- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 13, 2005

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Dan Ennis wanted to salvage what had been an otherwise miserable day. Maryland was glad he chose to do it in overtime.

The junior kicker shook off two missed field goals and a botched extra point to convert a field goal in overtime as the Terrapins escaped Kenan Stadium with a 33-30 victory yesterday.

It was an appropriate continuation of a decidedly streaky season for Ennis, who made his first 11 career field goal attempts to start the season. He then missed four of five before connecting on two field goals against Florida State on Oct.29.

Yesterday, though, brought a new twist. If there were such a thing as goal post bingo, Ennis would have been the big winner (or would it be loser?). His 42-yard attempt early in the second quarter caromed off the right upright, and his extra point attempt with the Terps (5-4, 3-3 ACC) ahead 30-27 clanked off the left post with 3:52 left.

Perhaps adding to the frustration was North Carolina kicker Connor Barth’s 45-yard field goal in the first quarter, which hit the crossbar but landed safely beyond it for three points.

“I’m not a fan of the uprights,” said Ennis, who added that he never hit both posts in the same game before yesterday. “If they could just do away with the upright system and just have nothing there, that would be fine with me.”

Even without the uprights, Ennis’ day wasn’t perfect. He also missed a 43-yarder and made a 37-yard attempt, both in the second quarter.

The missed extra point was especially costly. The Terps could have taken a four-point lead if that kick was converted, which would have forced North Carolina to score a touchdown at the end of the fourth quarter to stay in the game. Instead, Barth made a 24-yard field goal with nine seconds left in regulation to tie it at 30.

“He peeked on the miss,” Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen said. “I saw it as soon a he did it. I think he was blaming the snap and the hold. You can’t peek. You have to hit it. When he peeks, he opens his hips and he yanks it to the left.”

Ennis did receive another chance in overtime. After Maryland’s drive stalled at the North Carolina 10, Ennis converted a 28-yarder to put the Terps ahead by three. It stood as the winning margin when Barth missed well right from 38 yards out moments later.

“I just kind of hope the course of the game will take you through it and that you’ll get a second shot,” Ennis said. “The whole game I was praying that I’d get a second shot after every kick I missed because that’s a hard thing to take.”

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