Lightning strikes twice: Cal earns second-straight victory against No. 14 Washington

Lightning strikes twice: Cal earns second-straight victory against No. 14 Washington

Amanda Ramirez/File

Ride the lighting, Cal football.

Nearly seven hours after its scheduled kick off, the Bears earned Sunday’s first football victory, defeating No. 14 Washington 20-19 after kicker Greg Thomas slotted home the game-winning 17-yard field goal with 8 seconds to spare.

Quarterback Chase Garbers and the Cal offense marched down the field in impressive fashion with two minutes remaining. Down by two with under a minute left, Garbers found his new favorite target Kekoa Crawford for a 27 yard gain to set up Thomas, and send the Bears home victorious for the first time since 2015.

After a dramatic two hour and fifty minute weather delay, it took both teams the remainder of the quarter to get their affairs in order and begin to produce.

Both teams elected to ply their trade on the ground at the start of the second quarter, with the Huskies applying the first seven point blow of the game thanks to running back Salvon Ahmed’s quick misdirection. The tailback did just enough to fool Cal safety Ashtyn Davis en-route to a 21-yard touchdown.

Down 10-0, running back Christopher Brown Jr. brought back the thunder with two gains of over 10 yards on the next drive to set up kicker Greg Thomas for the 23-yard field goal conversion.

Cal’s defense stayed in the action after their slow start by taking the ball away from Washington quarterback Jacob Eason not once, but twice. Cornerback Camryn Bynum snatched his first interception of the season in the second, and linebacker Ben Hawk Schrider recovered an Eason fumble thanks to Weaver’s menacing strip sack.

But as Saturday’s first half appetizer came to a close, Sunday’s main course was about to be served.

Running back Marcel Dancy did his running back partner one-better to start the second half, finding acres of space through Washington’s defensive front en-route to two 20+ yard gains, the second of which saw him weaving through missed tackles into the end zone for his first touchdown of the season — 1,034 days after Cal’s last offensive touchdown against Washington.

A response field goal from Washington didn’t phase the run-happy Bears, as the trio of quarterback Chase Garbers, Brown and Dancy wore down the Huskies’ defensive front to take the lead at the end of the third quarter, 17-13. Dancy’s two-rushing touchdowns were a career high.

Eason and the Washington offense switched on at the start of the fourth quarter, utilizing a combination of short, quick passes to drive into the red zone. A false start on 4th-and-inches from the two-yard-line, however, forced Washington’s third field goal of the game with eight minutes to spare. Richard Newton picked up 11 yards on the next Husky drive, eventually setting up kicker Peyton Henry’s 49-yard field goal to take the two-point lead.

Commence the two-minute drill from heaven for Cal, as Garbers threw his best ball of the season to wide receiver Jordan Duncan for 19 yards with a minute and a half left. The rest is now history.

Spencer Golanka is the sports editor. Contact him at Follow him on Twitter at @sgolanka.

The Daily Californian

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