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(Saturday, September 28)
Final Score: Nevada 45, Air Force 42
Reno, NV (Sports Network) - Cody Fajardo's two-yard touchdown run with under two minutes remaining was just enough to get the Nevada Wolf Pack into the win column with a 45-42 triumph over the Air Force Falcons in Mountain West Conference play at Mackay Stadium.
Fajardo, who had missed the two previous games for Nevada (3-2, 2-0 MWC) with a sprained knee, not only ran for 81 yards and two touchdowns for the Pack, he also converted 38-of-54 passes for 389 yards and three more TDs in the triumph. Brandon Wimberly caught 15 passes for 134 yards and a score, while Aaron Bradley reeled in 11 balls for 135 yards and a TD as well for the hosts.
The Falcons (1-4, 0-4), losers of four straight since opening 2013 with a victory over Colgate, were paced by Karson Roberts who ran the ball 23 times for a game-high 161 yards and scored twice. Roberts also completed half of his 10 pass attempts for 55 yards and a score, but threw a costly interception in the final minute as well.
Nevada put the first points on the board as Fajardo capped off a 17-play, 96- yard drive with a five-yard TD pass to Wimberly at the 4:34 mark of the first quarter.
The Falcons countered with a six-yard scoring run by Jon Lee just over two minutes later to tie the game and then took the lead on an eight-yard TD run by Anthony LaCoste just seconds into the second frame.
Nevada kicker Brent Zuzo cut into the deficit with a 26-yard field goal on the next possession and Fajardo combined with Richy Turner on an 18-yard touchdown pass play late in the first half, but in between Air Force running back Broam Hart crossed the goal line from a yard out, giving the Falcons a 21-17 edge at the break.
In the third quarter Roberts delivered touchdown runs of nine and 11 yards for the visitors, but Fajardo also reached the end zone for Nevada on a 19-yard run of his own.
Trailing by double digits entering the fourth, the Pack closed the gap with a nine-yard touchdown run by Don Jackson just over two minutes into the frame, but the two-point conversion failed, leaving Nevada trailing by five, 35-30.
Midway through the stanza the Falcons again extended the lead to double figures as Roberts hooked up with Sam Gagliano on a 23-yard TD pass, but from there the Wolf Pack took over.
Needing less than two minutes to navigate 75 yards on nine plays, Fajardo hit Bradley with a nine-yard scoring strike at the 5:56 mark and then four minutes later Fajardo did the honors himself. After the last touchdown the Pack gave the ball to Jackson for an easy two-point conversion to give them a three- point cushion.
Air Force had one last chance to respond, but with under 30 seconds remaining, Roberts had a pass batted back to him, he caught it and then threw it once more, this time having it intercepted. There was a penalty on the play for two forward passes, but Nevada declined the flag and gained possession.
Nevada ran a total of 100 plays in the meeting, generating 599 yards of offense, while the Falcons gained 453 yards on 38 fewer snaps.
09/29 00:54:45 ET