Sunday, December 21, 2014

Air Force: 2014 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Champions

A turnaround play capped a turnaround season.
Air Force linebacker Spencer Proctor stripped Western Michigan quarterback Zach Terrell on a scramble early in the fourth quarter in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl on Saturday. Linebacker Dexter Walker grabbed the loose ball and scampered 60 yards down the sideline for a touchdown -- just as it looked like Air Force was losing control of the game. The Falcons beat the Broncos 38-24.
The victory put a championship topper on a 10-3 season for the Falcons, who were 2-10 last year.
“That touchdown really just turned the game in our favor and that’s all she wrote,” Air Force senior linebacker Jordan Pierce said.
Walker's touchdown came moments after a Western Michigan punt return for a touchdown was negated by a block in the back. The touchdown would have tied the score, pending the point-after.
“It was a block in the back,” Western Michigan coach P.J. Fleck said. “It’s a great return by Daniel Braverman. He didn’t need the block. That guy makes everybody miss anyway. That’s definitely tough, but we could have overcome it.”
The Broncos took possession at their own 47-yard line down 23-17.
Three plays later, the Falcons’ defensive touchdown made it 31-17 with 9:52 to play -- and they cruised the rest of the way.
“That about four-play sequence right there were gigantic plays,” Air Force coach Troy Calhoun said. “… That was the first defensive touchdown we’ve had in, oh, baby — I studied history at the academy, but it’s been a while.”
First quarter
WMU — Andrew Haldeman 25 field goal, 12:45. Key plays: Air Force tailback Devin Rushing fumbled a pitch on the Falcons’ first play. Western Michigan recovered on the Air Force 30-yard line. The Broncos converted one third down but a holding penalty stalled the drive. Drive: 8 plays, 22 yards, 2:08. Western Michigan 3, Air Force 0
AFA — Shayne Davern 1 run (run failed), 5:24. Key plays: Wide receiver Garrett Brown gained 10 yards on a toss play and Western Michigan was flagged for a face mask that negated a sack. Drive: 9 plays, 61 yards, 3:41. Air Force 6, Western Michigan 3
Second quarter
WMU — Corey Davis 47 pass from Zach Terrell (Haldeman kick), 11:26. Key plays: Terrell rolled right and threw to wide receiver Daniel Braverman for 13 yards on third-and-5. The touchdown was on a post route and Davis got behind the entire defense. Drive: 6 plays, 75 yards, 2:49. Western Michigan 10, Air Force 6
AFA — Davern 55 run (Will Conant kick), 10:12. Key plays: Quarterback Kale Pearson kept left for 14 yards. On the next play, Davern took the dive handoff, broke a tackle and was gone. Drive: 3 plays, 72 yards, 1:14. Air Force 13, Western Michigan 10
AFA — Rushing 1 run (Conant kick), 2:32. Key plays: Rushing gained 7 yards on third-and-6 on a play similar to the touchdown. Davern added an 8-yard gain on a fake punt on fourth-and-2 and Robinette made a 38-yard catch. Drive: 15 plays, 80 yards, 5:59.Air Force 20, Western Michigan 10
Third quarter
AFA — Conant 31 field goal, 6:32. Key plays: Brown made a 14-yard catch to get the Falcons in scoring position. The drive stalled on an incomplete pass in the end zone. Drive: 9 plays, 35 yards, 3:35. Air Force 23, Western Michigan 10
Fourth quarter
WMU — Davis 35 pass from Terrell (Haldeman kick), 13:26. Key plays: Terrell scrambled for 12 yards and drew a late-hit penalty on third down to get the initial first down. He added a couple of 13-yard completions. Drive: 9 plays, 92 yards, 2:00. Air Force 23, Western Michigan 17
AFA — Dexter Walker 60 fumble return (Robinette pass from Pearson), 9:52. Air Force 31, Western Michigan 17
AFA — D.J. Johnson 9 run (Conant kick), 5:20. Key plays: Colton Huntsman broke a 26-yard run to the Western Michigan 9. Johnson broke a couple tackles going into the end zone. Drive: 7 plays, 54 yards, 3:11. Air Force 38, Western Michigan 17
WMU — Davis 51 pass from Terrell (Haldeman kick), 3:16. Key play: Davis made his third catch of the night on a deep ball. Drive: 6 plays, 84 yards, 2:04. Air Force 38, Western Michigan 24

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