COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) – Shayne Davern ran for two touchdowns, including the decisive score in overtime, and Air Force hung on to beat Nevada 45-38 on a snowy Saturday for its fourth win in a row.
Kale Pearson matched his career high with three touchdown passes, two to Jalen Robinette, and ran for a key fourth-quarter score for Air Force (8-2, 4-2 Mountain West), helping the Falcons remain unbeaten in five games at home this season.
Don Jackson ran for 123 yards and three touchdowns for Nevada (6-4, 3-3), which saw its three-game winning streak snapped.
The Wolf Pack also lost wide receiver Hasaan Henderson to injury. Henderson had just made a 6-yard catch late in the fourth quarter and was brought down hard on a field partially covered with snow. He lay motionless and the game was stopped for several minutes while medical personnel tended to him. He was strapped to a backboard, lifted gingerly onto a gurney and wheeled off the field.
There was no immediate word on the nature of the injury.
The game included five ties, the last on a 22-yard field goal by Brent Zuzo amid snow flurries with 12 seconds remaining in regulation.
Air Force marched to a touchdown on its opening overtime possession with Davern bulling into the end zone from 3 yards out. Nevada’s OT possession ended when Cody Fajardo‘s fourth down pass fell incomplete, sailing over the head of Richy Turner.
Nevada pulled into a 28-all deadlock on Jackson’s third touchdown run of the day, a 1-yarder with 14:26 remaining in regulation.
After coming up short on a third-and-1 play from the Nevada 4, Air Force settled for 23-yard field goal by Will Conant with 10:23 remaining. Nevada’s Fajardo responded by leading a 75-yard drive ending in a 21-yard touchdown pass to Jerico Richardson and the Wolf Pack went in front 35-31 midway through the fourth quarter.
That was time enough for Air Force to mount another touchdown drive, this time with Pearson, who ran for 109 yards, taking a quarterback sweep around the right side, slipping a couple tackles and scoring from 16 yards out with 4:13 remaining for a 38-35 lead.
Nevada evened the score at 21 midway through the third quarter when Jackson burst through the middle of Air Force’s defense en route to a 32-yard touchdown.
The Wolf Pack seemed poised for another score after the ensuing kickoff, in which Zuzo recovered his own surprise onside kick.
But Jackson was stuffed for a loss on a fourth-and-1 play, and Air Force took over on downs at its 44. Pearson converted a fourth-and-1 play with a 2-yard burst to the 25 and tossed a scoring pass, his third of the day, to Garrett Brown on the next play as Air Force regained the lead 28-21 late in the third quarter.
The Falcons led 21-14 at halftime after Pearson ran for 21 yards to set up a 1st and goal at the 10 before shaking off pressure up the middle to loft his second scoring pass of the day to Robinette with 8 seconds remaining in the second quarter.
Pearson finished off the game’s opening drive with his first 6-yard touchdown pass to Robinette and Davern ran 1 yard for a touchdown around two second quarter scores by Nevada.
The Wolf Pack evened the score at 7 after Fajardo broke loose for a 53-yard run, setting up his 25-yard scoring pass to Henderson moments later. Jackson’s 1-yard, fourth-down run at the end of another long march by Nevada tied the game at 14-all.
– By DENNIS GEORGATOS, Associated Press
(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)