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College football

A great way to go out (maybe)

If Allen Suber's career is over, he can look at his clutch finale with pride.

By FRANK PASTOR
Published November 23, 2003

ORLANDO - Allen Suber wanted to leave a mark.

As he weighed his college choices four years ago, the Tampa Catholic graduate wanted to go somewhere where he would have a chance to play right away and make a lasting impression.

He found both at Bethune-Cookman.

In what could have been his final college game, Suber led B-CC back from a 19-point deficit to an improbable 39-35 victory over Florida A&M in the 24th Florida Classic Saturday at the Florida Citrus Bowl.

B-CC (9-2) needed the victory to keep its NCAA Division I-AA playoff hopes alive. But in the event the game was Suber's last, there was no better way to go out than with a comeback victory over the Wildcats' biggest rival.

"Guys were holding that over my head," Suber said. "I said I hadn't beaten (FAMU). I started but I didn't finish the game last year, and this is big. It's not exactly (like) the monkey is off my back. But like I said from the beginning, I always want to go where I can leave my mark, and this is part of leaving your mark: beating FAMU in the Classic."

Suber, 23-7 in three seasons as a starter, saved his best for last.

Trailing 35-32 with 2:04 remaining, Suber engineered a 10-play, 41-yard drive capped by his winning 18-yard pass to Eric Weems with 9.8 seconds remaining.

After a pass interference on fourth down gave B-CC new life, Suber completed a 17-yard pass to Jonathan Summers to the 26 and ran 18 yards to the 8.

Suber slipped on the next play, losing 10. But he kept his head, spiking the ball to stop the clock, then spotting Weems in the right corner of the end zone for the winner.

"I was really impressed," FAMU coach Billy Joe said. "He really put that ball on a line, threw it right on top of a clothesline, and it was right where it had to be.

"He truly is an outstanding football player, and I'm sure all the MEAC folks are happy to see him leave. If we continue to play this game, I'll be happy to see him leave as well because he is a super athlete."

Suber amassed 52 of his 72 rushing yards, including one of his two touchdowns, and 51 of his 62 passing yards in the second half. He also ran for a two-point conversion.

The versatile performance wasn't anything Weems hadn't seen before.

"Suber's a great quarterback," Weems said. "He's a double threat. He can run and pass the ball, so you never know what to look for week in and week out."

B-CC coach Alvin Wyatt told Suber as much Friday.

"I got on a chair in the meeting. and I jumped right down his throat," Wyatt said. "I told him, "Listen to me son, I'm telling you now that you will have the best game of your career.' He accepted it, went out and did it."

Suber, who became B-CC's career rushing leader with 2,875 yards, was overcome by emotion as he accepted his co-MVP award alongside FAMU quarterback Ben Dougherty.

"We just never quit," Suber said. "We went in at halftime and made adjustments we felt would make us be successful the second half. We believed in it as a team, and we came out and we executed and the good Lord gave us a victory."

Now, that's leaving a mark.

[Last modified November 23, 2003, 01:46:45]


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