The Air Force Falcons fell to the Toledo Rockets, 42-41, in the 2011 Military Bowl on Wednesday, but it was a game that had a thrilling conclusion to it. Losing 42-35 with five minutes left in the game, Tim Jefferson worked the clock and found Zack Kauth for a 33-yard touchdown with less than a minute left in the game. Air Force coach Troy Calhoun decided he wanted to go for the win, but instead of keeping Tim Jefferson and the stable of running backs on the field the kicking team went out and attempted a fake extra point.
Punter/holder David Baska received the snap and might have had it in for the go-ahead score, but a Toledo defender had great penetration and stripped the ball from Baska. The ball rolled into the end zone and then out of bounds. Toledo received the ball again and finished the clock out.
Toledo had its offensive start of the game turn out to be Bernard Reedy, who caught all three of Terrance Owens' touchdown passes. Adonis Thomas broke the century mark and picked up 108 yards and a touchdown on the ground. Air Force combined to rush for 248 yards and four touchdowns.
While an eight-win season and a third straight bowl victory for the Falcons would have been great, the Falcons certainly didn't let up at any point in this bowl game and took a chance at winning the game. While the call can be argued endlessly, Calhoun saw his players run the play perfectly before Toledo also happened to hit a sweet spot and counter the play correctly.
But instead of wondering what could have been, the Falcons still have the Commander-in-Chief Trophy to celebrate. They will visit President Obama in the early part of the New Year.
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