Air Force Edges TCU 20-17 in Overtime
Sept. 13, 2007
AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. (AP) -Ryan Harrison's 33-yard field goal on second down gave Air Force a 20-17 overtime victory over TCU on Thursday night, keeping the Falcons unbeaten under new coach Troy Calhoun.
The Falcons (3-0, 2-0 Mountain West), who overcame a 14-point fourth-quarter deficit, were swarmed on the field by thousands of cadets who hadn't had this much to celebrate in a long, long time.
Harrison's winner followed a miss by TCU kicker Chris Manfredini, whose 36-yard attempt hit the left upright on the first possession of overtime.
The Falcons had tied it on Jim Ollis' 71-yard TD run on an option pitch from Shaun Carney with 5:55 left, the very kind of play that worked so well during most of Fisher DeBerry's 23 years at the academy.
The Frogs found themselves well within Manfredini's range with the wind at his back going toward the south end zone in the final minute of regulation when they went for the touchdown instead on first-and-10 from the 22 only to see cornerback Carson Bird snare Andy Dalton's underthrown pass to Jimmy Young in the end zone.
Twice in the third quarter, the Horned Frogs were turned away near the goal line, on a blocked field goal and an interception.
Finally, Dalton hit Walter Bryant in the back of the end zone for an 11-yard score one play after the Frogs got a first down by the nose of the football, to make it 17-3 with 13:10 left.
But Carney responded by hitting Travis Dekker for 50 yards, setting up a 9-yard touchdown strike to Keith Madsen that pulled the Falcons within a touchdown with 8 minutes remaining.
The Falcons gave up great field position to TCU when Horned Frogs up-man Derek Moore recovered the onside kick, but Air Force forced a three-and-out and took over at its 20.
On fourth-and-1 from the Falcons 29, Carney pitched to Ollis, who scampered 71 yards for the tying touchdown with 5:55 left.
TCU capitalized on a blocked punt and an interception to take a 10-3 halftime lead despite an offense without tailback Aaron Brown, who missed his second straight game with a knee injury. Stephen Hodges sliced through the Falcons' widespread punt formation to block Harrison's first punt, and Andy Burrell recovered at the Air Force 27. But the Frogs managed to move just five yards and had to settle for Manfredini's 39-yard field goal.
Manfredini's 20-yarder in the third quarter was blocked by Chris Thomas, the 100th blocked kick by Air Force since 1990.
After Steven Coleman's interception at midfield, TCU again had trouble moving the ball. The Frogs committed three penalties and a fumble but still managed to drive downfield for the touchdown on Dalton's 5-yard fade pass to Ervin Dickerson just before he tumbled out of bounds.
After Harrison was wide right on a 50-yard field goal try that was plenty long enough, the Horned Frogs drove to the Falcons 22 before Garrett Rybak forced and recovered a fumble by Christian at the end of an 11-yard scamper.
Harrison then nailed a career-long 57-yarder with 1:31 left before halftime, which was nothing like the thrilling 33-yarder he would hit in overtime.