Late Score Leads Washington State Past Rutgers
PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- Luke Falk led a 10-play, 90-yard touchdown drive, finding River Cracraft with an eight-yard strike with :13 left to lift Washington State past Rutgers, 37-34 Saturday.
Falk threw for 468 yards and four touchdowns.
While Janarion Grant tried to be the hero for Rutgers, returning two kicks for touchdowns, he couldn't return the final kickoff for a touchdown. The ball was kicked to Leonte Carroo and Rutgers tried to do their Stanford vs. California impression, before the ball was thrown forward after several laterals.
Grant had the best game of his collegiate career, returning a kickoff and a punt for late touchdowns. With Rutgers trailing 30-27 with 1:45 left, Grant returned a punt 55-yards for a touchdown to give Rutgers the 34-30 lead. The playmaker returned a kickoff 100 yards to give Rutgers its first lead of the game, 27-23 and finished a school record 339 total yards.
Washington State answered Grant's 100-yard return with an eight play, 82-yard drive in 2:59. Falk hit Gabe Marks, who made a dazzling 23-yard touchdown catch.
On its next two drives Rutgers negated two touchdowns with penalties. Rutgers running back Josh Hicks fumbled on the ensuing drive after catching a screen pass and Isaac Dotson recovered for the Cougars. That came one play after a 21-yard touchdown was negated on a holding penalty on Chris Muller.
The Scarlet Knights defense stopped Washington State on fourth down with 6:10 left, but Justin Goodwin's offensive pass interference penalty negated a 29-yard touchdown catch by Grant.
The high-scoring second half came after just one touchdown in the first.
Trailing 13-6 and after leading a 52-yard drive to start the second half, Chris Laviano, making his first career start, fumbled near the sideline, recovered on the 40-yard by defensive tackle Destiny Vaeao.
Laviano finished with 204 yards, going 23-of-29 with one touchdown and an interception.
Falk then led a 64-yard touchdown drive with a 7-play drive. Keith Harrington caught a 5-yard swing pass to make it 20-6 midway through the third quarter.
Rutgers answered with a 73-yard touchdown drive that included a fourth-and-five conversion on a 20-yard pitch and catch from Laviano to Grant. Robert Martin ended the drive with a 15-yard touchdown run before Washington State blocked the extra point, leaving Rutgers down 20-12.
Rutgers stopped Washington State on fourth-and-three with 2:27 left in the third quarter, then embarked on a 68-yard, 7-play drive capped by a 1-yard toss to Matt Flanagan. Carroo caught the two-point conversion to knot it at 20.
Falk completed his first 13 passes of the game against Rutgers' depleted secondary. Four defensive backs were dismissed from the team 10 minutes before the season opener last week.
Washington State's Erik Powell hit field goals from 46- and 47-yards in the second quarter as Falk went 24-of-29 for 201-yards in the first half.
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