California Bowl IX Recap
Dec. 9, 1989
Score By Quarters Ball State 0 6 0 0 - 6 Fresno State 0 10 3 14 - 27FRESNO, Calif. - With the coin flip landing in Ball State favor the Bulldogs kicked off the last Fresno State football game of the decade unaware that the game would result in a 27-6 victory over Ball State, an 11-1 winning season, the second consecutive California Raisin Bowl victory and the Bulldogs' fourth California Raisin Bowl title in eight years ('82, '85, '88, '89).
With 31,610 Fresno State fans packing Bulldog Stadium the 'Dogs led the Ball State Cardinals through a scoreless first period. The second quarter brought 10 more minutes of empty scoreboard windows until the Bulldogs took control of the game kicking a 33-yard field goal by Steve Loop.
The three point Ball State deficit did not hold as Ball State drove 73 yards, following a failed 44-yard Bulldog field goal attempt, to threaten Fresno State from 1-yard line. Cardinal Tom Barbee snuck into the endzone, but the extra point soared wide to the left putting Ball State ahead 6-3.
The Bulldogs retaliated in full force with a completed pass from Mark Barsotti to Stephen Shelley who ran the ball unscathed into the endzone for a 91-yard touchdown. Loop's extra point sent the 'Dogs into halftime with a 10-6 lead.
The third quarter of play continued to boost the Fresno State Red Wave moral. Loop nailed a field goal through the uprights from 27-yards pushing the Bulldog spread to 13-6.
The final minutes of play cemented the Bulldog win as Fresno State pulled away with two more touchdowns, holding the Cardinal to the original six points they found in the second quarter.
Less than a minute into the fourth quarter Ron Cox, a junior All-American, intercepted a BSU desperation pass and ran the ball 58 yards into the endzone. Loop sent another extra point to the scoreboard that now displayed a 20-6 Fresno State lead.
The contest was put to an end with an easy touchdown pass from Eric Buechele to wide-open Curt Thornton standing alone in the endzone. Loop rocketed his third successful extra point of the game tallying the 27-6 Fresno State California Raisin Bowl victory.
Cox received Most Valuable Player of the game.