By far, my favorite Civil War memory comes from the double overtime victory in 2007. Technically, this was James Rodgers’ coming out party given his rushing touchdown, but there were so many other factors in play that made this a phenomenal game. Derrick Doggett’s interception return for a touchdown is the perfect example. After catching a tipped pass, Doggett showed off bulldozer-like abilities as he drove through would-be tacklers and forced his way into the end zone.
Of course, you can’t forget the passing offense. With Sean Canfield injured, my favorite Oregon State quarterback, Lyle Moevao, led the way with great downfield throws and his always contagious smile. Number three completed 54% of his passes for 245 yards with one interception, but he made up for that mistake with a critical rushing touchdown.
The big plays by Doggett and Moevao were impressive, but they were also expected given their history with the team. Surprisingly, the biggest performance of the day actually came from an unlikely hero.
If you remember, the Beavs headed into the Civil War missing Yvenson Bernard. The reliable running back was nursing an ankle injury, forcing him from action and leaving backup Matthew Sieverson (Bend, Oregon represent!) as the starter. No one knew what to expect as the first-time starter took the field, but he gave an answer in short order.
On OSU’s second play from scrimmage, Sieverson took a handoff from Moevao, broke through the left side of the line, and ran untouched for a 38-yard touchdown. This big play stunned the residents of Autzen Stadium and kickstarted a career performance for the senior. Keeping his legs churning and showing off surprising elusiveness, Sieverson carried the ball 27 times for 142 yards against a tough Oregon defense. As an added bonus, he also caught four passes for 16 yards.
The Ducks had future NFL stars on that 2007 roster and arguably more talent, but Sieverson showed that underdogs often have the last laugh.
Man, that Civil War was a great watch.