Strange weather in San Diego helped the Aztecs fend off an upset bid by Air Force for a close 21-17 win Friday at SDCCU Stadium.
Early in the fourth quarter, the Aztecs were down 17-14 after a touch down by Air Force running back Ronald Cleveland followed by a two-point conversion.
Agnew answered back with a 94-yard drive that ended with a 29-yard touchdown pass to Parker Houston to give the Aztecs the lead and the win. Houston was wide open over the middle and broke a tackle to score.
“I didn’t think we were ever going to call that play,” Houston said. “But when we did, the O-line executed it, the receivers executed it, the backfield, Ags executed it perfectly and we ended up scoring.”
“What he’s not mentioning is he made a guy miss. That was probably the greatest part about it,” Agnew said. “Like he said, it was a great play call by the coaches for them to trust Parker in that situation because it’s not an easy one to execute.”
That touchdown came after Agnew converted on two crucial third downs. Pinned inside SDSU’s 10 on 3rd-and-9 with less than 10 minutes to go in the fourth, the junior quarterback scrambled 32 yards down the sideline to give the Aztecs some breathing room.
Three plays later, on 3rd-and-5, Agnew rolled out to connect with Kobe Smith at Air Force’s 24-yard line that set it up for Houston’s touchdown two plays later.
“I think that the run Ags made when he scrambled … put the momentum in our favor,” Aztecs coach Rocky Long said. “He made a couple big-time plays late in the game that helped us win it.”
And that strange weather? Rain started falling in the second quarter and by the third quarter, thunder and lightning forced officials to delay the game for players’ safety. The game was delayed for 67 minutes.
It was déjà vu for both teams. Last year, at Air Force in Colorado, lightning also delayed the game. The Aztecs also won that game.
“What a coincidence that is,” Long said. “Not only is it a lightning delay. It’s the same teams playing, and it’s not — you know, it’s not in Colorado. It’s in San Diego. There’s someone else in charge of that beside anybody around here.”
Up next, San Diego State will host the Fresno State Bulldogs at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
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