Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
LOGAN — The Utah State football team ended 15 years of frustration with a thrilling 27-20 overtime victory over Utah Friday night at Romney Stadium.
Kerwyn Williams scored from a yard out in overtime before the Aggie defense held the Utes out of the end zone to propel USU to its first victory in the rivalry since 1997.
Utah had won 12 straight games against the Aggies with few being competitive. The Utes had won the previous three contests in Logan by a combined score of 154-16. But the Aggies took it to the Utes early and never trailed in Friday’s game.
The Aggies dominated the favored Utah team in the first half as the Utes kept hurting themselves with mistakes, including a blocked punt and a fumble deep in Aggie territory. The Utes suffered a devastating injury when quarterback Jordan Wynn went out with a shoulder injury late in the first half.
USU got on the scoreboard midway through the first quarter when Zach Vigil broke through and blocked Sean Sellwood’s punt. Clayton Christensen recovered in the end zone and the Aggies led 7-0 after the extra point.
The second score came with three seconds left in the first quarter when Chuckie Keeton hit Joe Hill with a 15-yard touchdown pass in the left corner of the end zone. That capped a six-play, 80-yard drive, but Brock Warren’s PAT sailed wide.
The Utes had advanced to the USU 20 early in the second quarter after dropping the Aggie punter on a bad snap at the USU 36, but Wynn was sacked three times. On the third sack, he went down hard and left the field with a left shoulder injury.
Back-up Jon Hays replaced Wynn and drove the Utes 48 yards in eight plays and as the half ended, Coleman Peterson booted a 42-yard field goal.
In the second half, the Utes scored early in the third quarter when freshman Travis Wilson came in for a play and hit Kenneth Scott with a 28-yard touchdown pass. Later in the quarter, the Utes tied it up on another Peterson field goal, this one from 40 yards out with 4:22 left in the quarter.
The Aggies retook took the lead with 9:10 left on a three-play drive covering 66 yards with Keeton hitting Kelle Bartlett from five yards out.
However, the Utes responded with a 67-yard drive of their own as Hays hit Scott with a 24-yard scoring pass to tie the score at 20-20 with 3:18 left.
The Utes had one more chance to win in regulation, driving into USU territory in the final minute, but Peterson’s 52-yard field goal try as time ran out was short.
Next week, Utah will play BYU at home Saturday night, while Utah State plays at Wisconsin.
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