Mercy Bowl II Recap
Dec. 11, 1971
Score By Quarters CS Fullerton 7 3 0 7 - 17 Fresno State 0 0 7 7 - 14ANAHEIM, Calif. - Playing for the 14 surviving children of three Fullerton State assistant coaches and a pilot who died in an airplane crash only a month earlier, the Fullerton State Titans came from behind to take the 17-14 Mercy Bowl II victory over the Fresno State Bulldogs.
In the second bowl in Fresno State history played for plane crash victims (1961 Mercy Bowl), the 'Dogs were never able to find a rhythm that would disassemble the Fullerton State offense.
The Titans led for the greater part of the match heading into the second half with a 10-0 lead over the Bulldogs. With 3:21 remaining in the first period Titan Don Cotalic blocked a Bulldog punt scoring on a 22-yard run. Bare-foot kicker Craig Hiatt earned the extra point for the Titans finding the early 7-0 lead. Before the half ended Fullerton State capitalized on more Bulldog trouble as a wild pass from Bulldog center Harry Mestjian caused desperation kick from Atomic Torosian netting only five yards. Bulldog penalties moved Fullerton State to the nine-yard line where the shoeless Titan nailed a 25-yard field goal for the 10-0 lead.
The Bulldogs found their strength after halftime driving 66 yards in just six plays and scoring off a 12-yard strike from John Behrens to Ben Childers. Childers caught the pigskin at the three-yard line and barreled his way into the endzone with two Fullerton State defenders hanging on his shirttail. Luis Stoetzl secured the extra point cutting the Titan lead to only three.
Fresno State fed off the Bulldog momentum finding seven more points to send to the scoreboard from a Fullerton fumble recovery and a 54-yard rocket from Behrens to flanker Gene Austin. Stoetzl nailed the extra point giving the Bulldogs their first 14-10 lead of the game.
The Titans retaliated however finding their last seven on an 88-yard drive, 11-play, 5-yard pass TD with only 3:32 left to play.