Air Force Goes Deep to Defeat San Diego State : WAC: Sophomore fullback comes off the bench for winning touchdown. Faulk rushes for 114 yards, but only 22 in second half.
Air Force Coach Fisher DeBerry called it destiny. Unknown fullback Joe Parisi called it “just my time.”
Parisi, a sophomore whose name doesn’t even appear on the Air Force game-time roster, was thrown into the game in the fourth quarter to relieve the injured starter, Jason Jones.
He responded with a two-yard touchdown plunge to give the Falcons a 21-20 victory over San Diego State Saturday in a Western Athletic Conference game.
“We are on a destiny to win the conference,” DeBerry said after the victory, which made the Falcons’ WAC record 3-0 and their overall record 4-0.
San Diego State dropped to 2-1 and 0-1.
The victory was the Falcons’ third in a row decided late in the game.
“I don’t know how long my heart can take these kind of games,” DeBerry said. “I am very, very, very proud of this team. We were a little tentative in the first half, but the second half we really took the fight to them.”
“I guess it was just my time,” Parisi said. “I was confident in everybody around me. They gave me the ability to succeed.”
The Falcon defense proved the key, however, by stopping record-setting freshman running back Marshall Faulk in the second half.
The Aztecs had taken the lead, 20-14, on Faulk’s second touchdown of the game, a five-yard run with 12:06 left, but Andy Trakas’ extra point attempt was wide.
After a streak of 91 successful conversions in a row, Trakas missed two against Cal State Long Beach and one last week against Pacific.
“What can you say?” Trakas said. “No comment. Talk to (kicking coach Evan) Arapostathis about it. It’s like a blur.”
“I’m sick of it.”
Faulk, who set an NCAA record the week before with 386 yards, had 92 yards at halftime. But he was able to get only 22 more in the second half and wound up with 114 for the game.
“Faulk is every bit as good as everyone says he is,” DeBerry said. Senior T.C. Wright started ahead of Faulk, but the freshman was brought into the game on the Aztecs’ second possession.
Faulk scored his first touchdown early in the second quarter on a two-yard plunge to make the score 7-7.
Falcon quarterback Rob Perez completed only one of four passes in the first half, but found Clarence Hopkins and Peter Wilkie on his only two attempts of the second half for the long gainers that set up touchdowns.
It was the sixth consecutive time Air Force has beaten San Diego State at Falcon Stadium.