Air Force football was on the wrong end of a 21-17 battle at San Diego State Friday night at SDCCU Stadium in San Diego, Calif. The game featured four lead changes and the third weather delay of the season for the Falcons.
After battling back to take a 17-14 lead in the fourth quarter, the Falcons were unable to hold the lead, as San Diego State (5-1, 2-0 MW) rallied back with the game-winning touchdown on the ensuing drive.
San Diego State got on the scoreboard first, needing just three plays on the opening drive to get into the end zone. Jasmin Chase scored on a four-yard run just 1:11 into the game to put the Aztecs up 7-0 early on. A 55-yard pass play set up Chase's scoring plunge.
As the offense struggled early on, it was the defense that helped Air Force get on the scoreboard first, forcing a safety to get on the scoreboard. San Diego State quarterback Ryan Agnew was chased by Falcon defensive lineman Jordan Jackson
on a pass play and fell back into the end zone for the safety with seven seconds left in the first quarter.
The defense set up the next score for Air Force (2-4, 0-3 MW) as well. San Diego State looked to be driving for a score, but junior Jeremy Fejedelem
intercepted Agnew in the end zone to prevent the score.
The Falcons then drove 80 yards in nine plays, capped by a 12 yard run by Ronald Cleveland
. The Falcons went ahead 9-7 with 5:13 to play in the second quarter. Highlighting the drive was a 42-yard run by fullback Cole Fagan
The defense held the Aztecs scoreless on their next two drives and the Falcons looked to take the lead into halftime. That was not the case, as San Diego State blocked a punt and ran it in for the touchdown to go ahead 14-9 with eight seconds left before halftime.
The game featured a lightning delay midway through the third quarter that lasted for over an hour. It was the third weather delay for Air Force this season, also happening against FAU and Stony Brook.
Air Force went back ahead in the fourth quarter as key completions by quarterback Isaiah Sanders
and the score by another Cleveland rushing touchdown put the Falcons up 17-14 after the two-point conversion. Sanders was 4-of-5 passing on the drive and Cleveland capped the drive with a four yard run. Sanders then found Cleveland with a pass completion on the two-point conversion to put the Falcons up three with 9:25 to play in the fourth.
The lead was short-lived as San Diego State drove right down the field on the ensuing drive to re-take the lead. The Aztecs capped an eight-play 94 yard drive with a 29 yard touchdown pass by Agnew to Parker Houston to go up 21-17 with 6:10 to play.
Air Force finished the night with 214 yards on the ground, the most allowed by San Diego State this season. Fagan led the Falcons with 90 yards rushing on 17 carries.
completed 7 of 15 passes for 51 yards. He relieved starting quarterback D.J. Hammond III, who led the game in the first quarter with a leg injury.
Junior linebacker Kyle Johnson
led the Falcons with a career-high nine tackles. The Falcon defense posted eight tackles for loss, the third time this season with at least eight TFLs. The Falcons did the same just twice last season.
Air Force returns to action next Friday at UNLV.