FRESNO – Fresno State’s football team managed to avoid a pratfall that has plagued so many Bulldog squads over the years.
Fresh off a season-opening road upset of Purdue High a week earlier and playing in front of a sellout crowd at Valley Children’s Stadium, the Bulldogs (2-0) staved off a strong challenge from Eastern Washington and hung on for a 34-31 double overtime victory on Sept. 9. Fresno had to rally from a 3-point deficit in the final quarter after the visitors had rallied back from an 11-point deficit.
After falling behind by a touchdown in overtime, the Bulldogs tied the game at 31 on a 1-yard run by Elijah Gilliam, who finished with 86 yards rushing and two TDs. In the second overtime, a field goal by Dylan Lynch put the Bulldog up by three before linebacker Levelle Bailey sealed the victory with an interception.
Quarterback Mikey Keene followed his spectacular Fresno State debut against Purdue by completing 23 of 39 for 233 yards and two touchdowns. One of those scores was a 6-yard hookup to Sanger High product Jake Boust in the second quarter as the Bulldogs led 14-3 at halftime. But the Eagles (0-2) roared back in the second half to take the lead, making the most of a ball-control game.
Also among local players, Sanger High alum and senior defensive back Kosi Agina collected a pair of unassisted tackles playing special teams. Redshirt freshman Ryan Warkentin from Reedley High dressed out but didn’t see action on the field.
Fresno State returns to the road to take on Pac-12 and future Big-12 member Arizona State at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept, 16, in Tempe, Ariz. The game will be broadcast live on FoxSports 1 (FS1) network.