California Bowl VIII Recap
Dec. 10, 1988
Score By Quarters Fresno State 7 7 21 0 - 35 Western Michigan 0 17 7 6 - 30FRESNO, Calif. - Big West Conference champion Fresno State captured its third California Bowl title in seven years, before 31,272 fans in Bulldog Stadium.
The 'Dogs jumped out to an early 7-0 lead over the Broncos of Western Michigan when Mark Barsotti connected a 55-yard pass to Andre Alexander and Steve Loop nailed the extra point attempt.
The touchdown pair struck again in the second period when Barsotti found Alexander covering 38 yards, ball-in-hand, entering the endzone. Loop's extra point hit the target carrying the 'Dogs to a 14-0 lead.
The Broncos, silent through the first quarter, and the first minutes of the second, awoke to stun the Bulldogs with two consecutive touchdowns before the half dissolved. Robert Oliver crossed the line dragging a Bulldog defender off a 31-yard pass from Tony Kimbrough. John Creek gave the Broncos the extra point closing in on the Bulldog lead.
Less than two minutes passed before the Broncos landed in the endzone again. Setting up on the WMU 49-yard line, Rob Davis found a open tunnel through the defense and traveled into the endzone. Creek sent the extra point to the scoreboard tying the game 14-14.
Before time ran out, Bronco's Creek nailed a 29-yard field goal leaving the Bulldogs on their heels trailing 17-14 at the half for the first time at home during the '88 season.
The Bulldogs countered the Bronco lead in the second half with a ferocious running attack. On the Fresno State 35, Darrell Rosette located a hole in WMU defense and motored the ball 65-yards to score. Loop secured the extra point putting the Bulldogs again in the lead 21-20.
WMU responded with a touchdown by Davis only minutes later, but the Bulldogs held the momentum scoring on a 80-yard drive and a 4-yard run by Rosette.
Ahead 28-24, the Bulldogs relentlessly pushed the Broncos tallying seven more points before the third quarter closed. Bulldog Myron Jones, handled the ball on the WMU 26-yard line, faked hitting the middle and veered to the corner to run it in and score.
Fresno State's senior running back Darrell Rosette earned the Cal Bowl Most Valuable Player award after rushing for a career-high 149 yards, 101.