Cowboys Fall Short Against Air Force, 35-29

Sept 20, 2003

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By JOHN MARSHALL
AP Sports Writer

AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. (AP) - Matt Ward scored two touchdowns and ChanceHarridge ran for 117 yards as Air Force beat Wyoming 35-29 Saturday in theMountain West Conference opener for both teams.

Air Force (4-0) had 510 total yards, including a season-high 431 rushing, toavenge a disappointing loss to Wyoming last season.

Wyoming (1-3) had 486 total yards, but still lost its third straight afteropening the season with a win over Division I-AA Montana State. Casey Bramletthrew for 379 yards and two touchdowns, and Ryan McGuffey scored twice.

Wyoming derailed Air Force's season last year with 34-26 win, mostly becauseBramlet threw for 387 yards and two touchdowns.

Bramlet was at again and kept Air Force from running away with it after theFalcons scored two touchdowns in the first six minutes.

Bramlet completed 17 of 37 passes for 225 yards to keep Wyoming within 21-15by halftime, then took the Cowboys 80 yards in six plays on the first drive ofthe second half. McGuffey gave Wyoming its first lead at 22-21 with a 5-yardtouchdown on a reverse.

Air Force took the lead back with a grinding, 17-play drive that covered 80yards. Harridge capped it with a 7-yard pass to Alec Messerall, and DarnellStephens punched in the 2-point conversion for a 29-22 lead.

Ward followed with 18-yard touchdown run on an option left, but Wyomingblocked the extra point to make it 35-22.

And Bramlet wasn't done yet.

He took the Cowboys on an 82-yard drive in nine plays, capping it with a7-yard touchdown pass to Aaron Robbins with 4:53 left.

But Air Force didn't let him have another chance. The Falcons ran out theclock, sealing it with Joe Schieffer's 5-yard run on fourth-and-1 at Wyoming's48.

Unlike last year's game, Air Force got off to a quick start.

The Falcons opened with 70-yard scoring drive in nine plays, capping it withWard's 3-yard touchdown run on an end around.

The next series took a little longer, but ended with the same result.Stephens capped the 80-yard drive with a 6-yard run, using his hand for balanceat the 2 before falling into the end zone.

Wyoming answered with a 19-yard halfback pass from Jovon Bouknight toMcGuffey late in the first quarter, but Air Force's Nick Taylor blocked theextra point.

And the Falcons weren't done blocking kicks.

Air Force's Trevor Hightower broke around left end on Wyoming's next driveand blocked Luke Donovan's punt at the Cowboys 21. Alex Cole scored two playslater on a 7-yard run through a huge hole on the right side

Wyoming answered eight minutes later, scoring a 20-yard pass from Bramlet toBouknight, who barely kept his feet in along the edge of the end zone. The passfailed on the extra point, making it 21-12.

Wyoming nearly scored on three straight passes in the closing seconds of thefirst half, but settled for a 38-yard field goal by Deric Youssi.