COL­LEGE FOOT­BALL

The Modesto Bee (Sunday) - - Sports - 3C

STAN­FORD RE­LIED ON ITS DE­FENSE TO WIN ITS 9TH STRAIGHT BIG GAME, 23-13 OVER CAL­I­FOR­NIA,

Paul­son Adebo took away the ball so Stan­ford could hold onto the cov­eted Axe.

Adebo had two in­ter­cep­tions in the fourth quar­ter, in­clud­ing a spec­tac­u­lar one-handed grab in the end zone, to help pre­vent the game-ty­ing score, as Stan­ford re­lied on its de­fense to win its ninth straight Big Game, 23-13, over Cal­i­for­nia on Satur­day.

“It means a lot just know­ing how much this game means to both schools, the alumni, our se­niors, send­ing them out hav­ing never lost to Cal­i­for­nia,” Adebo said. “It was big.”

The Car­di­nal (8-4, 6-3 Pa­cific 12) scored on their first two drives of the game to take a 10-0 lead on a 46-yard screen pass touch­down to Cameron Scar­lett held on against the Golden Bears ( 7-5, 4-5) to ex­tend the long­est win­ning streak in the se­ries that be­gan in 1892.

Scar­lett added a 3-yard score to seal it late in the fourth quar­ter af­ter Adebo’s sec­ond in­ter­cep­tion.

“It’s big, es­pe­cially my se­nior year go­ing for a fourth year in a row, mak­ing sure we send all the se­niors and fifth-years our on the right foot,” Scar­lett said. “It’s a great feel­ing to keep The Axe.”

Scar­lett pro­vided the touch­downs, but Adebo de­liv­ered the big­gest high­light, with Stan­ford pro­tect­ing a 13-6 lead in the fourth quar­ter. Chase Gar­bers took a deep shot, Adebo dived for it and cra­dled the ball in his right hand as he hit the ground and did a som­er­sault.

“He’s an in­cred­i­ble player,” Car­di­nal line­backer Bobby Ok­ereke said. “He’s a ma­gi­cian with the ball in his hands. It’s crazy.”

Bryce Love lost a fum­ble the play af­ter Adebo’s in­ter­cep­tion, but Stan­ford’s de­fense stepped up again and forced a field goal that Greg Thomas missed from 36 yards to keep the score 13-6.

The Car­di­nal then burned more than seven min­utes off the clock, with help from a third-down rough­ing the passer penalty against Tevin Paul, be­fore mak­ing it a 10point lead on Jet Toner’s third field goal of the day.

This year’s matchup fea­tured both teams with at least seven wins for just the sec­ond time in the past 27 sea­sons. The game was de­layed two weeks af­ter be­ing post­poned Nov. 17 be­cause of the North­ern Cal­i­for­nia wild­fires.

Costello picked apart Cal’s de­fense on the open­ing drive to set up Toner’s 26-yard field goal and Scar­lett added has long score on the sec­ond drive.

Thomas kicked two field goals in the sec­ond quar­ter for Cal but 290pound full­back Ma­lik McMor­ris lost a fum­ble late in the half and the Car­di­nal drove down for a field goal in the fi­nal sec­onds that made it 13-6 at the break.

“Th­ese se­niors haven’t beat Stan­ford, so our goal was to send them out a win­ner,” Gar­bers said. “As un­der­class­men, we failed at do­ing that. It hurts a lot be­cause you feel you let your team­mates down.”

JOHN HEFTI AP

Stan­ford wide re­ceiver JJ Arcega-White­side catches a deep pass as Cal­i­for­nia cor­ner­back Cam­ryn Bynum de­fends in the sec­ond quar­ter Satur­day.

JOHN HEFTI AP

Cal­i­for­nia run­ning back Patrick Laird runs against Stan­ford in the sec­ond quar­ter Satur­day. Stan­ford won the Big Game for the ninth straight year, 23-13.

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