Arrow-right Camera

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Clear Night 40° Clear
Sports

Air Force beats South Alabama 45-21 in Arizona Bowl

South Alabama linebacker Darrell Songy (32) tackles Air Force running back Timothy McVey during the first half of the Arizona Bowl NCAA college football game, Friday, Dec. 30, 2016, in Tucson, Ariz. (Rick Scuteri / Associated Press)
South Alabama linebacker Darrell Songy (32) tackles Air Force running back Timothy McVey during the first half of the Arizona Bowl NCAA college football game, Friday, Dec. 30, 2016, in Tucson, Ariz. (Rick Scuteri / Associated Press)
By John Marshall Associated Press

TUCSON, Ariz. – Arion Worthman threw for 207 yards to balance out Air Force’s run-heavy offense, Jacobi Owens scored two touchdowns and the Falcons overcame a sluggish start to beat South Alabama 45-21 in Arizona Bowl on Friday.

Air Force (10-3) struggled to get its triple-option going, falling into an 18-point first-half hole. Once the Falcons got rolling, they couldn’t be stopped, scoring 42 straight points to turn the game into a rout.

Worthman was the trigger, jump-starting Air Force’s option while completing 7 of 10 passes, including a 75-yard touchdown to Jalen Robinette to open the second half. He also had 71 yards on 21 carries.

South Alabama (6-7) appeared to be headed toward its first bowl win after jumping on the Falcons early, starting with Dallas Davis’ 75-yard touchdown pass to Josh Magee on the game’s first play.

The Jaguars couldn’t sustain their early offensive success or stop the Falcons to lose a bowl game for the second time in three seasons.

Davis threw for 245 yards and a touchdown, but also had an interception and lost a fumble. Magee had five catches for 154 yards.

Davis hit Chris Lewis on a 51-yard pass to set up Dami Ayoola’s 2-yard TD run. Davis next found Magee on a 37-yard pass, then scored himself on a 4-yard run that put the Jaguars up 21-3.

South Alabama also seemed to have the combination for stopping Air Force’s tricky triple-option, the Falcons to a pair of field goals into the second quarter.

Air Force finally unlocked its option late in the half. Ronald Cleveland scored on 14-yard run , then Owens on a 2-yard run after Santo Coppola returned Davis’ fumble to 1-yard line.

Once down 21-3, Air Force found itself at halftime after converting the 2-point conversion .

The Falcons took their first lead by doing exactly what South Alabama did to open the game: a 75-yard TD pass on the first play of the second half, from Worthman to Robinette.

Tyler Williams later took a pitch left to the pylon for a 6-yard TD and Owens scored on a 22-yard run to put Air Force up 45-21.

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Subscribe to the sports newsletter

Get the day’s top sports headlines and breaking news delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.



Annual health and dental insurance enrollment period open now

 (Courtesy Washington Healthplanfinder)
Sponsored

2020 has been a stressful year for myriad reasons.