Nevada earns first conference win; tops Air Force 28-25

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AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. (KOLO) - Ty Gangi threw for four touchdowns, two of them to Elijah Cooks, and Nevada held off a late Air Force rally to beat the Falcons 28-25 on Saturday.

Gangi completed 24-of-33 for 259 yards with scoring passes of 40 and 23 yards to Cooks, 29 yards to McLane Mannix and 30 yards to Brendan O'Leary-Orange. Nevada (3-2, 1-0 Mountain West) withstood Zane Lewis' school-record 99-yard interception return in the second quarter to win its conference opener and beat Air Force (1-3, 0-2) for the first time in three trips to Falcon Stadium.

Nevada's defense also dug in to turn back the Falcons in the final minutes. Donald Hammond III, who had replaced starting quarterback Arion Worthman midway through the third quarter, drove the Falcons deep into Nevada territory but threw incomplete into the end zone under pressure on a 4th-and-8 play from the 11-yard line with 1:16 remaining.

Nevada ran off most of the clock before deliberately taking a safety and kicking the ball back to the Falcons with 10 seconds left to play. Hammond got off two passes before time expired - both fell incomplete.

Trailing by 14 at the half, Air Force opened the second half by driving to the Nevada 26 before stalling and settling for a 43-yard field goal by Jake Koehnke.

Nevada answered with another touchdown pass by Gangi, connecting for a second time with Cooks to rebuild the Wolf Pack's lead to 28-10.

Hammond replaced Worthman at quarterback and led the Falcons to their first offensive touchdown of the day, completing a 2-yard scoring pass to Marcus Bennett and narrowing Air Force's deficit to 11 points late in the third quarter. He finished off a second drive with a 9-yard scoring run that pulled Air Force to within 5 points with 6:48 remaining after Nevada stopped a 2-point conversion try.

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