WASHINGTON'S LAST SECOND TOUCHDOWN LIFTS FOOTBALL TO 20-17 VICTORY OVER NORTHERN COLORADO
GREELEY, Colo. — Junior Tony Washington gathered in a tipped ball in the back of the end zone on a desperation pass as time expired to give Sacramento State a 20-17 victory over Northern Colorado in a Big Sky Conference football game Saturday at Nottingham Field.
The victory improved Sacramento State to 2-8 overall and 2-5 in the Big Sky Conference. The Bears dropped to 1-9 overall and 1-6 in league games.
Trailing, 17-14, with just three seconds remaining on Northern Colorado's 44-yard line, quarterback Jason Smith rolled to his left and heaved a ball to the front center of the end zone. The ball was tipped by Ryan Coogler and caught by Washington just in front of the end line for the score.
Northern Colorado had taken the lead with 44 seconds remaining on a 24-yard pass from Dominic Breazeale to Cory Fauver in the right corner of end zone. After returning the kickoff to the 30-yard line, Smith rushed for a 24-yard gain to take the ball into UNC territory. The team then tried to move into field goal territory but the drive stalled at the 44-yard line forcing the desperation pass.
The final play overshadowed an amazing rushing effort by the Hornets. Freshman Bryan Hilliard rushed for 168 yards and a score and Travon Jones added 130 yards to become the first pair of Sacramento State running backs to record 100-yard games in the same contest since 1993. As a team, the Hornets had compiled 312 rushing yards and just 73 yards passing prior to the final play.
The story of the first half was missed opportunities by both teams. The two squads combined to enter the red zone five times, but the only score was a field goal by the Bears to give the team a 3-0 lead at halftime. Sacramento State took its first lead with 2:08 left in the third quarter on a 1-yard rush from Hilliard on fourth down. On the play, he was stopped on his initial attempt but pushed his way into the end zone for the score.
Northern Colorado retook the lead with 6:09 to play in the game on a 19-yard pass from Breazeale to Clint Wright. The Hornets, however, answered right back with a 6-play, 76-yard drive that was capped by a 39-yard touchdown catch by Dylan Lane.
Sacramento State will end the year next Saturday, Nov. 17, when it hosts Idaho State at 2:05 p.m.