GREENVILLE, S.C. - Glen Gauntt did everything he could to try and lead Augusta to victory. But Carolina had other plans.
Randy Sullivan hit Chris Anderson on a 4-yard touchdown pass with 9.7 seconds left in the game to give the Rhinos a 41-37 win over the Stallions at the BI-LO Center on Saturday night.
Gauntt, the Stallions' backup quarterback playing in place of injured starter Jermaine Alfred, held his own. Gauntt was 18-of-39 passing for 193 yards with four second-half touchdowns and no interceptions.
Augusta's offensive line struggled to protect Gauntt at times, allowing four sacks on the night. The Stallions' offense generated just three points in the first half as they trailed 21-3 at halftime.
However, a Matt Sardello 12-yard interception return for a touchdown early in the second half pulled Augusta (7-2) within 11.
The Stallions' defense held Carolina on downs on its next possession, and Gauntt engineered a seven-play, 36-yard drive. On third-and-goal from the 5, Gauntt found Tim Dumas in the end zone to trim the deficit to 21-16.
Carolina's James Scott scored a pair of touchdown in the first seven minutes of the fourth quarter and the Rhinos led 33-22.
But Gauntt kept Augusta in the game. On fourth-and-6 from the Rhino 23, the former South Florida quarterback hit Clifton Shavers for a 23-yard touchdown. Kicker Keith Gispert connected with Shavers on a two-point pass play as the Stallions pulled within three.
The Stallions tried an onside kick but it was recovered by Carolina's Brian Chapman. On the next play, though, Shavers intercepted Mike Holaren's halfback option pass.
With 52 seconds remaining, Gauntt hit Richard Banks on a 39-yard touchdown pass to give the Stallions a 37-33 lead, their first lead since a 3-0 advantage in the first quarter.
But it didn't last long. With 26 seconds left, Chris Anderson hauled in a 22-yard Randy Sullivan pass, and the Rhinos charged down to the 3-yard-line. Then on second-and-goal, Anderson caught the game-winner.
Carolina's Don Pennington had his extra-point attempt blocked, and the Stallions trailed by two. But a possible Keith Gispert field goal attempt to win the game was nullified by an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on the Stallions on Carolina's extra-point attempt. On the retry, Sullivan took the quick snap and went in for the two-point conversion.