On Senior Day, it was a redshirt junior that guided the Ducks to a win in the season finale

A surprising second half turned a blowout into a nail biter, leading the Oregon Ducks to lean on a reliable receiver to beat rival Oregon State

It took nearly every bit of No. 17 Oregon’s 52 points to outlast Oregon State on Friday in the 119th Civil War. The Ducks earned their eighth straight victory in the rivalry, tying a series record, with a 52-42 victory inside Autzen Stadium on Senior Day.

Wide receiver Bralon Addison had three receiving touchdowns and another on the ground to lead the Oregon offense. The redshirt junior had 106 yards receiving on eight receptions and 32 yards on nine carries in a performance that echoed Josh Huff’s game saving three touchdown performance in the last Civil War game played at Autzen two years ago. 

Addison caught all three of Vernon Adams Jr.’s touchdown passes, including two in the fourth quarter that kept Oregon State from having a shot at taking the lead after falling behind 31-7 in the first half. He wasn’t alone in the offensive effort as Adams finished with 366 yards passing and three touchdowns on 28-of-38 passing and sophomore running back Royce Freeman had 167 yards rushing and two touchdowns, which marked his eighth straight 100-yard performance. 

The end result was surprising given that not many gave Oregon State (2-10, 0-9) a chance heading into the contest as the Ducks were heavy favorites. 

“We got the win and that’s the most important thing,” Addison said. “There’s obviously some things we could’ve done better and we’ll watch the film and our coaches will get us corrected and things like that.”

After an opening scoring drive by the Beavers, Oregon (9-3, 7-2) reeled off 31 unanswered points in the first half.

Addison got Oregon on the board in the first quarter when he reversed field on a 13-yard carry and picked up a block from Adams on the way to the corner of the end zone. Freshman running back Taj Griffin added a 14-yard touchdown run on the next drive and Oregon put up 17 points in the second frame on an Aidan Schneider 25-yard field goal, a short Freeman touchdown run into a scrum and Addison’s first touchdown catch of the day. 

“I thought we were crisp in the first half,” offensive coordinator Scott Frost said. 

But the Ducks began the second half with a turnover by freshman wide receiver Kirk Merritt and their next drive ended with a turnover on downs at the two yard line. Soon the comfortable lead was down to 10 and although Freeman came up with a 19-yard touchdown on 4th down to create some breathing room, Oregon State continued to respond and put the pressure back on the Oregon offense to score. 

Adams did just that by finding his favorite target on the day for two more scores. Addison hauled in a four-yard touchdown on a run heavy drive with 7:43 left in the fourth quarter and then a 24-yard pass just over three minutes later. With time running out, Oregon State turned it over on downs and the Ducks avoided a second fourth-quarter meltdown on the season following one to Washington State last month. 

“Coming in we knew it would be a heavyweight fight,” Addison said. “Those guys, they’re right up the road. All week people kept hearing about their record and this and that. But since last weekend we knew that that record wouldn’t mean anything.” 

While it’s certain that Friday was Adams Jr.’s last game at Autzen Stadium, it’s unknown if Friday was also Addison’s final game. He’ll have an opportunity after the season to enter the NFL Draft after amassing 50 catches for 669 yards and seven receiving touchdowns in the regular season and proving to be the Ducks most reliable receiver over the course of the year. After the game he addressed the question with the media.

“I haven’t even thought about that,” Addison said. “I’m just looking forward to getting healthy over these next couple days off and get ready for the bowl game. ”

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