Arizona football beats ASU to win their first Territorial Cup since 2016

Nathanial Stenchever | The Daily Wildcat

The Arizona football team holds the Territorial Cup after winning a game against rival Arizona State University on Nov. 25, at Arizona Stadium. The Wildcats won 38-35.

The Arizona football team defeated ASU 38-35 to win their first Territorial Cup since 2016, ending a five year drought against their rival. 

The Sun Devils got the ball first on Friday afternoon and picked up a couple of first downs before having to punt to Arizona.

Junior running back Michael Wiley ran for 22 yards on the first play of the Wildcats' first possession. After a completion to junior wide receiver Jacob Cowing from sophomore quarterback Jayden de Laura, Wiley took his next handoff 51 yards to the end zone to give Arizona the lead of 7-0 with 8:51 remaining in the first quarter.

On the next ASU drive, they were driving into Arizona territory until junior safety Jaxen Turner intercepted ASU quarterback Trenton Bourguet, after it was broken up by sophomore cornerback Treydan Stukes in coverage. Turner returned his second interception of the season 28 yards to the Arizona 30-yard line, only the third interception for the Wildcats on the season. De Laura and the offense couldn’t move the ball, however, and were forced to punt.


Arizona State sophomore receiver Javen Jacobs muffed the punt by Arizona punter Kyle Ostendorp and the Wildcats were able to recover, setting up their best field position of the day at the ASU 40-yard line.

On 3rd down and 4, de Laura scrambled outside the pocket and found Wiley for a back-shoulder reception on the right sideline for the first down. De Laura found Cowing on the next third down to set up first and goal from ASU's 7-yard line as the first quarter ended with Arizona leading ASU 7-0.

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Dorian Singer a wide receiver on the Arizona football team catches a pass in a game against ASU on Nov. 25, in Arizona Stadium. The Wildcats would win in the last minutes 38-35. 

Arizona kicker Tyler Loop hit a 29-yard field goal to lead off the second quarter after the offense couldn’t find the end zone. Arizona took the lead 10-0 over ASU with 14:17 remaining in the second half.

The Sun Devils responded on their next possession with likely their best drive of the day to that point, a 10-play, 75-yard drive which ended with a four-yard touchdown rush by running back Xazavian Valladay to make it 10-7 Arizona with 10:35 remaining in the first half.

De Laura found redshirt junior tight end Tanner McLachlan for a 25-yard reception to begin their next drive. Wiley then had consecutive runs of four and 13 yards to advance the ball to the ASU 33-yard line and pick up the first down. Sophomore wide receiver Dorian Singer was up next and took a catch 22 yards to the left sideline, down to the ASU 5-yard line to set up first and goal for the Wildcats.

On first and goal, de Laura dropped back and looked for Singer in the back of the end zone, but the pass was tipped by ASU redshirt fifth-year linebacker Kyle Soelle and intercepted by redshirt junior defensive back Ro Torrence. ASU would take over on the touchback trailing 10-7 with 6:22 remaining in the first half.

Arizona got the ball to start the second half and de Laura quickly completed a 27-yard pass to Singer. The Wildcats would march down the field and take the lead 17-14 off a touchdown by junior running back Johan Coleman.

Arizona State would not go away in this one, and Bourguet re-took the lead on a 9-yard touchdown pass to graduate student wide receiver Giovanni Sanders to make it 21-17 ASU with 7:08 remaining in the third quarter.

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Kyon Barrs a defensive tackle on the Arizona football team holds the Territorial Cup with teammate Jacob Kongaia after winning a game against rival Arizona State University on Nov. 25, in Arizona Stadium. The wildcats won 38-35.

De Laura found Singer for 42 yards to the right side of the field to quickly advance into Sun Devil territory on the next drive. Wiley continued his big day and ran for 21 yards on the next play, followed by another 12-yard gain for the touchdown as Arizona retook the lead 24-21 with 6:07 remaining in the third quarter.

The Sun Devils approached Arizona territory on their next drive until Turner recovered a fumble on the Arizona 21-yard line, fumbled by sophomore running back Tevin White.

On the ensuing offensive possession for Arizona, Wiley took his second handoff 72 yards up the middle of the field for the touchdown to stretch Arizona’s lead to 31-21 with 3:53 remaining in the third quarter.

Arizona State put together an 8-play, 74-yard drive to keep the Sun Devils in it as time expired in the third quarter. Valladay punched in the touchdown from 1-yard out to make it 31-28 Arizona.

The Wildcats went three-and-out on their next possession and were forced to punt, allowing ASU to put together another successful drive ending in a four-yard touchdown pass from Bourguet to redshirt junior tight end Jalin Conyers to take the lead over Arizona 35-31.

Arizona began their next offensive possession needing a touchdown to take the lead, and de Laura hit Wiley for a 30-yard catch-and-run on the first play. A couple of penalties allowed the Wildcats to get down the field quickly, a pass interference call on Torrence and a facemask on defensive lineman Anthonie Cooper. Senior running back DJ Williams ran in a touchdown from six yards out to take the lead over ASU 38-35 with 8:53 remaining in the game.

Arizona State had a last-gasp chance to try to tie or take the lead with 1:33 remaining in the game starting at their 28-yard line.

Arizona redshirt freshman safety Isaiah Taylor intercepted Bourguet at the 50-yard line as freshman linebacker Jacob Manu got to the quarterback as well. With 1:16 remaining and no timeouts left for ASU, de Laura knelt the ball and Arizona won the Territorial Cup 38-35.

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