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San Jose State defends Valley Trophy with 16-14 win over Fresno State

The Spartans and Bulldogs played for the Valley Trophy, which San Jose State earned last year with a 49-23 victory.

NCAA Football: San Jose State at Fresno State Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

The Spartans tried to end their season on a winning note as the Bulldogs tried to avoid ending their season on a 10-game losing streak.

San Jose State was without wide receiver Tre Hartley (ankle), running back Zamore Zigler (ribs) and safety Maurice McKnight (ankle). Fresno State did not report any significant injuries.

Special teams played a major role in the first half scoring.

The Spartans stopped a fake field goal to keep the game scoreless with 4:11 left in the first quarter. Shortly after, San Jose State blocked a Fresno State punt 11 yards for a first-half touchdown. They were up 7-0 at the end of the first quarter.

It remained that way until the second quarter, when the momentum changed.

The Spartans fumbled on the punt, which was recovered by the Bulldogs for a first down. Dontel James carried for the one-yard score, capping a 13-play, 48 yard drive at 8:40 of the second quarter.

The Bulldogs received another first down after the Spartans' drive fell short on the 4th-and-2 from the FS 44. Fresno State quarterback Zach Kline ran 32 yards on a read option for a touchdown to put his team up 14-0.

The Bulldogs took a 14-7 lead over the Spartans at halftime.

However, the Bulldogs' lead was short-lived.

The Spartans bounced back in the third quarter. A field goal by Bryce Crawford cut the Bulldogs' deficit to 14-10 at 8:12 of the third quarter. Crawford's 10th consecutive field goal made it a one-point game just a little over four minutes left in the third.

For the first time since hosting the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors on Oct. 8, the Spartans blanked their opponent in the third quarter.

Back-to-back sacks by Isaiah Irving forced the Bulldogs to punt. The Spartans took the ball at the 37-yard line after a television timeout.

Crawford kicked a 23-yard field goal to put the Spartans up 16-14 with 6:25 left in the fourth quarter. Crawford recorded his 11th consecutive field goal with the go-ahead score.

The Spartans (4-8) held on for a 16-14 victory over the Bulldogs (1-11) at Bulldog Stadium on Saturday.