The Duel in the Desert – Who Won the Territorial Cup?

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The Duel in the Desert – Who Won the Territorial Cup?

Jacob Pieczynski, Contributor

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The rivalry between Arizona State University and the University of Arizona has made Arizonans clash over which faction is best. One of the oldest rivalries in NCAA history, the Duel in the Desert started awarding the legendary Territorial Cup all the way back in 1899 when ASU was still called the Tempe Normal School.

While ASU had the better record, they still came into the football game as an underdog. The Arizona Wildcats started on their own four-yard line. They went on a long drive down the field but stalled and had to kick a field goal with 7:06 remaining in the first. The ASU Sun Devils took the ball but went three and punted it to the Wildcat twenty. After four major plays, U of A scored. After a successful extra point, the score was 10-0, Wildcats. With only a few minutes left in the quarter, the Devils took the ball and quickly moved down the field, ending their drive with a 58-yard touchdown between quarterback Manny Wilkins and receiver Brandon Aiyuk.

To start the second quarter, U of A got the ball on the ASU 26 early in the quarter. Their drive slowed down in ASU territory. The field goal that resulted brought the score up to 13-7. After a bit, the Wildcats got the ball again. Shawn Poindexter caught a pass from quarterback Khalil Tate for a touchdown. They tried and failed the two-point conversion. ASU took the ball again and scored a touchdown after a run by Eno Benjamin. They made the extra point and were only down by five. Arizona drove down the field yet again but ended up having to kick a field goal.

In the third quarter, Arizona State was penalized and ended up deep in their own territory. Arizona’s PJ Johnson scored the safety on ASU to make the score 24-14. U of A received the kickoff but yet again had to settle with a field goal. On ASU’s next possession, Eno Benjamin got another touchdown to bring the score to a manageable 27-21, Wildcats. The Wildcats scored another two touchdowns, bringing the score all the way to 40-21. At this point, many Arizona State fans were losing hope.

Finally, the fourth quarter arrived. ASU started the quarter on its own 25, and almost scored a touchdown. After kicking a field goal, ASU became extremely pressed for time. ASU quarterback Manny Wilkins scored a touchdown with just over six minutes left in the quarter. After starting down by 19, they brought the Wildcat lead down to 8 after the two-point conversion. Tate threw an interception, from which ASU scored a field goal. With only three minutes left in the game, ASU would need a miracle to get the touchdown they needed to score. The miracle came when Tate fumbled the ball and Eno Benjamin scored a clutch touchdown. They failed the two-point conversion, but ASU was up for the first time in the game, 41-40. Arizona had one last chance to win. They charged down the field all the way to the ASU 35. With only seconds left in the game, the Wildcats decided to kick a 45-yard field goal that would give them the victory. Kicker Josh Pollack went wide, giving ASU the insane win and the Territorial Cup.

https://247sports.com/college/arizona/Article/Arizona-Arizona-State-Game-Recap-125216489/

https://www.sbnation.com/college-football/2017/11/25/16673480/arizona-asu-rivalry-trophy-territorial-cup

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