Another comeback falls short

Once again the Wildcats showed the ability and heart to keep fighting, even when the game is seemingly out of hand. The Wildcats fell to Stanford 51-37 in the final home game of the year, but scored 21 fourth quarter points and had a chance at the end to get more.

"That was one whale of a try at a comeback," said Arizona coach John Mackovic. "The guys don't quit."

The two "T's" killed the Cats. Turnovers and Teyo did in the Wildcats' slim hopes of reaching a bowl game in 2001. Stanford upended the Cats giving them their bowl-eliminating sixth loss.

The Cardinal defense ran back two second-half fumbles for touchdowns and Teyo Johnson burned the Wildcats for 116 yards and two TD's. For the game the Wildcats had five turnovers, including four lost fumbles.

Clarence Farmer and John Rattay mounted the fourth quarter comeback. Farmer rushed for 106 yards and two scores in the final frame and his enthusiasm served as a spark for the Cats. Rattay had 155 yards, 116 in the fourth, in relief of Jason Johnson. Johnson passed for 260 yards, but fumbled once and threw an interception.

The Cardinal ground game proved to be another key, as they amassed 276 yards on the ground. Brian Allen had 143 yards rushing while Kenneth Tolon hit the century mark on his last carry.

Stanford settled for a field goal on their first drive after it appeared that bigger things were in store for them. The opening kick off was run back 44 yards into Arizona territory. The first play from scrimmage saw a gaping hole open up for running back Brian Allen, and the Cardinal runner burst up the middle for 14 yards. The Wildcat defense stiffened up and Mike Biselli split the uprights for the 3-0 lead.

Following a Cardinal fumble, the Wildcats wasted no time in striking. The Cats got the mismatch they wanted and used a misdirection play to isolate Clarence Farmer on a linebacker. Johnson avoided the rush and hit Farmer streaking down the sideline for a 43-yard touch down.

The Cats defense forced a Stanford punt and the Cats took over at midfield. The Cats didn't move the ball and a personal foul forced third and 23. A play fake bought Johnson all kinds of time and the Wildcat quarterback found Bobby Wade reversing his field and connected on a 56-yard pass play. The Cats stalled inside the five and settled for a chip shot field goal and a 10-3 lead.

The Cardinal tied the game utilizing Teyo Johnson. The two-sport star was responsible for 52 of the Cardinal's 72-yard drive and knotted up the game at 10 with a 23-yard touchdown catch. Johnson hauled in the pass with Wildcat safety Jarvie Worcester draped all over him.

It didn't take long for Stanford to regain the lead. On the next possession Teyo Johnson struck again. A 25 yards reception by the big receiver gave the Cardinal good field possession at the Cats' 28. Then after two big Wildcat hits, one on Allen another to thwart a Johnson reception, Chris Lewis found Luke Powell one on one with Brandon Nash. The senior safety never turned around and Powell beat him for a 25-yard Touchdown. Early in the second quarter Arizona trailed 17-10.

The Stanford offensive line went to work on the next drive, repeatedly opening huge holes for the Stanford backs. The Cardinal capped the drive in the air, lofting a ‘jump ball' towards the 6-7 Johnson who easily out leaped the considerably shorter Michael Jolivette. With 7:06 left in the first half Stanford had rattled off 21 straight points for a 24-10 lead.

Stanford tacked on a field goal before the half but left enough time for Sean Keel to attempt and connect on a career long 52-yard field goal.

Any momentum gained by the long field goal was lost on the first play of the second half. Johnson hit wade on a short pass, but linebacker Matt Friedrichs popped the ball out of Wade's hands and into the waiting arms of Tank Williams who cruised into the endzone, giving the Cardinal a 34-13 lead.

Anthony Fulcher set up the next Keel field goal. The Wildcat tailback caught passes of 40 and 14 to set the Arizona kicker up for a 44-yard field goal that cut the lead to 18.

Arizona received a break when Cardinal punter Eric Johnson couldn't get the punt off and was tackled at the 15. A personal foul brought the Cats back to the thirty, but on first down Farmer got back nine of the fifteen yards the Cats lost. Two plays later an 18-yard pass to Justin Levasseur put the Wildcats at the Stanford five. On second a goal Johnson was met in the backfield by two Cardinal pass rushers and the resulting fumble was run back by Coy Wire for an 89-yard touchdown.

Farmer gave the few remaining Wildcat fans something to cheer about in the fourth quarter. Trailing 51-16, the sophomore running back took a pitch around the left side and rumbled 20 yards for the score. On the nest possession he burst through the middle and raced 66 yards to get the Cats within 21, 51-30.

Senior Malosi Leonard ended his home career on a high note. The senior receiver blocked a punt and on the next play gathered in a Rattay pass for a 21 yard score. The Cats had one last chance marching from the Cardinal 12 into Stanford territory, but the Cats failed to convert on fourth down and Stanford ran out the clock.

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