Fremont Cannon stays silver and blue
Nick Graziano threw a 43-yard touchdown pass to Kyle Sammons with 27.5 seconds left Saturday as Nevada hung on to beat rival UNLV 27-20 for the third year in a row.
Graziano completed 20-of-38 passes for 330 yards and three touchdowns, including a 90-yard score to Mike McCoy in the first quarter, and a 15-yarder to Adam Bishop with 3:02 remaining for the Wolf Pack (2-2).
UNLV (2-3) had tied the seesaw battle 20-20 with 1:02 left when Travis Dixon threw a 30-yard touchdown pass to Ryan Wolfe on fourth-and-10.
The Rebels had one last chance in the closing seconds when Dixon threw 18 yards to Channing Trotter and 15 yards to Wolfe to move to Nevada's 18 yard line. But on the final play, he overthrew two receivers in the end zone and UNLV's offensive line was called for holding as time expired and Wolf Pack fans rushed the field.
Nevada now leads the rivalry series 18-15.
Frank Summers rushed for 120 yards and a touchdown for UNLV and Wolfe caught six passes for 92 yards. Dixon completed 17-of-37 passes for 249 yards.
Tied 13-13 midway through the fourth quarter, Sergio Aguayo came on to attempt a 52-yard field goal for UNLV, but a high snap hit him the head. The holder, Casey Flair, grabbed the ball out of the air and threw a pass to Ryan Worthen who was pulled down short of the first down at Nevada's 35.
The Wolf Pack moved down field with alternating running plays by Luke Lippincott and Brandon Fragger. Graziano rolled to his left and threw the 15-yard TD to Bishop, who dove into the orange goal-line pylon with 3:02 on the clock for a 20-13 lead.
Dixon, facing fourth-and-10, kept the next drive alive with a 15-yard pass to Flair at midfield and moved to Nevada's 30 with a 13-yard pass to Wolfe with 1:25 left. A few plays later, Dixon threw over the middle to Wolfe, who broke two tackles on the way to the end zone to knot the game again 20-20.
Graziano completed 8-of-16 passes for 202 yards in the first half, including a 57-yard play to Bishop to set up Brett Jaekle's career-long 50-yard field goal. That tied the game 3-3 at 3:50 in the first quarter.
McCoy scored on the 90-yard pass play by getting behind freshman safety Shane Horton, pulling in the ball at about Nevada's 35 and outrunning him to the end zone to help Nevada open a 10-3 lead with 59 seconds left in the first quarter.
UNLV threatened to score the next series, but Dixon's pass bounced out of Jerriman Rodriguez' arms at Nevada's 3 and safety Mike Samples grabbed it for an interception.
Nevada's Dwayne Sanders returned the second half kickoff 34 yards to the 44 and the Wolf Pack drove deep into UNLV territory but Porter intercepted Graziano at the 4.
Two series later Dixon completed passes of 15 yards to Chris Butler, 13 yards to Flair and 17 yards to Wolfe before Summers ripped off a 20-yard run. He scored three plays later from 6 yards out for a 10-10 tie.
At the end of the third quarter, Wolfe took a pitch from Dixon and raced 45 yards to Nevada's 29 to set up Aguayo's 42-yard field goal to give UNLV the lead 13-10 with 13:24 left in the game.
Sanders returned the ensuing kickoff 45 yards to midfield and after Graziano completed a pair of key third-down passes of 13 yards to McCoy and 11 yards to Fragger. Jaekle made a 30-yard field goal to knot it again 13-13 with 8:54 left.