Monday, October 23, 2006

Daily Cal: Marshawn Comes to the Rescue

Bears Need Overtime to Get Past Pesky Washington

BY Stephen Chen

Marshawn Lynch’s 22-yard touchdown run on the second play in overtime capped a day in which the junior tailback—injured ankle and all—carried the No. 11 Cal football team.  Even after Bears linebacker Desmond Bishop intercepted Carl Bonnell’s pass to seal Cal’s thrilling 31-24 victory over Washington on Saturday, Lynch wasn’t done helping his teammates.  He hopped on a cart by the sidelines and zigzagged around the turf looking to give Bishop a ride back to the locker room.  “Marshawn’s our spark, our inspiration,” Bishop said. “When we’re down a little bit, he busts a big run to give everybody hope, and for him to do it while he’s hurt is huge.”  The Bears could not have been more down after seeing how the game was sent into overtime.

Cal (7-1, 5-0 in the Pac-10) held a 24-17 lead with six seconds left in the fourth quarter when Bonnell’s Hail Mary from the 40-yard line was batted by a trio of Bears defenders into the hands of Marlon Wood, who lunged into the end zone from the one-yard line.  Several Cal players sat on the ground in disbelief, and the crowd of 58,534 at Memorial Stadium fell silent.  “It was really hard because that just takes all the energy out of you,” cornerback Daymeion Hughes said. “You hold them all the way to the last six seconds of the game and they throw up a Hail Mary. It’s emotionally draining, but you still have to pull together and come out with a win like we did.”  The Bears had just built a seven-point lead with five minutes left in regulation after mounting an 82-yard touchdown drive, overcoming two third-and-10 situations in the process.  Lynch, who finished the game with 203 yards—150 on the ground—scored what was the go-ahead touchdown at the time with a 22-yard rush down the right sideline. It was Lynch’s 15th game with at least 100 rushing yards, tying him with Chuck Muncie and Russell White for the Cal record.  “He just kept coming in and making plays for us,” Bears coach Jeff Tedford said. “I thought that was such a gutsy performance, to put the offense on his back and make so many plays like he did.”  Justin Forsett then plowed up the middle to complete the two-point conversion, which turned out to be a crucial play.  Lynch’s heroics came on a day when sophomore Nate Longshore struggled with his accuracy.

Read the entire article here.

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