
BC wouldn’t throw in the towel, down 24-10. Rettig lead a strong drive that featured a couple of deep passes including a 38-yard strike to Ifeanyi Momah that set BC up at the two yard line. Momah caught eight passes for 157 yards. Williams took it in for his second score of the game and BC was back in it.
The BC defense stood their ground and forced a turnover on downs to put BC in position tie the game with1:37 left on the ticker.
On a 3rd-and-16 from BC’s 30-yard line Rettig knifed through the Northwestern defense to bring BC up to the 19-yard line. With 14 seconds left BC was called for a false start and a new ruling that gives a penalty of 5-yards and a 10 second runoff, BC was forced to score with only four seconds left.
Rettig was crushed after scrambling around the backfield trying to buy more time. He stayed down of the field for a while after the play but eventually walked off under his own power.
BC’s next game is Saturday, Sept. 10 at the University of Central Florida.
Follow Brian Moller on Twitter: @Brian_Moller