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Emotional Win for Washington

Pacific 10: Huskies lose 18-point lead, then pull out 31-28 victory over Stanford in closing seconds, but thoughts are with injured teammate.

October 29, 2000|From Associated Press

PALO ALTO, Calif. — With a teammate in the hospital and time in the game running perilously short, Washington scored the last improbable touchdown in a fourth quarter full of them.

Justin Robbins caught a 22-yard touchdown pass from Marques Tuiasosopo with 17 seconds to play as the ninth-ranked Huskies blew an 18-point lead with six minutes to play and then drove 80 yards in the closing seconds to beat Stanford, 31-28, on Saturday.

A driving rain at Stanford Stadium made scoring difficult until the frenetic final six minutes, when the teams combined for five touchdowns. The small, soaked crowd--equally divided between Washington and Stanford supporters--might have got neck aches from watching the teams drive up and down the field.

But the Huskies' celebration of an amazing win was dampened by the loss of safety Curtis Williams, who was removed from the field on a stretcher late in the third quarter with a neck injury. Williams remained at Stanford Hospital on Saturday night for evaluation.

"Right now our thoughts are with Curtis Williams," Tuiasosopo said. "We're happy with the win, of course, but our thoughts are elsewhere. We just hope it's not too serious. It's an emotional time."

All season long, Washington and Stanford have been at their best in the fourth quarter. The Cardiac Cardinal, which has beaten two teams in the closing seconds at home already this season, was good again--but Washington was even better.

Tuiasosopo needed just three plays to erase nearly five minutes of amazing football from Stanford quarterback Randy Fasani, who ran for two touchdowns and passed for another in the final 5:32.

"I couldn't believe they made a comeback," said Fasani, who scored on a two-yard bootleg with 53 seconds to play that put Stanford up, 28-24. "I thought it was the end of the game. They just had a great comeback, just like we did."

Washington, 7-1 overall, 4-1 in the Pacific 10, came from behind for the sixth time this season.

"Give all the credit to Marcus. Our two-minute offense is second to none," receiver Todd Elstrom said. "It's hard to come back from an injury like that, but you try to play with some extra emotion."

The Cardinal (3-5, 2-3) put itself in position for a remarkable comeback by recovering three onside kicks--one was negated by a penalty--in the final minutes and scoring three late touchdowns. Stanford had only 178 yards of total offense until getting 170 more in its final three drives.

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