Bulldogs lose lead, fall in season finale at San Jose State, 17-16

Sports

SAN JOSE — The Fresno State football team let a 16-3 halftime lead get away, and lost another heartbreaker in its season finale Saturday night at San Jose State.

The Bulldogs led 16-10 late in the game, but after taking over at their own two-yard line late in the fourth quarter, the Spartans drove 98 yards in nine plays, and took their first lead of the night with 2:17 left on a 10-yard touchdown run from DeJon Packer.

The Bulldogs had one last chance to put together a game-winning drive on the ensuing possession, with redshirt freshman quarterback Ben Wooldridge in the game for an ailing Jorge Reyna. But on 4th and 6 from near midfield, Wooldridge’s pass for Emoryie Edwards was knocked away, and the Spartans were able to run out the clock on offense.

The Bulldogs’ defense allowed only 369 total yards, well-below the Spartans season average of 429.7, and they actually scored on a safety when Fresno State linebacker Justin Rice tackled San Jose State quarterback Josh Love in his own end zone in the second quarter.

But the Bulldogs’ offense, which was extremely sharp on its opening two possessions, both of which resulted in touchdowns, went stagnant for the rest of the game, and failed to score again.

Offensively, the star of the night for the Bulldogs was running back Ronnie Rivers. The junior rushed for 177 yards on 29 carries, and also added eight receptions for 63 yards. His 16th touchdown of the season in the first quarter gave him 28 for his career, tying him with his dad, Ron Rivers, for 7th all-time on Fresno State’s career touchdowns list.

With the loss, Fresno State finishes the season at 4-8 overall, 2-6 in the Mountain West. San Jose State (5-7, 2-6 MW) also takes possession of the Valley Trophy for the first time in three years.

Just a reminder, highlights, postgame reaction and analysis is coming your way on the Bulldog Insider after Sunday Night Football.

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