Saturday, August 30, 2008

Cowboys have to hold on one more time

Richard Anderson photo
Wyoming and Ohio players shake hands at the end of of the season opener Saturday at War Memorial Stadium.

By Richard Anderson

One tick, one play, one more chance for Ohio.

After the Wyoming Cowboys couldn’t quite seal the deal in running out the clock on Saturday, a punt and a couple of pass completions gave the Bobcats one more try to win the game.

Ohio quarterback Theo Scott was able to spike the ball and stop the clock with one second left on the Wyoming 45-yard line.

A desperation pass could turn into disaster for the Wyoming Cowboys in their season opener.

Scott, who was 26-of-35 passing in the game for 244 yards, was able to get off the pass under heavy pressure from Wyoming defensive tackle John Fletcher. The Wyoming secondary, led by cornerbacks Marcell and Tashaun Gipson and safety Quincy Rogers, was able to get back in center field and knock the pass down to preserve the 21-20 Wyoming victory.

The game was somewhat of a grind for the Cowboys all day and that last play didn’t help the heart rate either.

“I just hoped that God didn’t give them a miracle,” Wyoming senior linebacker Ward Dobbs said. “That’s all you can hope for; just hope that those guys didn’t let anybody get past them. It’s going to be a thrown-up ball, it was just one of those plays.”

Fellow redshirt linebacker Gabe Knapton also had confidence in his defensive teammates.

“I was a little nervous, but I knew our defense would pull through and make the play,” Knapton said.

Although Scott had an outstanding game against the Wyoming defense, most of his yardage was on short routes that the Cowboys had played a little off on. The UW secondary hadn’t given up much on the deep ball.

Tashaun Gipson said he knew that last play had to be a deep ball … or maybe the hook and lateral.

“That’s why I didn’t go so far back in the end zone and stayed around the 20-yard line,” Gipson said. “When he threw the ball, that’s when I knew it was game over. I knew one of our guys was going to touch the ball, some way, some how.”

Ohio had originally thought about attempting a 63-yard field goal by kicker Barrett Way, sending Way out onto the field and lining up for the attempt. But Wyoming called time out and the Bobcats came back out with its offense.

That left Wyoming running back Devin Moore feeling a little better about the situation.

“I thought they were going for a 62-yard field goal,” Moore said. “I was thinking to myself, ‘Anything was possible.’ When I saw that they put the offense back on the field, I knew we pretty much had it then.”

Rogers actually knocked the ball out of teammate Marcell Gipson’s hands after Gipson apparently was going to try to intercept the ball. Rogers said he didn’t want to take any chance of a deflection into an Ohio receiver’s hands.

“We had just went over it. I told him to just knock it down. I saw him go up for the pick and I thought, ‘Is he really going to try to get it?’” Rogers said. “I just knocked it down.”

Fletcher’s pressure made sure that Scott didn’t get much on his throw.

“I was just hoping that nobody caught it in the end zone,” Fletcher said with a smile. “I just hit him as hard as I could and hoped that I could affect the throw somehow.”

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