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Lynch has California on track

October 22, 2006|From the Associated Press

Marshawn Lynch played on two sprained ankles, and No. 11 California was on its heels all day -- particularly after Washington scored the tying touchdown on the most improbable deflected pass either team had ever seen.

Yet Lynch finally got Cal into the driver's seat with a 22-yard scoring run in overtime. A few seconds later, he was in another driver's seat -- careening around the field at the wheel of a stadium cart to celebrate the Golden Bears' 31-24 victory Saturday at Berkeley.

Cal, which improved to 7-1 overall and 5-0 in the conference, hadn't played a close game all season, but this one got too close for comfort when linebacker Desmond Bishop deflected Carl Bonnell's last-gasp 40-yard pass right into the arms of Washington's Marlon Wood, who lunged over the goal line as time expired.

"We thought we had it wrapped up, and then I thought Doug Flutie was out there," Cal linebacker Zack Follett said.

Several Bears sat on the field in disbelief -- but Lynch was unaffected, finishing off a 150-yard performance with his second dynamic scoring run. Bishop, who made 16 tackles, redeemed himself with a game-ending interception as the Bears kept their Bowl Championship Series hopes on track.

"This brings us together really tight, and it gives us some experience we can use for the rest of the season," said Bishop, who returned the last of Bonnell's five interceptions nearly 80 yards with the entire Cal roster running beside him.

Lynch, who tied a school record with his 15th 100-yard performance, barely practiced during the week to rest his sore ankles. It didn't affect his motivation: Before the game, he angrily rallied his teammates after watching Washington (4-4, 2-3) run its pregame drills on the "Cal" logo at midfield.

"It was a phenomenal feat, what he did," Cal Coach Jeff Tedford said of Lynch's perseverance through injury. "I don't know about the cart, but he's an incredible player."

Oregon State 17, Arizona 10 -- Yvenson Bernard rushed for 107 yards, and the Beavers (4-3, 2-2) played tough on defense to defeat the Wildcats (3-5, 1-4) at Tucson.

Bernard, the No. 2 rusher in the Pac-10 behind Lynch, carried 26 times to top 100 yards for the second game in a row and fourth time this season. But Bernard left because of an ankle injury late in the game and it was unknown how serious it was.

Arizona State 38, Stanford 3 -- Ryan Torain ran for 90 yards and a touchdown and caught a touchdown pass to help the Sun Devils (4-3, 1-3) end a three-game losing streak with a win over the Cardinal (0-8, 0-5) at Tempe, Ariz.

Keegan Herring had two touchdown runs as Arizona State held Stanford to 145 total yards and handed the Cardinal its 10th straight loss, dating to last season.

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