Cats down Washington 23-13

The UA ended its winless drought in a northwest drizzle. Arizona survived a series of special teams issues and took advantage of two turnovers for a pair of third quarter scores en route to a 23-13 win at Washington.

Arizona jumped to a quick lead. Richard Kovalcheck connected with Syndric Steptoe on a 50-yard fleaflicker on the second play from scrimmage. Mike Bell high-jumped for the touchdown two plays later to put the UA in unfamiliar position, with a lead. Arizona benefited from good special teams play of its own as a blocked punt through the end zone added a safety shortly thereafter, spotting Washington nine points.

But the Huskies answered with a touchdown and two field goals. Down 9-7, Washington drove as deep as the UA seven, but penalties and stifling Wildcat defense pushed the drive back to the 25. UW converted a 42-yard field goal.

Arizona fumbled the ensuing kickoff. The Washington drive stalled, but not before adding another field goal.

The Wildcats looked in position to recapture the lead, but a Steptoe return for a touchdown was negated by a block in the back.

Arizona had another special teams opportunity on a punt return. Steptoe evaded numerous Washington defenders, but fumbled the ball at the UW 40. Ricky Williams picked up the football and ran the distance for the score, but again, the play was negated by a block in the back.

Much of the third quarter was played near midfield, but a partial punt block gave the UA an opportunity. Arizona drove from its own 42 to the Washington 25, but a fumble on third and two quelled the chance. It marked the UA's third turnover of the game.

However, on the next possession, the Wildcat defense came up big. Wilrey Fontenot recovered a fumble and returned it 33 yards down the sideline for the touchdown. Arizona recaptured the lead 16-13 with 3:52 to go in the third quarter.

The Wildcats forced another Washington turnover late in the third quarter. Sean Jones picked off an Isaiah Stanback pass at the UW 40. Mike Bell broke 13 yards for the touchdown, and Arizona led 23-13 at the end of the third.

Early in the fourth quarter, Washington drove as deep as the UA 13, but a Stanback fumble closed out the drive, and pretty much sealed the deal for the UA.

Washington's last gasp stalled at the UA 30, when on fourth and nine, freshman Antoine Cason intercepted a pass, forcing UW's fourth turnover of the second half.

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