Originally created 10/31/04

Bulldogs chomp Gators



JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - If the Red Sox could throw a victory parade in Boston on Saturday morning, why couldn't the Bulldogs enjoy a celebratory cocktail during happy hour in Jacksonville?

Georgia alleviated six years of frustrations against its archnemesis, jumping to an early lead against Florida then hanging on to win 31-24 in front of a record 84,753 bipartisan fans at Alltel Stadium.

"We finally got them," said senior linebacker Arnold Harrison, of Augusta. "I'm still trembling."

The Bulldogs had lost six straight and 13 of 14 against the Gators to develop an inferiority complex in the long-running border war. But in the same week that the Red Sox reversed the curse and won the World Series after 86 years of disappointment, the Bulldogs managed to reverse the course of its lopsided recent history against the Gators.

David Greene threw for three touchdowns, tying Eric Zeier's school record with 67 career touchdown passes. Two in the first half to tight end Leonard Pope helped Georgia open a 24-7 lead, while the last one from 15 yards to Fred Gibson was the clincher after Florida had closed the gap to 24-21 in the fourth quarter.

"It's awesome," Mr. Greene said. "It's everything I was hoping it would be. It stinks that it took to my senior year to beat them. At least I can put that on my rsum."

Reach Scott Michaux at (706) 823-3219 or scott.michaux@augustachronicle.com.