CORVALLIS, Ore. — One victory can't reverse 28 seasons of losing records for Oregon State. But the way the Beavers defeated rival Oregon on Saturday night figures to be memorable for years to come.
Ken Simonton ran for a 16-yard touchdown in the second overtime as Oregon State stunned No. 15 Oregon, 44-41, in one of the wildest of the 102 Civil War games.
"I'll be dancing tonight," said Simonton, who had 157 yards rushing and four touchdowns, including both of Oregon State's scores in overtime. After Oregon had made a field goal on its possession, Simonton dashed right on second and one and barely made it to the end zone as the crowd stormed the field for a second time.
Oregon, 8-3 overall and 5-3 in the Pacific 10 Conference, was called for tripping and holding penalties to start the second overtime, creating a first-and-43 situation at the Oregon State 47. But the Beavers committed pass interference on the next play, giving the Ducks a first down.
The Ducks made two more first downs, but the drive stalled at the nine-yard line, and Nathan Villegas kicked a 26-yard field goal to put Oregon ahead, 41-38.
Oregon won the coin toss in overtime, and as is custom in the overtime system, deferred to Oregon State (5-6, 2-6). The Beavers started from the 25 and handed off to Simonton, who gained 19 yards. Three plays later, Simonton ran a sweep right and scored from the one to make the score 38-31.
The Ducks couldn't move the ball on their first three plays, and on fourth down, Akili Smith passed toward Donald Haynes, but Andrae Holland hit the receiver before the ball arrived.
A flag was thrown, but the crowd didn't notice, and thousands of fans poured into the west end zone. With green-jacketed security guards surrounding the goal post, fans eventually were cleared off the field.
When the players came back onto the field, the Ducks had a first down at the Beavers' 13. With fans crowded around the sideline and end zone, Smith connected with Jed Weaver for a 12-yard gain. Jerry Brown was then stopped cold on two tries from the one-yard line. On third down, Smith faked a handoff and threw to a wide-open Weaver for the touchdown. The extra point made the score 38-38.
Oregon State rallied from a seven-point deficit in the last 2:34 of regulation. The Beavers needed only 58 seconds to drive for the tying score, a 30-yard pass from Jonathan Smith to Tim Alexander.
Simonton, a redshirt freshman, became only the fourth running back in Oregon State history to reach 1,000 yards. He has 1,028.
The loss was a big blow for the Ducks, who were seeking a Holiday Bowl bid. Oregon can still get the Holiday berth if UCLA gets to the Fiesta Bowl for the national championship game and Arizona gets picked for the Rose Bowl.
Oregon State celebrated its first five-victory season since 1971 and its first home Pac-10 victory in two years. It was only the Beavers' fourth victory in their last 24 games against Oregon.