DeAndre Hughes rushed for a school-record 279 yards — scoring two touchdowns and adding a successful 2-point conversion run in the third overtime — to lift Air Force to a 41-39 victory over Nevada in Mountain West Conference play on Friday night.
Hughes ran for 122 yards and a score — a 10-yard TD run in a 17-point second quarter — as the Falcons (8-3, 5-2) took a 17-3 lead into halftime. Carson Strong came out firing for the Wolf Pack (7-4, 4-3) in the second half. He connected with Cole Turner for a 13-yard TD to get Nevada within 17-10 before Hughes answered with a 9-yard scoring run for a 24-10 Air Force lead heading into the fourth quarter. Nevada recovered a Haaziq Daniels fumble and Strong fired a 61-yard scoring strike to Romeo Doubs on first down to pull the Wolf Pack within 24-17 midway through the quarter and then hit Turner for a 2-yard score with 3:13 left, sending the game to OT.
Air Force had the ball first and took the lead on Dane Kinamon’s 2-yard TD run, but Toa Taua answered with a 6-yard TD run for Nevada to send the game to a second OT. The Wolf Pack took a 39-31 lead when Strong connected with Doubs for a 25-yard TD on first down before adding a 2-point conversion toss to Turner. Air Force knotted the score on Brad Roberts’ 1-yard TD run and Hughes’ 2-point run.
New rules this season state that after two overtimes the teams will take turns trying to score 2-point conversions until a winner is decided. The Falcons were successful thanks to Hughes, while the Wolf Pack came up short.
Hughes set his rushing record on 23 carries. Roberts carried 28 times for 111 yards as Air Force piled up 522 yards on the ground.
Strong completed 25 of 43 passes for 346 yards and four TDs with one interception. Doubs caught 16 passes for 159 yards.
Hughes topped Chad Hall’s mark single-game mark of 275 yards rushing set against Army in 2007.
The win also completes a perfect 5-0 road record, which is just the second time in program history where Air Force finish undefeated in true road games since 1992.
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