College Sports

Roseville High grad on winning interception for Cal in overtime: ‘It’s crazy’

California linebacker Jordan Kunaszyk, second from left, is congratulated after intercepting a pass in the second overtime of an NCAA college football game against Oregon in Berkeley, Calif., Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016. California won 52-49.
California linebacker Jordan Kunaszyk, second from left, is congratulated after intercepting a pass in the second overtime of an NCAA college football game against Oregon in Berkeley, Calif., Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016. California won 52-49. AP photo

Cal linebacker Jordan Kunaszyk, a Roseville High School graduate who attended American River College, was the hero at the end of the game Friday night in Pac 12 action.

Kunaszyk, a redshirt sophomore, sealed the win with an interception on the FBS-record 203rd play, giving California a 52-49 victory over Oregon.

After more than 200 plays, 101 points and 1,086 yards of offense, it was California's defense that stepped up at the end to seal another thrilling game for the Golden Bears.

Matt Anderson kicked a 28-yard field goal in the second overtime before Kunaszyk’s interception ended the game.

"It's crazy," Kunaszyk said. "I just remember going into OT, I was like, 'Man, another one of these games.' Every one of our games is close. I wouldn't want it any other way."

Kunaszyk prepped at Roseville High School, where the two-time All-Sierra Foothill League selection combined for 178 tackles, 30.0 tackles and 5.0 sacks during his two varsity campaigns in 2012 and 2013, according to his Cal bio.

This was the sixth straight game for Cal that went down to the closing minutes, including an overtime loss at Oregon State two weeks ago and a home win against Utah the previous week when Cal's defense came up with a late goal-line stand.

Five of those six games featured both teams scoring at least 40 points but the defense delivered when it mattered most.

"Our defense's back was against the wall, just like it was against Utah," coach Sonny Dykes said. "Jordan made a big time break on the ball. You could kind of see it developing. He threw it a tad bit late."

Davis Webb threw five touchdown passes and ran for a sixth to lead the way for the Golden Bears (4-3, 2-2 Pac-12), who snapped a seven-game losing streak to Oregon.

Freshman Justin Herbert threw six touchdown passes and rallied Oregon back from a 20-point deficit in the third quarter but it wasn't enough for the Ducks (2-5, 0-4), who lost their fifth straight game for their longest skid since 1996.

"I feel awful that we couldn't get it done for them, of how they've stuck together and weathered through a lot, they've had a lot of opportunities to splinter and they haven't," coach Mark Helfrich said.

The one positive for the Ducks was the play of the freshman Herbert, who threw for 258 yards, including a 20-yard TD to Jalen Brown in the first overtime, in his second career start.

"He's obviously very hard on himself with how the end occurred but we should've really never been in that situation," Helfrich said. "I'd do the exact same thing at the end, and trust him to make the play."

The Bears have another weeknight game when they travel to USC next Thursday, a fact that drew the ire of Dykes.

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