Ezzard’s scoring blizzard rallies Sam Houston St. past JMU

HUNTSVILLE, Texas — Jequez Ezzard’s catch-and-run for a touchdown and punt return for a score were among two of three touchdowns Sam Houston State scored in the last 2 1/2 minutes of the third quarter en route to a 38-35 comeback win against James Madison on Saturday.

“At no point I thought we would lose,” Bearkats coach K.C. Keeler said in an interview after the game.

Second-seeded Sam Houston State (9-0) advances to the FCS title game to face No. 1-seed South Dakota State (8-1) on Sunday in Frisco, Texas. The Jackrabbits dismantled Delaware 33-3 earlier Saturday. It’s the Bearkats’ first trip to the title game since losing in 2012 to North Dakota State.

James Madison led 24-3 at halftime and were up 27-10 with three minutes left in the third before Ezzard struck.

Eric Schmid threw a slant to Ezzard who caught the ball about 14 yards into his route and he took it the rest of the way for a 69-yard touchdown reducing the deficit to 27-17.

After forcing James Madison to three-and-out, Ezzard ran back a punt 80 yards to cut the lead to three. Zyon McCollum then picked off Cole Johnson after his pass bounced off the hands of his intended receiver on the Dukes’ first play of the drive.

Schmid ran it in from 20 yards out as time expired to end the third quarter for a 31-27 Sam Houston State lead it never gave back.

Ezzard finished with 107 yards receiving on four receptions.

Johnson threw for 271 yards and three touchdowns for James Madison.

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