For three quarters the Aztecs were dismal, I mean just plain awful. They turned the ball over twice, missed two kicks that hit the uprights, were stopped fourth and one on the goal line and ended the first half behind 10-6. But they scored three unanswered touchdowns to beat Air Force 27-20 with less then 2 minutes on the clock.
The Aztec defense missed tackles, the offense couldn't move the chains or finish drives and the kicking was appalling. It was the Aztecs third game in 13 days, in altitude, in the gloomy, drizzling, cold Rocky Mountains.
Quinn Kaelher started slow and looked confused, the Falcons brought pressure and Kaehler made poor decisions. While on the Air Force side of the field they were down to their fourth sting quarterback, Nate Romine who ran for one 16-yard score and threw for another touchdown, a 62-yard catch and run to Sam Gagliano who brought the score to 20-6 late in the third quarter.
When Kaehler hit Pumphrey for a 20-yard TD early in the fourth quarter to begin San Diego State's comeback, coach Rocky Long sent out backup kicker Seamus McMorrow, who made the extra point.
A few plays later, Kaehler found a wide-open Ezell Ruffin for a 62-yard score. But McMorrow had his point-after attempt blocked by Troy Timmerman, making it 20-19.
After forcing the Falcons to punt, Kaehler marched the Aztecs down the field and Pumphrey finished off the winning drive with a run up the middle for a score. Kaehler threw a pass to Tim Vizzi for the 2-point conversion.
Once again, the Aztecs defense stepped up when they needed to stopping the Falcons and outscoring them 21-0 in the fourth quarter.
A the end of the game Rocky Long said "at times we are real good and at times we are real bad." The Aztecs have been fighting consistency all year long. However, after staring the year off 0-3, they are now 3-3 and 2-0 in the MWC with another dramatic come from behind victory. The Falcons lost their sixth straight and now are 1-6 and 0-5 in conference.
The difference maker again tonight was true freshman Donnel Pumphery who ran for 117 yards on 17 carries and caught 2 passes for 45 yards, scoring two critical touchdowns in the come back victory!
Quinn Kaelher finished the game completing 15 of 26 passes for 249 yards, but most short catch and run throws. Adam Muema finished with 86-yards on 18 carries. This victory was the Aztecs eight straight MWC victory.
All Hail Montezuma!
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