Schneider's four field goals help Cal edge StanfordDec 2, 2006 - 11:30 PM BERKELEY, California (Ticker) -- Tom Schneider took advantage of a second chance to put away Stanford.
Schneider iced the game in the final minute with his fourth field goal as No. 21 California overcame a sluggish performance to defeat Pac-10 Conference rival Stanford for a fifth straight year, 26-17.
DeSean Jackson had seven catches for 127 yards and Syd'Quan Thompson scored on a 15-yard fumble return for the Golden Bears (9-3, 7-2 Pac-10), who matched their longest winning streak against the Cardinal, set from 1919-23.
"After a hard-fought game, there's no question we're proud of our seniors," Cal coach Jeff Tedford said. "Our seniors leave here having The Axe (trophy) five straight times. I'm real proud that we can leave this season with those guys having The Axe and being undefeated at home."
Cal was clinging to a 23-17 lead just over a minute into the fourth quarter when star tailback Marshawn Lynch lost a fumble at his own 14 and Stanford safety Bo McNally recovered. But the Cardinal came away empty-handed when Aaron Zagory pushed a 30-yard field goal well left.
With a chance to give the Bears a two-score advantage, Schneider narrowly missed a 42-yard kick wide left with 8:07 remaining. But the Cardinal failed to take advantage, going three-and-out.
Cal calmly moved the ball downfield, with Jackson picking up a key first down on a reverse, setting up Schneider's 30-yard field goal with 58 seconds left.
Overcoming heavy winds, Schneider also made a school record-tying 55-yard kick in the first quarter, a 23-yarder in the second and a 40-yarder in the third.
"Memorial Stadium is a bit odd geographically, with the way the wind comes across the field," Schneider said. "On days like this, you just have to pick a spot and stick with it."
"(Tom) had a great day," Tedford said. "We have a lot of confidence in Tom. I thought he did a great job today. ... We're proud of his performance."
The Bears, who had lost their previous two games, won despite a sub-par outing from quarterback Nate Longshore, who completed just 14-of-31 passes for 217 yards and a touchdown.
T.C. Ostrander went 15-of-31 for 204 yards and two TDs for the Cardinal (1-11, 1-8), who capped a miserable second season under coach Walt Harris.
"Our guys gave tremendous effort," Harris said. "This is the kind of effort our team needs to have every week, and if we had done that we would not have the record we have."
Cal opened a 13-3 lead with 2:32 left in the second quarter when Thompson picked up a fumble by Ostrander and ran it back 15 yards to the end zone.
Ostrander answered just 1:20 later with an eight-yard TD toss to Richard Sherman.
Longshore made it 20-10 early in the third quarter with a 32-yard TD toss to Lavelle Hawkins before Ostrander pulled the Cardinal within three points with a 51-yard scoring strike to Evan Moore.
"We stepped up pretty big-time today," Ostrander said. "This is the most success we've had moving down the field in a while. We just needed to capitalize.
"Our guys played with a lot of heart. I thought the O-line stepped up big-time and I'm proud of them for that."
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