It was a fitting way to close out a dominating individual performance.
Just as Wyoming's last-stitch onside kick crossed the 40-yard line, Chad Hall flew into an oncoming sea of brown and white jerseys and came away with the ball, sealing the win for Air Force.
The shifty wide receiver had his way with the nation's 10-ranked defense all afternoon, finishing with 171 yards and a touchdown on two receptions and 28 carries as the Falcons beat Wyoming 20-12 Saturday.
He got plenty of help from quarterback Shaun Carney, who completed six passes on 10 attempts for 52 yards and two touchdowns, including a five-yard strike to Hall late in the second quarter. Carney also added 64 yards rushing on 13 carries.
The Cowboys looked sharp early, marching 80 yards on their opening drive. Quarterback Karsten Sween found tight end Wade Betschart for a 13-yard touchdown with 9:23 left in the first quarter, and Wyoming jumped out to a 6-0 lead.
It was all downhill from there for Sween, however, who finished the game 14-of-23 for 172 yards and three interceptions, finally getting benched for backup Ian Hetrick midway through the fourth quarter.
Air Force (6-2 overall, 5-1 MWC) kicker Ryan Harrison missed three first-half field goals before Hall's touchdown catch with 3:19 left in the second quarter gave the Falcons a 7-6 lead.
Wyoming (4-3, 1-2) answered with a 57-yard field goal from kicker Billy Vinnedge as the first half came to a close, and the Cowboys took a 9-7 lead into the break.
The Cowboys put up 404 yards of total offense to Air Force's 330, but five Wyoming turnovers gave the Falcons the advantage they needed. Running back Wynel Seldon fumbled the ball on the Air Force 15-yard line with 14:17 remaining in the fourth quarter, and Bobby Giannini scooped it up and took it back 85 yards for a Falcon score.
Sween's third interception two possessions later led to a 25-yard touchdown pass from Carney to wide receiver Mark Root, extending the Air Force lead to 20-9 with 6:57 remaining.
Wyoming then inserted Hetrick, who led the Cowboys deep into Falcon territory before their final drive stalled. Vinnedge's 28-yard field goal pulled the Pokes within 20-12 with 2:26 left in the game, setting up the onside kick.
Hetrick finished the game 6-of-8 for 89 yards. Wyoming's Michael Ford led all receivers in the contest with seven catches for 115 yards, and Devin Moore added 105 yards on 20 carries for the Pokes, bringing his season total up to 705 yards on the ground—just 45 yards behind Hall for the most in the Mountain West Conference.
The win made Air Force the first team in the league to earn bowl eligibility this season. The Falcons will have a short week of practice before traveling to Albuquerque on Thursday to take on conference foe New Mexico.
For the Pokes, the loss marks their second in as many weeks. They'll face UNLV in Laramie next Saturday.
Turnovers Plague UW, Hall Runs Through Pokes
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