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Wyoming Stuns Ohio in 34-33 Loss

Sept. 22, 2007

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ATHENS, Ohio - The Ohio football team was stunned Saturday as the visiting Wyoming Cowboys engineered a fourth-quarter comeback and defeated the Bobcats 34-33 at Peden Stadium.

Despite throwing five interceptions on Saturday, Wyoming (3-1) quarterback Karsten Sween found himself with the football in his hands in a fourth-and-goal situation, his team down by six and just more than two minutes remaining on the clock.

Sween delivered a strike, threading the ball between two Bobcat defenders for a touchdown pass to Michael Ford which gave the Cowboys a 34-33 lead, which would hold up for the victory after the ensuing Bobcat drive was stopped.

Ohio (2-2) quarterback Brad Bower (Burr Ridge, Ill.) was sacked twice and a hook-and-ladder play resulted in a fumble and the Bobcats could not provide their own comeback in the final seconds.

Wyoming rushed for 267 yards and Sween threw for 174 yards and two touchdowns in the Cowboys third win of the season. The Bobcats fell to 2-2 with the loss.

Ohio running back Kalvin McRae (Decatur, Ga.) was limited to 57 yards rushing on 16 carries and Bower threw for 227 yards on 14-of-28 passing with one touchdown and two interceptions.

The visiting Cowboys wasted little time getting on the board as they marched down the field on the game's opening drive. The 13-play possession consumed 3:59 of game clock and gave Wyoming a quick 6-0 lead. The Cowboys failed to convert the point after.

Ohio's Chris Garrett (Bristow, Va.) failed to let Wyoming maintain momentum, however, as he took the ensuing kick-off 94 yards for a Bobcat score. With the Michael Braunstein's (Gilbert, Ariz.) PAT, Ohio went ahead 7-6 with 10:48 left in the opening stanza.

It was the first career score on a kick-off for Garrett, and the 94 yards tied him for the second-longest kick-off return in Ohio history.

Although the Ohio defense yielded a score to open the game, it held Wyoming on the Cowboys' next two possessions, then Joshua Abrams (Dunwoody, Ga.) forced a fumble on a punt and Idris Lawrence (Columbus, Ohio) recovered the ball for Ohio at the Wyoming 25 yard line. Ohio was unable to pick up a first down, but Braunstein booted a 42-yard field goal to put the Bobcats ahead 10-6 with 1:06 left in the first quarter.

The majority of the remainder of the first half was dominated by the defensive units of both teams. Ohio safety Michael Mitchell (Ft. Thomas, Ky.) picked off Sween on the Cowboy's last drive of the first quarter and defensive backfield teammate Mark Parson ended the visitor's first drive of the second quarter in similar fashion.

After three-straight empty possessions, however, the Bobcat offense got back in gear. With the ball on their own 32 following two first downs, Bower and Andrew Mooney (Lubbock, Texas) got the Bobcats back in the scoring column as the quarterback and tight end hooked up on a 68-yard touchdown pass down the home sideline. Braunstein's extra point put Ohio ahead 17-6 with 1:20 remaining in the half.

The Ohio defense was then able to force Wyoming to punt with 19 seconds left. The Bobcats took over on their own 32 and McRae scampered 37 yards on the first play of the drive. A Wyoming personal foul tacked on 15 more yards to put Ohio at the visitor's 16-yard line with nine seconds left. Following a timeout, the Bobcats ran a fake field goal that was unsuccessful when holder Josh Febus (Dublin, Ohio) was tackled at the 10. Ohio was able to sneak in one more timeout before the clock expired, however, and Branustein drilled a 27-yard field goal to put the Bobcats ahead 20-6 at the break.

At intermission, Ohio had out-gained Wyoming 210 to 127 despite the Cowboys time of possession edge of 17:57 to 12:03. Of Ohio's 210 yards, 150 came through the air.

Out of the break, Ohio took the ball and marched 60 yards on six plays for its fifth score of the game. For the third time in the contest, Braunstein capped off the possession for the Bobcats with a field goal, this also from 27 yards out. The tally put Ohio ahead 23-6 with 12:23 remaining in the quarter.

Despite trailing by three scores, the visiting Cowboys were not ready to fold. Sween and the Wyoming offense promptly answered with a six-play, 72-yard drive that ran off just 1:21 on the game clock. Devin Moore rushed for the Cowboy's second score of the game - a one-yard run - that cut the Ohio advantage to 10 with 10:47 left in the third.

Two possessions later the Cowboys again drove the length of the field. Moore's 17-yard run with 4:22 left in the quarter - and the ensuing point after - drew Wyoming to within a field goal at 23-20. That drive took just 1:16 off the clock.

After the Wyoming defense forced Ohio to punt in its ensuing series, the Cowboys first possession of the fourth quarter once again ended in an interception. With back-up quarterback Ian Hetrick under center for the Cowboys, Bobcat defensive end Jameson Hartke (Centerville, Ohio) deflected Hetrick's first pass attempt of the game into his own hands and returned it 30 yards for a touchdown. The tally, Ohio's second defensive score of the season, put the Bobcats ahead 30-20 with 13:10 remaining in the game.

Like they had done twice in the third quarter, however, the Wyoming offense once again mounted another quick scoring drive. With Sween once again under center, the Cowboys marched 63 yards on eight plays in 2:20 of game time to pull within a field goal for the second time. Wynel Seldon's four-yard run with 10:44 left cut the Bobcat lead to 30-27.

The Bobcats were able to get on the board one more time with an insurance score to make it 33-27. From 30 yards out with 5:04 left in the back-and-forth contest, Braunstein booted his fourth field goal of the game, which established a new school record.

The Bruanstein field goal would be the last Ohio points in the game and set up the game-winning final drive by the Cowboys.

The Bobcats will play host again next weekend, when they welcome Kent State to Peden Stadium for first MAC contest of the season.