Georgia deny Boston as gridiron fever grips Dublin
Georgia Tech 17 Boston College 14 College Football Classic
Published 05/09/2016 | 02:30
Running back Dedrick Mills brought the curtain down on the Aer Lingus College Football Classic at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday, when his four-yard touchdown helped Georgia Tech to dramatically claim the Keough-Naughton Trophy at the expense of Boston College.
With just 35 seconds remaining on the clock in front of an estimated crowd of over 40,000, it had looked like Boston might hold out - thanks in no small part to a stunning 73-yard finish by Jon Hilliman.
With the Star Spangled Banner and Amhran na bhFiann played before kick-off, expectations were beginning to grow for the third Football Bowl Division game to take place in Dublin this decade.
Boston (more commonly known as the Eagles) forced some early pressure on their opponents' defence, but thanks to a Matthew Jordan touchdown with just three minutes remaining in the first-quarter, Georgia brought a 7-0 advantage into the second-half.
American Football is renowned for its half-time shows, and all the stops were pulled out on this occasion. This year has seen a number of tributes to the Easter Rising and during half-time marching bands playing Ireland's Call were positioned to form '1916' across the length of the field.
The game's stand-out moment arrived two minutes into the third-quarter, when New Jersey native Hilliman breezed through the Georgia defence for a breathtaking touchdown. Colton Lichtenberg kicked the extra point and Boston went ahead for the first time in the final-quarter - as quarterback Patrick Towles scored with a 6-yard run.
A Harrison Butker field goal with six minutes remaining provided Georgia with confidence and as they edged towards the Boston goalposts, Mills' finish ensured that Paul Johnson's men prevailed.