Brayden Fowler-Nicolosi-Dallin Holker Hail Mary seals CSU win over Boise State

FORT COLLINS — The Boise Streak is dead. And the CSU Rams’ football season suddenly has a new lease on life.

One of the wildest finishes in Rams football history ended with arguably its wildest play, as Brayden Fowler-Nicolosi’s Hail Mary as time expired was batted into the waiting arms of CSU tight end Dallin Holker, sealing a 31-30 victory — the program’s first-ever over the Broncos.

Boise defenders Jaylen Clark and Rodney Robinson appeared to leap over CSU’s Tory Horton and Louis Brown IV to combine to bat the ball down in the end zone, but it was cradled by Holker for the game-winner. A replay review confirmed the score, and after an extra-point sealed the comeback, bedlam ensued.

By the time the Rams (3-3, 1-1 Mountain West) made it interesting, Canvas Stadium was largely empty. Two onside kicks and two lightning-quick scores helped CSU erase a 30-10 deficit with 6:12 left in regulation.

And a CSU football season that hit a speed bump at Utah State last weekend is back on the winning track again — just as the Rams dive into their toughest month of conference play.

CSU visits resurgent UNLV (5-1, 2-0 MW) next weekend. On Oct. 28, the Rams host rival Air Force (6-0, 4-0), which rallied to beat Wyoming early Saturday evening. And speaking of the Cowboys, that’s who CSU visits on the weekend of Nov. 3, a Friday night showdown for the Bronze Boot against a set of Pokes (5-2, 2-1) who still think they have a shot at the Mountain West championshp despite losing at the Academy.

While the game itself proved to be chippy and somewhat hapzardly officiated, CSU officials had good news for Rams fans Saturday evening in announcing that freshman defensive lineman Kennedy McDowell, who left the tilt on a stretcher cart after a late hit on the opening kickoff of the second half, was taken to UCHealth Poudre Valley Hospital, had movement in his extremities and was “responsive.”

A salty second half opened up with the scariest moment of the evening. McDowell took what appeared to be a blindside hit from Boise’s Chase Martin. McDowell laid on the field for several minutes before medical crews arrived, eventually flashing a thumbs-up to the faithful at Canvas before exiting the playing field.

Things got testier from there. After a 5-yard pass to CSU’s Dawson Menegatti at the Boise 26 drew another late hit, the Rams retailiated. Center Jacob Gardner ran in and shoved the offender, Broncos nickel back Seyi Oladipo of Eaglecrest High, to the ground. After that, all heck broke loose near the left hash and across from the CSU bench.

Several shoves and words were exchanged at the 10:51 mark, three players received unsportsmanlike conduct fouls, as did Rams coach Jay Norvell, to Boise’s one, but the penalties offset.

The scrum seemed to light a fire under an otherwise sleepy CSU roster to that point, as the Rams capped off the drive by marching 56 yards on 10 plays for their first touchdown of the evening.

The first half, capping one of the worst offensive displays of the Norvell Era, ended with a 45-yard field goal attempt with the Rams trailing 17-0 and looking for anything positive to take into the locker room.

The kick was blocked.

Boise cornerback Kaonohi Kaniho came hard off the far boundary and got a hand in and impacted Jordan Noyes’ try by a finger or two. Which was all it took.

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