Sports

Stanford's rushing attack had all the Wright stuff

 

Senior running back Remound Wright ran for four touchdowns and the Cardinal defense took care of the rest, as Stanford defeated Cal, 38-17, Saturday in the 117th edition of the Big Game at Memorial Stadium to take the Axe for the fifth consecutive season.

Stanford (6-5 overall, 4-4 Pac-12) claimed bowl eligibility for the sixth year in a row, matching its longest streak of six-win seasons since the Great Depression.

Blake Martinez, who had two interceptions and forced a fumble, led a stout Cardinal defense, which held Cal to 17 points. Martinez became the first player to record two picks in the Big Game since 2001.

Kevin Hogan finished 15 of 20 passing for 214 and rushed for 46 yards and a touchdown on seven carries.

Hogan improved to 22-8 as the Stanford starting quarterback and 12-2 against unranked opponents.

Stanford spread things out on the opening play when Hogan found Hooper across the middle for an 18-yard strike.

Wright followed with a 30-yard scamper out of the jumbo package to put the Cardinal in scoring position, and the running back plunged in from one yard away to put Stanford ahead, 7-0.

The rushing score was Wright's first in five games and third on the season, while also marking the fourth time Stanford scored on its opening drive in as many contests.

Jordan Williamson connected on a 24-yard field goal to cap an 11-play, 61-yard scoring drive with 4:55 remaining in the first to bump Stanford's lead to 10-0.

Cal responded by driving the length of the field and knocked on the Cardinal's door, only to have Martinez force a Daniel Lasco fumble that was recovered by A.J. Tarpley on third and goal.

Stanford's late first-quarter punt came after it failed to score against Cal for the first time in five drives dating to 2013. Prior to punter Ben Rhyne's debut, Stanford had scored on 11 of its last 15 drives against Cal.

Quarterback Jared Goff threw a 10-yard pass to Stephen Anderson for Cal's second-quarter score to make it 10-7 in favor of the visitors.

Wright carried a sloth of Bears into the end zone for a five-yard scoring rush midway through the second for the first two-score output of his career, but he was only halfway done with his scoring for the day.

James Vaughters tipped a Goff pass with 4:49 left in the half, which landed in the hands of Martinez for an interception that gave the Cardinal another scoring chance.

Stanford entered the game tied for last among Pac-12 teams in turnover margin at minus-10, but had three takeaways by the half. The third came when Martinez picked off another Goff pass inside the Cal 15 with less than three minutes remaining in the second quarter.

Hogan made it 24-7 on a keeper from five yards away.

Wright's third rushing touchdown came two yards out to punctuate an eight-play, 74-yard drive early in the third quarter, extending the Cardinal's lead to 31-7.

Cal used a favorable 27-yard punt return late in the third and appeared to pull within 31-14, but twice had touchdowns taken away by both penalty and an overturned review.

Instead, the Bears settled for James Langford's 38-yard field goal with 1:21 left in the quarter to make it 31-10.

Wright added his fourth rushing touchdown of the game to cap a nine-play, 78-yard drive and give the Cardinal a 38-10 lead.

Wright is the first Stanford player to score four rushing touchdowns in a game since Stepfan Taylor ran for four scores against Arizona in 2010.

Cal running back Daniel Lasco added a 12-yard rushing score to put the final tally at 38-17.

Stanford's 101 points over its last two games against Cal is the highest tally in consecutive games by either team in the 117-game history of the rivalry.

Stanford closes out its regular season on Friday at UCLA. Kickoff is set for 12:30 p.m. on ABC.

— Stanford Athletics

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