Cougars win in final seconds

WSU is bowl eligible for fifth straight year

CODY SCHOELER, Evergreen reporter

Redshirt senior quarterback Anthony Gordon broke records as he helped WSU break even and get their sixth win of the season by beating Oregon State University 54-53 Saturday night in Martin Stadium.

Gordon set Pac-12 records for both touchdown passes, 45, and passing yards, 4,920, in a season. He finished with 50 completions for 606 yards and six touchdowns.

Perhaps the most impressive part of Gordon’s night was the 10-play, 58-yard touchdown drive that led to the Cougar (6-5, 3-5) win and sent them to a bowl game for the fifth straight year.

After forcing an incompletion on Oregon State’s (5-6, 4-4) fourth-down attempt, WSU got the ball back in Gordon’s hands. He completed passes for 13 yards to wide receivers redshirt senior Brandon Arconado and junior Tay Martin, as well as a key completion to redshirt senior Easop Winston Jr. over the middle right as he got hit by a defensive back.

Despite Gordon’s heroics, it was sophomore running back Max Borghi who scored the game-winning touchdown. With four seconds left on the clock, WSU lined up for possibly the last play of the game.

Chants of “Borghi” rained down from the crowd and head coach Mike Leach gave the fans what they wanted. Borghi got the handoff and took the ball the final two yards and gave WSU the win that he promised the fans a week ago.

“I needed to back myself up. I was confident in myself and confident in my team,” he said.

Forgotten in the chaos of the finish, Gordon set the touchdown record on a 10-yard pass in the corner of the endzone to redshirt junior wide receiver Renard Bell with just under two minutes left in the third quarter. Bell finished as the leading receiver with eight catches for 108 yards and two touchdowns.

Bell had to fill in for wide receiver Brandon Arconado at the Y position when he left the game with an injury. Gordon said the offense did not miss a beat with Bell in that position.

“Renard does an unbelievable job. Does everything we ask him to do with a smile on his face,” Gordon said.

Gordon spread the ball around, completing passes to nine different players. He threw touchdowns to Bell, wide receivers senior Dezmon Patmon and senior Calvin Jackson Jr. and redshirt junior running back Deon McIntosh.

Oregon State was led by senior quarterback Jake Luton, who threw for a season-high 408 yards as well as five touchdowns.

Luton received a great deal of help from sophomore running back Jermar Jefferson, who carried the ball 21 times for 132 yards and two touchdowns. He also caught three passes for 52 yards and two touchdowns.

Luton’s leading receiver was sophomore Champ Flemings who caught four passes for 110 yards, including a 46-yard touchdown in the second quarter. Luton also completed five passes to senior tight end Noah Tagliai for 67 yards and a touchdown.

Oregon State will travel to Eugene to play against the University of Oregon next week in the Civil War. Oregon is coming off of an upset loss to Arizona State.

The Cougars will travel to Seattle to play the University of Washington in the Apple Cup, a game for which Borghi was requested not to make a prediction. Washington is coming off a 20-14 loss to Colorado.

“No score. But I will be scoring . . . A lot,” he said.