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Sun Devils lose to Wildcats on field goal as time expires

The ASU football team has learned what a heartbreaking loss feels like throughout the season.

And that’s exactly the way the 2009 campaign ended, as the Sun Devils lost to rival UA 20-17 on a 32-yard field goal by Alex Zendejas as time expired on Saturday afternoon at Sun Devil Stadium.

It was the Sun Devils’ sixth straight loss to end the season, as well as their fourth loss by five points or less.

The field goal came after a miscue by ASU on special teams cost the Sun Devils a chance to stage their own game-winning drive, or at least send the contest into overtime.

ASU tied the game 17-17 on a 14-yard touchdown pass on fourth down from senior quarterback Danny Sullivan to senior wide receiver Kyle Williams in the back of the end zone with 2:02 to play, and then the Sun Devil defense forced the Wildcats to punt with just over a minute to play.

But as Williams waved his hand to fair catch the punt at the ASU 22-yard line, the ball bounced in front of him, hit him, and was then recovered by UA junior cornerback Mike Turner to give the Wildcats a first down in field-goal range.

UA then used three rushing plays to run the clock down and put the ball in the center of the field before Zendejas connected on the kick.

That kick erased a second-half comeback by the Sun Devils, as they outscored the Wildcats 17-6 after intermission after falling behind 14-0.

UA took a 7-0 lead on a 67-yard touchdown run straight up the middle by junior running back Keola Antolin at the 3:54 mark of the first quarter and stretched that lead to two scores when sophomore Orlando Vargas blocked a punt by ASU junior Trevor Hankins and took it into the end zone from 23 yards out with 3:50 to go before halftime.

ASU got on the board at the 6:50 mark of the third quarter when junior Thomas Weber made a 26-yard field goal and cut into the lead even more when Sullivan, who replaced sophomore Samson Szakacsy midway through the second quarter, connected with Williams for the first time in the game for a 44-yard touchdown made the score 14-10.

Zendejas gave put the Wildcats back up by a touchdown on a 30-yard field goal with 3:58 remaining before the Sun Devils’ touchdown drive to tie the game.

Sullivan completed 14 of his 28 passes for 168 yards, while Williams finished with 130 yards on nine catches.

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