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Toledo comes away with exciting 54-51 win against Tulsa

09/16/2017, 11:46pm EDT
Toledo comes away with exciting 54-51 win against Tulsa

University of Toledo Diontae Johnson (3) makes a 74 yard touchdown reception against Tulsa SS Christian Williams (3) during the fourth quarter of Saturday's game. BLADE/JEREMY WADSWORTH

Logan Woodside threw a career-high six touchdown passes, and the University of Toledo football team needed all of them as the Rockets outlasted Tulsa 54-51 in a wild game Saturday at the Glass Bowl.

Woodside passed for 458 yards and six touchdown passes — three to Cody Thompson, two to Diontae Johnson, and one to Danzel McKinley-Lewis. Terry Swanson rushed for 139 yards on 19 carries with a touchdown.

Jameson Vest kicked the game-winning, 33-yard field goal as time expired for Toledo. 

“You have to believe man,” UT coach Jason Candle said. “You have to fight back when things get hard. And things got really hard on our football team tonight in a couple tough situations. We didn’t play at our best and we weren’t as crisp and clean as we wanted to be. Our team showed a lot of fight and resolve to come back. To be down at half like that. Really to be down up until the last few minutes of the second quarter and almost deflated, to score at the end of the half like that really gave us some life. Then to be able to come out in the third quarter and score was huge. 

Woodside found Thompson on scores of 26, 81, and 15 yards and hit Johnson on scores of 49 and 74 yards. He opened the game with a 60-yard touchdown pass to McKinley-Lewis on the first offensive play from scrimmage. 

“It was awesome,” Woodside said. “That was probably one of the most fun games I’ve been a part of. It was similar to out at BYU last year. But to come out and get a win was huge for this team and program. That was a really good team we beat tonight.”

GALLERY: Toledo 54, Tulsa 51

Thompson finished with career highs of nine catches and 178 yards. 

“It was exciting,” Thompson said. “Even in the locker room at halftime, no one had their head down and nobody really had a doubt. Everybody knew what we could do on offense on defense and on special teams. We came out and really didn’t look back.”

D’Angelo Brewer, Shamari Brooks, and Chad President each had 100-yard rushing games for Tulsa with 152, 141, and 130 yards, respectively.

In the first half, Toledo was hurt by self-inflicted wounds — 10 penalties for 109 yards and an interception thrown by Woodside that was returned for a touchdown — as well as some big plays from the Golden Hurricane. As a result, the Rockets dug themselves a 21-point hole, before cutting the Tulsa lead to 28-14 at halftime.

President, the Tulsa quarterback, rushed in from 8 yards out to complete an 18-play, 77-yard touchdown drive for the first score of the game. 

Toledo answered with the Woodside to McKinley-Lewis connection with 9:23 left in the first quarter.

Brooks then broke a 63-yard touchdown run up the middle for a score, giving Tulsa a 14-7 edge.

Tulsa added to its lead as Craig Suits intercepted a Woodside pass and returned it 37 yards for a score for a 21-7 lead.

Toledo opened the second quarter with a punt from the Tulsa 37-yard line, then running back Terry Swanson was stuffed on a 4th-and-1 on the next possession from the Golden Hurricane 41.

Tulsa followed with a touchdown run by Brooks from 8 yards out, and Toledo faced a 28-7 deficit.

The Rockets then answered with an 11-play, 95-yard drive, capped off by a 26-yard touchdown pass from Woodside to Thompson with 28 seconds left in the first half to cut the lead to 28-14.

BRIGGS: Comeback win shows Rockets the real deal

Swanson scored on a 49-yard touchdown run on Toledo’s first possession of the second half to cut the gap to 28-21.

Tulsa stretched its lead to 31-21 with a 25-yard field goal from Redford Jones with 9:10 left in the third.

Woodside then found Thompson down the left sideline for an 81-yard touchdown pass, cutting the lead back to 31-28.

Woodside hit Thompson again, this time from 15 yards away to give Toledo a 34-31 lead, but there was a bad snap on the extra-point attempt.

Tulsa responded with a 1-yard touchdown run from Brewer. Toledo then blocked the extra-point, and it was scooped up and returned 98 yards by Josh Teachey for two points as the Golden Hurricane clung to a 37-36 advantage.

NOTEBOOK: UT defensive front creating havoc for opposition

Tulsa opened the fourth-quarter scoring on a 39-yard touchdown run by President to make it 44-36 with 12:07 left.

Toledo answered with a 49-yard touchdown pass from Woodside to Johnson. On the two-point conversion attempt, Woodside found Jordan Fisher to tie the game at 44 with 10:18 left.

Woodside then threw a 74-yard touchdown pass to Johnson to give UT a 51-44 lead with 8:04 to go.

Brooks then scored on a 2-yard run for Tulsa to tie it again, this time at 51. 

Toledo then drove down the field to set up Vest’s game-winning field goal.

“I just embraced it and told myself that we are going to win this game,” Vest said. “I just knew I was going to get these points for the win. It means a lot, because it means that the guys have a lot of trust in me and couldn’t do it without me.”

Contact Brian Buckey at bbuckey@theblade.com419-724-6110, or on Twitter @BrianBuckey.

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Tag(s): College  Toledo