Saturday, October 21, 2006

Seattle Post Intelligencer:Huskies Notebook: Bonnell hails Mary, gets an answer


BERKELEY, Calif. -- It was a play for the ages, one that should have gone down in Washington lore, dooming 11th-ranked Cal while catapulting the purple and gold to within one win of a bowl berth.  Marlon Wood's miraculous catch and touchdown will instead get lost as just a footnote to the Huskies' 31-24 overtime loss to the Golden Bears (7-1, 5-0 in Pac-10.)  Huskies quarterback Carl Bonnell, starting in place of Isaiah Stanback, who was lost for the season last Saturday with a right foot injury, had to direct his team in the two-minute drill with his team trailing, 24-17. Bonnell put together a nail-biting 48-yard drive that included three fourth-down conversions.  The Huskies stood at Cal's 40-yard line with six seconds remaining when Bonnell unleashed a tight spiral to the goal line.  Bears defenders Desmond Bishop and Robert Peele leaped up to knock the ball down, but tipped it instead.  The ball fell right into the hands of Wood, who was the shortest athlete on the field at 5-foot-9. Wood had the wherewithal to realize he wasn't yet in the end zone and spun two yards in for the game-tying touchdown. "It was desperation," Bonnell said, though the play wasn't drawn up as a traditional Hail Mary. "Everybody's going deep and you hope a guy can come up with the ball and that's what happened."

"We didn't want to run a Hail Mary, but go five (wide receivers) vertical and go and make a play," offensive coordinator Tim Lappano said. "Everyone hustled and got down there." Bonnell said he didn't even know who caught the ball. "I scrambled a little bit and threw it up in the air. I didn't know who actually even caught that ball, but I'm thankful they did," he said. The touchdown was the first of Wood's career. Wood said he actually changed his route and that it seemed that the ball was coming down in "slow motion." "I couldn't drop that one," he said.  Still, when the ball fell to him, he was on the 2-yard line. "I realized that and was like, 'Oh, I got to get there,'" he said. "There were still (defenders) in front of me." He ran at an angle into the end zone.  Michael Braunstein kicked the game-tying point after to force the overtime, where Hughes intercepted Bonnell to seal the Bears victory.  The loss drops Washington to 4-4 and 2-3 in conference play.


TEN FOR THE TWO: After Marshawn Lynch scored on a 17-yard touchdown run with 1:52 to play to give Cal its first lead, Bears coach Jeff Tedford elected to attempt a two-point conversion.  The Huskies lined up to defend it, but only had 10 players on the field.  Lynch escaped a Scott White tackle and scored to make the score 24-17.  According to White, linebacker E.J. Savannah was not on the field.  "That was a little bit of a breakdown," White said, noting that Savannah isn't on the point-after defense team.


EXTRA POINTS: The Huskies won the toss to begin the overtime period and elected to give the Bears the ball first. x After committing a season-high seven penalties (49 yards) last Saturday in the 27-17 loss to Oregon State, the Huskies committed just two penalties for nine yards at Cal. x Game captains were Stanley Daniels, James, Jordan Reffett and White. x The Bears had five interceptions, bringing their Pac-10-best total to 18. The last time Cal had five interceptions in a game was against Oregon in 1987. x Cal kicker Tom Schneider was 2-for-3 on field goals and hit a 50-yarder, his career high. x Cal middle linebacker Desmond Bishop had 16 tackles, four tackles for loss and had the game-clinching interception. x The attendance at Memorial Stadium was 58,534.

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