Late kick return TD dooms Firebirds in Columbus - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Late kick return TD dooms Firebirds in Columbus

COLUMBUS, GA (WALB) -

Firebirds head coach Antwone Savage was very pleased with how his team played Sunday night...for three quarters.

Columbus handed the Firebirds the team's third straight loss to open the season, 63-50 in Columbus.

Former Lion Terrence Ebagua nearly tumbled out of play, but held on to a touchdown pass from Percy Turner to make it a 54-50 Lions lead with 4:25 to play.

But Columbus' Chris Smith gathered in the ensuing kickoff on the bounce and evaded three would-be Firebird tacklers on his way to the endzone to push the lead back to 60-50. The extra point was good from Lindsey Wolfe, who then added two rogue points on the kickoff to make it 63-50.

Savage was pleased with his offense's play, especially in the first three quarters. The Firebirds put up their highest point total this season by far, but Savage wasn't happy with how his team executed in the fourth.

A pair of former Lions turned Firebirds had big returns to The Jungle. Wide receiver John Harris led Georgia with eight catches for 127 yards and three touchdowns, while Ebagua had six catches for 76 yards and two scores.

Turner saw improvement in his second game as the Firebirds' starting QB. The rookie completed just 19 of his 40 pass attempts, but connected on six for touchdowns. He also threw only one interception, though it was returned 46 yards for a touchdown by Kyle Griswould.

The Firebirds fall to 0-3 with the loss. The team returns to the Albany Civic Center next week when they host the Corpus Christi Rage.

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