Cardinal use fumble recovery TD to edge Pitt 14-13 in Sun Bowl

Photo credit: elpasotimes.com

By Daniel Dullum
Sports Radio Service
Monday, December 31, 2018

Stanford did its part to defend the honor of the Pac-12 Conference Monday, squeaking out a 14-13 victory over Pittsburgh in the Sun Bowl at El Paso, Texas.

The Cardinal finished its season 9-4, and played the game without star running back Bryce Love, who sat out the game to prepare for the NFL Draft. Pitt wound up 7-7.

Stanford won, despite being held to 208 yards of total offense, and converting only 1 of 10 third downs.

The Cardinal were trailing 13-7 when, with 11:28 remaining in the fourth quarter, quarterback K.J. Costello tried to score from the Pitt 1-yard line, but fumbled. The ball was recovered in the end zone by Cameron Scarlett, who filled in for Love.

Jet Toner’s PAT kick provided the margin of victory. Bobby Okereke racked up five tackles with a sack and a pass break up. Sean Barton added a team-high eight tackles.

The Panthers opened the scoring early in the second quarter on a 29-yard field goal by Alex Kessman. Stanford took its first lead at 7:39 on Scarlett’s 1-yard plunge, putting the Cardinal up 7-3.

A 6-yard touchdown run by Darrin Hall put Pitt ahead 10-7 with 2:32 remaining in the half.

Pitt extended its lead to 13-7 on Kessman’s 28-yard field goal with 8:13 left in the third quarter.

Costello completed 6 of 17 passes for 105 yards and no interceptions. Scarlett gained 94 rushing yards on 22 carries while scoring both Cardinal touchdowns. Dorian Maddox averaged 5.8 yards on four attempts.

JJ Arcega-Whiteside caught 3 passes for 94 yards.

Hall gained a game-high 123 rushing yards for the Panthers on 16 attempts. Pitt quarterback Kenny Pickett threw for 136 yards on 11 of 29 passing. Taysir Mack caught four passes for 68 yards, and Maurice Ffrench snared 5 passes for 49 yards.

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