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COLLEGE FOOTBALL / 1996

Tomey Call Comes Up Short--Cal Wins, 56-55

Pacific 10: Barnes throws for eight touchdowns but Arizona coach's decision to go for victory is what decides four-overtime game.

November 03, 1996|From Associated Press

BERKELEY — Arizona Coach Dick Tomey figured four overtimes were enough, and decided to end the longest football game in major college history with a touch of drama.

Arizona, faking an extra point, failed to make a two-point conversion in the fourth overtime and lost, 56-55, Saturday to California.

"I just felt it was time to win the game," Tomey said. "Whatever second-guessing there is to do about this game, blame it on the head coach. I've never been a genius and nobody's ever accused me of being stupid. I was just trying to find a way to win the damn game."

Pat Barnes threw for eight touchdowns and 503 yards, both school records, for Cal (6-2 overall and 3-2 in the Pacific 10). He had touchdown passes in the first, third and fourth overtimes.

Keith Smith threw for five touchdowns and ran for two for Arizona (4-4, 2-3). Jeremy McDaniel, who entered the game with 119 yards in receptions this season, set school records with 14 catches for 283 yards--including two touchdowns.

This is the first year that overtime has been used in regular season games in Division I-A. Earlier this season, California needed three overtimes to beat Oregon State, 48-42, in what had been the longest game. Overtime statistics count toward NCAA and school records.

In the fourth overtime, Barnes threw a five-yard touchdown pass to Marc Vera and Ryan Longwell added the extra point to give Cal a 56-49 lead.

Arizona then took its turn from Cal's 25 and Gary Taylor eventually ran for a one-yard touchdown.

The Wildcats lined up for the extra point, but holder Ryan Hesson took the snap and flipped it over his head to kicker Matt Peyton--who was tackled by Andre Rhodes at the 3 to end the game.

Cal fans stormed the field to surround the Bears as the scoreboard flashed: "The 8th Quarter is Ours!"

The teams combined for 1,254 yards.

Barnes, who completed 35-for-46 passes, surpassed the Cal record of 435 yards passing he set last week in a loss to UCLA. Smith completed 25 of 35 passes for 418 yards and had 84 yards rushing.

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