The Greatest Comeback in CFSL History

Ryan Moreland · June 14, 2024


By: Ryan Moreland (@ryanmoreland)

This week saw its fair share of wild games, but none better than Oregon’s 55-52 upset of Penn State. This was a great game for so many reasons. It went into overtime, Oregon punched their playoff ticket with the win, and there were a combined 6 turnovers. But the reason this game is getting its own article is because Oregon pulled off the largest comeback in CFSL history.

With 1:32 left before halftime Penn State QB Sean Keohane found WR Kyle Claxon in the back of the endzone for the team’s fifth touchdown. A Kalani Nakamura extra point would make it 35-0 with Penn State out in front. “[I was] heartbroken,” said Oregon AD Gavin Lussier. “Being down by so much you kinda want to get it over with and accept defeat,” Lussier continued.

Penn State WR Kyle Claxon caught the ball in the back of the endzone.

The Twitch Chat was starting to thin out as everyone expected the game was over. Oregon scored a touchdown soon after but still went into the half trailing by 28 points. “We couldn’t get it going on either side of the ball,” Oregon HB Ryan Ralosky said. But he said the team wasn’t ready to throw in the towel. “We got that fight mentality at Oregon.” And fight they would.

The Ducks came back out and dominated the third quarter. Oregon scored 21 unanswered points to shrink the lead to 7 entering the final quarter. The last of those 3rd quarter scores was set up by an Isiah Mosley interception. When asked, Lussier said this was the moment he knew his team was going to make the comeback.

Oregon CB Theo Markos knocked the ball free with a violent hit.

Penn State came back to life in the 4th quarter, scoring 14 points. Oregon just came off a 21-point quarter, only to do it again. The Ducks scored 42 points in the fourth quarter and the game was headed to overtime. However, the Ducks weren’t nervous about going to OT. “I was locked in at that point,” Raloksy said. “[The] crowd was nonexistent to me.”

Penn State would start overtime with the football. The Oregon defense forced a 3 and out, thanks in part to DE Autrie Fendall getting a pass deflection on 3rd down. Penn State would be forced to settle for 3 and the Duck offense took the field.

The Ducks lost yardage on first and second down to start the drive. On 3rd and 13, Oregon QB Claude DuBois needed a big play and he found one. DuBois fired a laser to a wide-open Gavin Lussier (the player, not the AD) to pick up the first down and keep the drive alive. One play later DuBois kept the read option and ran it in for a game-winning touchdown. The largest comeback in CFSL history was complete.

Oregon QB Claude DuBois prepared to fire the ball downfield on a would-be touchdown.

“We have been telling ourselves and anyone else that would listen that we have something special here at Oregon,” said star CB Theo Markos. “I think this proves it.” The Ducks proved it indeed. This win earned them a spot in the playoffs.

I consider myself lucky that I got to call this game and I know my broadcast partner Jeff Melinyshyn would say the same. The young Oregon AD summed it up the best. “It was a miracle.”


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