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Arizona Wins, 53-47, in Third Overtime

October 15, 2000|From Associated Press

TUCSON, Ariz. — Leo Milles scored his second touchdown in overtime from two yards out, and Antonio Pierce had an interception in the third overtime as No. 22 Arizona beat Washington State, 53-47, on Saturday night.

Jason Gesser threw six touchdown passes--two in overtime--for the Cougars, but after going 131 passes without an interception, he threw damaging pickoffs in the fourth quarter and the third overtime.

The game was a continuation of an intense series--10 of the last 12 games have been decided by 10 points or less. In the end, Arizona (5-1, 3-0) won its fourth straight and stayed even with Oregon at the top of the Pacific 10 Conference standings.

The teams finished regulation tied at 33-33, and matched each other with two touchdowns before Mills, who had 70 of his 129 yards rushing (in 12 carries) in the fourth quarter and overtime, bulled in from two yards out to produce the final score.

It was the third overtime series, so Arizona had to try a two-point conversion. Marcus Trufant broke up Ortege Jenkins' pass to Bobby Wade, who beat the Cougars last year with a touchdown reception on the final play of the game.

But when Gesser aimed for Nakoa McElrath, who caught three scoring passes earlier, Pierce stepped in front, grabbed the ball and ran to the sideline.

Gesser, the top-rated passer in the Pac-10, completed 19 of 36 passes for 348 yards. He threw touchdown passes of 54, 19 and 19 yards to McElrath, 14 and 23 yards to Milton Wynn and 68 yards to Deon Burnett.

Chris Martin also scored on a 31-yard interception return, but the Cougars (3-3, 1-2) couldn't keep a two-game win streak alive, losing for the fourth time in a row in Tucson since 1992.

Jenkins threw three touchdown passes and scored on a 25-yard run on the first overtime series--a trick play that involved a lateral exchange between Jenkins and Malosi Leonard. Jenkins passed back to Leonard, who then passed back to Jenkins, who ran through Washington State defenders for the score.

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