Wildcats Win Thriller in Ames
"Iowa State did not let down," K-State head coach Bill Snyder said. "I take my hat off to them. I'm a Paul Rhoads fan, and I think he knows how to motivate young guys. He did that today. They competed and didn't give up at any time."
Here's a look at how the game played out:
K-State opened the game with momentum on its side as it got off to a quick 13-0 lead over the Cyclones. In the game's opening drive, a 57-yard pass from quarterback Jake Waters to wide receiver Tyler Lockett put the Wildcats on Iowa State's four-yard line and put running back Charles Jones in position to run in for the first touchdown of the game. Back to back field goals from Jack Cantele (27 yards and 41 yards) put the Cats ahead 13-0.
Despite holding the Cyclones throughout the first quarter, a messy third series from the Wildcat defense allowed Iowa State to score its first points of the game. A 17-yard pass from quarterback Sam Richardson to wide receiver Jarvis West put the Cyclones on the board with just 13 seconds left in the quarter.
While K-State may have started the game with momentum on its side, the tables turned in the second quarter. Starting the frame with an 82-yard punt return for a touchdown by West, the Cyclones took a 14-13 lead.
Keeping momentum throughout the quarter, with 4:33 to go until halftime, Cyclone running back DeVondrick Nealy rushed the ball two yards into the end zone, but the scoring didn't stop there. With the Wildcat offense unable to get points on the board, West took a reverse, pulled up and lobbed a 29-yard yard touchdown pass to fellow wide receiver Allen Lazard in the Cyclones' final drive of the first half, and, just like that, the Cyclones were up 28-13.
28 unanswered points.
"After the first drive, we turn around and have to kick two field goals," explained Snyder after the game. "It was a 13-0 ballgame instead of a 21-0 game. That made a huge difference. I think that's where the real letdown was, right there."
Though things seemed to be falling apart, in the Wildcats' final first-half drive, a 15-yard pass from Waters to Lockett set up a one-yard touchdown run by Waters.
Despite trailing 28-20, the Wildcats left the field for halftime with momentum swinging their way once again.
Iowa State opened the second half with the ball looking to extend its lead back out to 15. However, the K-State defense made, perhaps, its biggest stop of the game when Iowa State decided to run the ball on a fourth-and-one on the K-State 41-yard line. Despite the stop, the Wildcat offense was unable to match the excitement the defense provided, and by the close of the third quarter the score remained 28-20.
A Randall Evans interception with 10 minutes left in the game got the Wildcats back in the contest. The following drive, the Wildcats looked to Jones once again on a four-yard touchdown rush.
Down by two, K-State went for a two-point conversion, and though Jake Waters looked as though he would get into the end zone easily, a hard hit from Cyclone defensive back Kamari Cotton-Moya held him back.
As Iowa State looked to milk the clock or expand its slim lead, a Ryan Mueller tackle-for-loss on third down with less than four minutes remaining forced the Cyclones to punt, and the rest, as they say, is history.
The Wildcats' final drive was a thing of beauty. From an outstanding catch by Lockett to big-time rushes from both Waters and Jones, K-State sealed its 32-28 victory with a Waters eight-yard touchdown scamper.
Waters finished the game rushing for a career-high 138 yards with two touchdowns, while he went 16-of-29 through the air for 239 yards.
"I was proud of Jake. You'd like to think he would compete in every game the same way, but this one had a little different meaning to it," said Snyder about his Iowa-native quarterback. "His family is here. He was into it. I think with his family here, he was ready to compete. I'd like to have him that way every game, but he was ready to go today."
Lockett finished the game leading the receiving corps with six catches for 136 yards, while Jones' 74 rushing yards on 13 attempts were the most among the running backs.
For a complete recap, stats and more info of last night's game, click here.