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The 122nd Big Game, Second Half: Cal Retakes the Axe in 24-20 Win, Now Bowl-Eligible

Cal still in the game, looking to return the Axe home

NCAA Football: California at Stanford
Christopher Brown Jr. celebrates a seven-yard touchdown
Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports

As expected, the 122nd Big Game is an emotional affair. The two sides have battled one another closely in the first half, largely trading blows tit-for-tat.

The Stanford Cardinal scored first with a two-minute drive capped off by a 40-yard pass caught by Donald Stewart. Much to the chagrin of the California Golden Bears faithful, redshirt-senior safety Ashtyn Davis did not start, and The Takers were beaten early.

Not to be outdone, California marched down the field 90 yards for a touchdown in a six-minutes-and-two-seconds drive, its longest touchdown drive this season. Fan-favorite running back Christopher Brown Jr. took it to the house in what Pac-12 Networks broadcasters called “God’s play,” with a seven-yard run.

California and Stanford settled for 49-yard and 48-yard field goals in the second half, the previous boot a career-long for Golden Bear Greg Thomas.

California and quarterback Chase Garbers, who won the toss and deferred to the start the game, will now get a chance to take a lead after the half.