Falcons Fall Short Against Aztecs, 41-27
Oct. 13, 2011
AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. (AP) - Ronnie Hillman scored on 22- and 57-yard runs in the fourth quarter and San Diego State to pull away from Air Force for a 41-27 victory Thursday night.
Tim Jefferson had touchdown passes of 18 and 26 yards to Jonathan Warzeka among his 22 completions in 36 attempts for 224 yards for Air Force (3-3, 0-2).
Hillman finished with 172 yards on 27 carries, the sophomore running back's 11th 100-yard performance in 18 career games. They include a 191-yard effort last year in a 27-25 victory over Air Force in San Diego.
"That stretch of about seven plays, I thought, was a pretty significant part of the game," Falcons coach Troy Calhounsaid. "There's no doubt (the turnovers) were key plays. Fundamentally, there's some work that certainly has to be done."
Hillman scored on runs of 22 and 57 yards in his 11th 100-yard performance in 18 career games for San Diego State (4-2, 1-1 Mountain West). Air Force (3-3, 0-2) and its injury-riddled defense and special teams were hurt by quick scores, giving up 10 points in a span of 14 seconds.
The Falcons have allowed 122 points in their last nine quarters.
"One thing led to another, and they just ran away with it," Air Force linebacker Jordan Waiwaiolesaid. "We didn't execute tonight, and they got the better of us. The bottom line is they made plays tonight, and we didn't."
Lindley finished with 209 yards and two touchdowns.
Jefferson had touchdown passes of 18 and 26 yards to Jonathan Warzekaamong his career-best 22 completions in 36 attempts for 224 yards for Air Force, but also had two interceptions.
Air Force has been sloppy with the ball this season, holding a minus-6 turnover ratio through six games.
"We've got to control the turnover ratio, and offensively we haven't been able to do that all year," Warzeka said. "That doesn't help the defense at all. Secondly, we've got to finish. We haven't been able to finish a football game."
Air Force kept it close for much of the game. Mikel Hunterhelped to break a tie with his second big run on a reverse, gaining 33 yards to the San Diego State 17.
The Falcons advanced to the 14 before Parker Herrington, who earlier kicked a 44-yard field goal, came on to add a 31-yarder for a 20-17 lead midway through the third quarter.
Herrington kicked his first field goal, and Air Force pulled into a 17-all tie in the finishing touch to a pulsating second quarter during which the teams combined for 24 points.
San Diego State went in front 10-7 on Lindley's 27-yard touchdown pass to tight end Alston Umuolo with 14:11 left in the second.
Air Force answered with a scoring drive that featured two trick plays. On third-and-9, Hunter broke free on a reverse for a 29-yard gain to the 11. Air Force managed to get to the 4, where the Falcons lined up for an apparent field goal on fourth down. But holder Tucker Tipton pitched the ball back to kicker David Baska, who dove over a San Diego State defender and shoved the ball one-handed over the goal line for a touchdown.
The Aztecs wasted no time responding. Brandon Davis returned the ensuing kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown and a 17-14 SAN DIEGO STATE lead. Davis bolted up the middle, stepped out of a tackle at about the 25 and quickly veered into the clear down the right sideline, going the rest of the way untouched.