AMHERST, Mass. – UMass overcame a two-score deficit in the fourth quarter to thrill its Homecoming crowd with a 62-59 triple overtime victory over the Liberty Flames on a windy Saturday afternoon at McGuirk Alumni Stadium.
The Flames scored three times during the first five minutes of the fourth quarter and seemed to be in control of the game. However, the Minutemen’s quarterback-wide receiver combination of Ross Comis (29-of-44, 540 yards) and Andy Isabella helped UMass overcame a 45-31 deficit during the final 10 minutes of regulation to force overtime and secure the win.
Isabella entered the game as the No. 1 receiver in the country, leading all FBS players with 1,091 yards. The senior finished the game with an UMass and Liberty opponent record, hauling in nine receptions for 303 yards and two touchdowns.
The game featured a combined 1,265 total offensive yards. UMass led the way with 777 yards on 98 plays, including 708 yards in regulation. The yardage total set a Liberty opponent record, surpassing the previous mark of 680 yards set by Central State in 1983.
The contest set the stage for an interesting rivalry between the two FBS independent programs, who are set to face off against each other each of the next eight seasons. Liberty will return to Amherst, Mass., in 2019 for a game on Nov. 2 before the Minutemen make their first trip to Lynchburg on Nov. 28, 2020.
Liberty’s 488 total offensive yards were paced by Stephen Calvert, who finished the contest with 272 passing yards on 16-of-35 attempts and two touchdowns. Antonio Gandy-Golden recorded his second career 200-yard game, finishing the contest with nine receptions for 205 yards. Frankie Hickson paced Liberty with 27 carries for 133 yards. Both players scored twice.