Saturday, November 15, 2008

Defense powers Beavers past Cal Bears 34-21










The Oregon State defense stopped a tough Cal Bears team cold in the fourth quarter, holding them to just one yard total offense while rushing for 161 yards in the second half, on their way to a 31-24 Pac-10 victory in front of a record crowd of 45,969 at Reser Stadium in Corvallis, Oregon.

California scored first, taking the opening kickoff deep into Beavers territory, aided by a penalty. The Bears scored 4 plays later, as Kevin Riley passed to Verran Tucker for 5 yards and a touchdown. Giorgio Tavecchio's extra point put Cal up 7-0 1:55 into the game. Oregon State responded quickly, as James Rogers ran the kickoff back 86 yards for a touchdown, the first kickoff return for a score in the Pac-10 this season. Justin Kahut converted, tying the game 7-7. The Beavers then took the lead as Jacquizz Rodgers rushed 2 yards for a touchdown. Kahut's PAT gave Oregon State a 14-7 lead with 1:50 left in the first quarter.

Kahut booted a 28 yard field goal with just under 6 minutes gone in the second quarter, putting the Beavers up 17-7. The Bears answered less than two minutes later, as Kevin Riley pitched to Jeremy Ross, who then completed a 30 yard pass to Nyan Boateng for a touchdown. Tavecchio's PAT narrowed Oregon State's lead to 17-14 at the half.

Kahut kicked a 24 yard field goal just over 3 minutes into the third quarter, increasing the Beaver lead to 20-14. Oregon State extended the lead to 27-14 nearly 4 minutes later, as James Rodgers ran the fly sweep to perfection, staying on his feet and scoring from 18 yards out. Kahut's kick put the Beavers ahead by 13. California struck back 83 seconds later, as Jahvid Best took off on a 65 yard jaunt to the endzone. Tavecchio's extra point was good, slicing the margin to 27-21 in favor of Oregon State.

The Beavers clamped down defensively in the fourth quarter, clinching the game when Keenan Lewis returned an interception 25 yards for a touchdown with 31 seconds remaining. Kahut's extra point finished the scoring, the defense closed out the game and Oregon State beat the Bears 34-21.

The Beavers outgained Cal on the day 339 to 232. Lyle Moevao was 14 of 28 passing for 145 yards, with one interception. Jacquizz Rogers carried the ball 27 times for 144 yards and a touchdown. 111 of those yards came in the second half. His brother James rushed 3 times for 22 yards and a score, caught 6 passes for 50 yards and ran back three kickoffs for 117 yards and a touchdown. Freshman Johnny Hekker, who nearly lost his job a week ago had his second consecutive strong game, punting the ball 6 times for a 38.5 yard average, with a long of 51. For the Bears, Kevin Riley was 11 of 25 passing for 117 yards, one touchdown and one interception, while Jeremy Ross completed his only pass of the day for a 30 yard touchdown. Jahvid Best rushed 15 times for 117 yards and a touchdown. Verran Tucker and Nyan Boateng each caught a touchdown pass. Oregon State had 20 first downs to Cal's 11, was 4 of 13 on 3rd down to the Bears 2 of 13 and had just one turnover to Cal's two. The Beavers were flagged 7 times for 60 yards, the Bears 5 times for 49 yards. Time of possession favored Oregon State 34:46 to 25:14.

The Beavers won their fifth straight game and improve to 7-3 overall, 6-1 in the Pac-10. The Golden Bears, who have now lost two straight and had won their last two games in Corvallis, slip to 6-4 overall, 4-3 in the Pac-10. Oregon State travels to Tucson next Saturday, for a contest with the tough Arizona Wildcats. Kickoff is set for 6:00p.m. CST. The game can be seen on the Versus Network and heard on http://www.kpam.com/. The Beavers close out the 2008 season with the Civil War game against the Oregon Ducks on November 29th in Corvallis. That will be a Versus Network telecast also, again starting at 6:00p.m. CST. That game can also be heard on http://www.kpam.com/.

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