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Boston College Tops Irish Again

October 26, 2003|From Associated Press

BOSTON — At least Boston College didn't ruin Notre Dame's season this time. The Irish had taken care of that themselves, long before they came to Chestnut Hill.

A year after spoiling Notre Dame's hopes for a national championship, Boston College won, 27-25, on a last-minute field goal Saturday to severely damage Notre Dame's hopes of making any bowl game at all. The Eagles fell behind after blowing an 18-point lead but won when Sandro Sciortino kicked a 26-yarder with 38 seconds left.

"I told the team that everything was excused right now," Eagle Coach Tom O'Brien said. "They've beaten Notre Dame four times in five years and three years in a row. It's a tremendous accomplishment."

The Eagles (5-3) led, 24-6, before Notre Dame (2-5) rallied and took the lead when Nate Schiccatano blocked a punt and Carlos Campbell ran it 25 yards for a touchdown with 3:34 left.

"I thought it was over there, with momentum on our side," Schiccatano said. "All we were going to need to do was play defense."

But Will Blackmon ran the kickoff back 42 yards to almost midfield, and Quinton Porter marched to the Eagle eight-yard line for Sciortino's kick.

"Too little, too late," Notre Dame Coach Tyrone Willingham said. "We did some great things, but we were behind the eight-ball. Once you have a lead, you've got to find a way to hold on to it. We didn't make enough good plays to stop them. It started with the kickoff return."

It's the first time in the rivalry between the nation's only Division I-A football-playing Catholic universities that Boston College has won three in a row. Last year, the Eagles won, 14-7, in South Bend, Ind., to send the then-unbeaten and fourth-ranked Irish into a slump from which they have yet to recover.

Notre Dame has lost eight of 12 games since then.

"It stinks, man, losing five games," Notre Dame running back Julius Jones said. "I think everybody's got to motivate themselves."

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