California’s quarterback Chase Garbers (7) gets away from Stanford’s Tristian Sinclair during the first half of action at Stanford Stadium in Palo Alto during the Big Game on Sat Nov 20, 2021 (AP News photo)
Not Much Fun On the Farm For Stanford In 41-11 Loss
By Barbara Mason
Saturday afternoon the age old matchup between the Stanford Cardinal (3-8) and the California Bears (4-6) took place at Stanford stadium. Last year the Cardinal took the “Big Game” the 123rd by the score of 24-23 passing the Axe to Stanford. In 2019 the Bears won the game 24-20 and Cal made it two years in row with a convincing 41-11 win at Stanford Stadium on Saturday.
This game had a start that neither team wanted to see. Stanford’s Tanner McKee threw an interception on their first possession and in the next possession, the Bears fumbled the ball deep in their own territory. Stanford had the ball first and goal and was unable to convert on fourth down giving the ball back to Cal.
Mid-way through the first quarter California got a great drive going. Cal Quarterback Chase Garbers completed one pass after another driving deep into Stanford territory. Following an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty Garbers threw his second interception of the game undoing a textbook perfect drive.
The first quarter was a symphony of errors for both teams. In four possessions there had been three turnovers.
The final minutes of the opening quarter saw Stanford drive downfield deep into Cal territory with another first and goal. For the second time in this game Stanford went on fourth and goal and failed again. It was another great defensive effort by the Cal Bears. Cal struck first in this game. Garbers found Trevon Clark for 84 yards and the Bears took a 7-0 lead. With a lot of game left to go, Cal was having an extraordinary defensive game.
The Bears continued their relentless onslaught offensively as Garbers drove downfield mixing it up running and through the air finding Christopher Brooks in the end zone for one yard and the touchdown. The Bears had extended their lead to 14-0. Just before the half Stanford would kick a 31 yard field goal to get up on the board 14-3.
California would pick up in the third quarter where they left off in the first half. They did have a first and goal but had to settle for a 23 yard field goal and a 17-3 lead. The Bears would tack on a second field goal , this one for 33 yards and Cal kicker Dario Longhetto was perfect for the game.
As this game wore on it became very evident that the Bears came to play exploding with one great offensive play after another As the clock began to wind down on the third quarter Cal running back Marcel Dancy scampered for 76 yards and another Cal touchdown. Cal now led 27-3 rendering Stanford helpless and unable to get much going.
Going into the fourth quarter Stanford had an insurmountable mountain to climb and the Bears showed no sign of letting down. The Cardinal put together a nice drive to score their first touchdown of the game in the early minutes of the fourth quarter. Stanford would attempt a 2-pt conversion which was good cutting their deficit to 27-11 with 12:48 left in the game.
Cal’s Marcel Dancy rushed for two yards to extend the Bears lead to 34-11. This was his second touchdown of the game. The Bears got a slow start but once they got going there was no stopping them. With ten minutes left in the game Cal had 590 total yards to Stanfords 276 total yards.
With five minutes left in the game California was on the Stanford five yard line first and goal. Chris Street scored his first career touchdown and it became evident that Cal came in to inflict some real pain and take back the Ax. This was Cal’s best game this season on both sides of the ball. With the Bears leading 41-11 and five minutes left this game was one for the history books as well as some stunning records.
With 3:35 left in the game the Bears nailed the coffin shut with another interception. Students began to line up for the ceremonial passing of the Ax which went to the Ca Bears this year.
Cal had a team total of an amazing 636 yards to Stanfords 290. The Bears simply outplayed Stanford offensively and defensively. Despite their season this game will be the highlight for Cal no matter what happens moving forward and for Stanford the game was a real low that will continue until these two teams meet again in 2022 for the 125th “Big Game” looking to take back the Ax.
Stanford will take on 10-1 Notre Dame next Saturday Nov 27. At the time of this post, kickoff is still to be determined.