Cougars Outlast Cardinal, 38-28
November 15, 1997
PULLMAN, Wash. - A record crowd of 40,306 packed the house at Martin Stadium to watch Washington State outlast Stanford 38-28.
The win moved the Cougars to 9-1 on the season, 6-1 in Pac-10 play, while the Cardinal dropped to 4-6, with a 2-5 conference mark. Stanford's hopes for an upset seemed to be nixed on their second play from scrimmage when quarterback Chad Hutchinson hurt the thumb on his throwing hand and was forced to exit the game. Backup QB Todd Husak drove the Cardinal only 35 yards before throwing his first of four interceptions, the first of two nabbed by Lamont Thompson, on the opening drive.
With their first possession, the Cougar offense drove 43 yards on seven plays, delivering a 52-yard Rian Lindell field goal to get on the board midway through the first quarter. After a quick defensive stop, WSU's offense mounted its second scoring drive. This time the Cougs traveled 78 yards on nine plays, with Ryan Leaf blasting up the middle for the four-yard touchdown run.
Down 10-0, Stanford used a little trickery to break their offensive slump. At their own 41-yard-line, Husak faked a reverse, allowing Troy Walters to drift free for a 59-yard touchdown play. On their next possession Stanford took the lead, driving 67 yards in nine plays. This time Husak found Walters for a five-yard touchdown combination, going up 14-10.
Before the first half could expire, WSU regained the lead. Leaf completed four passes to Kevin McKenzie to carry the bulk of the 54-yard drive that ended in a Chris Jackson touchdown reception. With only 1:08 left to play in the second quarter, Washington State seemed poised to take their 16-14 advantage into halftime, but the Cardinal special teams had other intentions.
On the following kickoff, Damon Dunn broke loose for 89 yards, bringing the ball to WSU's 4-yard-line. The go-ahead score appeared on the horizon, but a Brandon Moore interception with 12 seconds remaining protected the Cougar lead into the intermission.
Led by the Leaf-Jackson tandem, the Cougars marched 63 yards to a touchdown to open the third quarter. On the drive, Leaf completed three passes to Jackson for 39 yards and a touchdown.
WSU's defense came up with their third pick of the evening to give the offense possession at Stanford's 23-yard-line. Six plays later, Lindell added his second field goal to put the Cougs up 27-14.
But the Stanford Cardinal refused to hand over the win. With 56 seconds left in the third quarter, Dunn received the ball on a reverse and charged nine yards to pay-dirt. The Cardinal defense then forced a Cougar punt which Walters returned 77 yards for the touchdown.
Adding the extra point, Stanford had the lead 28-27 with 14 minutes remaining in the game. With the resilience that earned them eight prior wins, WSU came back.
Michael Black went up the middle for the four-yard touchdown to cap off the six-play, 66-yard drive. Ryan Leaf then dealt to Shawn McWashington for the 2-point conversion to go up 35-28.
Before the game was put to rest, Lindell added a 29-yard field goal to complete the hat-trick and give Washington State the 38-28 victory.
The Cougar offense managed 441 total yards with Leaf's 258 by air and Black's 173 by ground leading the way. In addition to his interception, Moore led the defense with 14 tackles.
WASHINGTON STATE 10 6 11 11 38 STANFORD 0 14 7 7 28
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