- Associated Press - Saturday, October 31, 2015

CHARLOTTESVILLE — Matt Johns threw a go-ahead, 30-yard touchdown pass to Canaan Severin in the third quarter and Virginia limited Georgia Tech to two long scoring plays until the final minutes of a 27-21 victory.

Daniel Hamm and Albert Reid also ran for touchdowns for the Cavaliers (3-5, 2-2 ACC), who snapped a three-game losing streak against the Yellow Jackets. The victory kept Virginia in the running for the Coastal Division championship and its first bowl game in four years if it loses just once more this season.

Georgia Tech (3-6, 1-5 ACC) lost for the sixth time in seven games, with the only victory last weekend’s 22-16 triumph against No. 17 Florida State on a blocked punt return touchdown on the game’s final play. Coach Paul Johnson’s team will have to win its final three games to extend its streak of 19 seasons ending in a bowl game.

The Yellow Jackets made it a nail-biter late, scoring on a 22-yard pass from Justin Thomas to Clinton Lynch with 1:41 remaining, then recovering an onside kick. After driving to the Cavaliers’ 34-yard line, Georgia Tech failed to convert on fourth-and-4 with 1:11 left.

The Cavaliers trailed, 14-10, at halftime, but drove 58 yards before Ian Frye made a 24-yard field goal early in the third quarter. On Georgia Tech’s first play of the following drive, Trent Corney caused Thomas to fumble and Kelvin Rainey recovered for Virginia. Two plays later, the Cavaliers took the lead back.

Taquan Mizzell ran for no gain on first down, but on second, Johns rolled left and hit Severin in the middle of the field and the senior dodged defenders and ran it in. The extra point gave the Cavaliers a 20-14 lead.

Virginia dodged a bullet when Thomas missed wide-open tight end Brad Stewart for what would surely have been a touchdown, and after the Yellow Jackets punted, the Cavaliers drove 91 yards in 13 plays and took a 27-14 lead. Mizzell had a 15-yard catch and 14-yard run on the drive, Reid twice picked up short yardage on third down and then finished by bursting through the middle of the line for a 24-yard scoring run with 13:15 remaining.

The Yellow Jackets didn’t threaten again until the closing minutes, and then ran out of time.

Georgia Tech had 153 yards in the first half, and more than half of them came on their two scoring plays — a 49-yard run by Lynch with an option toss, and a 30-yard pass from Thomas to Lynch on a third-and-8. On the latter, Thomas was pressured, avoided the rush and found Lynch all by himself for an easy catch and run.

That play was set up by Rod Rook-Chungong’s interception of Johns and 16-yard return to the Virginia 44-yard line.

The Cavaliers used Wilfred Wahee’s fumble recovery to set up a 17-yard scoring drive for their first points. Olamide Zaccheaus ran for 12 yards to the Yellow Jackets’ 7-yard line on the first play, and Daniel Hamm went for six yards on the next, but two runs by Reid lost a yard, and Frye kicked a 19-yard field goal.

After Lynch’s long run gave Georgia Tech a 7-3 lead, the Cavaliers went 75 yards in 10 plays to lead 10-7. Johns had completions of 18 and 17 yards in the drive, Mizzell had a 21-yard run and Hamm finished it off, taking a snap in the wildcat formation at the Yellow Jackets’ four-yard line, faking a handoff and running it in.

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