Golson goes out with injury but Irish remain unbeaten

Former Myrtle Beach High quarterback Everett Golson failed to finish a third game this season Saturday, but the Notre defense and backup QB Tommy Rees took care of it for him in a thrilling comeback win over Stanford.

The seventh-ranked Irish (6-0), who haven’t given up a touchdown since the second game of the season, stifled Stanford (4-2) when it counted in a 20-13 overtime victory Saturday. Notre Dame’s goal-line stand shut down two tries from the 1-yard line in overtime to seal the victory.

It all came after Golson suffered a head injury on a huge run and hit in the fourth period, exiting the game with the Irish trailing 13-10. His status was not immediately available as Notre Dame does not provide injury information.

Rees engineered a field-goal drive that tied the score, then gave the Irish the lead in overtime with a 7-yard pass to TJ Jones. The TD strike came after Rees hit Theo Riddick with an amazing 16-yard pass on third-and-8 to set up the score.

The Irish sent the game into overtime with a Kyle Brindza 22-yard field goal with 20 seconds to play. The 12-play, 79-yard drive was helped by a helmet-to-helmet penalty that sent Golson to the sideline and a pass interference call inside the Cardinal 20.

Stanford compounded Notre Dame’s problems with just over six minutes to play when Jason Williamson connected on a 27-yard field goal for a 13-10 lead.

After being stymied in the third quarter, the Cardinal put together a 16-play drive that ended in the three-pointer.

It took 45 minutes and 45 seconds for Notre Dame to finally score the game’s first offensive touchdown. Golson’s 24-yard connection to Tyler Eifert tied the score at 10 with 14:15 left in the game.

A 23-yard hookup with Theo Riddick early in the drive was the pivotal play leading up to the pass to Eifert. That was the tight end’s third reception of the game.

A scoreless third quarter was punctuated by Notre Dame’s 114-19 yardage edge in those 15 minutes. However, a Golson fumble inside the Stanford 20 kept the Irish from denting the scoreboard.

Both offenses struggled throughout the first half. Stanford’s 10-3 intermission lead happened primarily because of a defensive surge. Ben Gardner sacked Golson in the end zone and Chase Thomas pounced on the fumble for six points.

With six minutes to play in the first half, it was the first time all season the Irish had trailed.

Notre Dame had two golden opportunities in the first half. Late in the first quarter, safety Mathias Farley returned an interception 49 yards to the Cardinal 16. Three unsuccessful plays later, Brindza kicked a 29-yard field goal.

Near the end of the first half, the Irish marched 77 yards but stalled on the Stanford 10. A 28-yard field-goal try never happened because of a high snap.

Stanford responded with an efficient 44-yard, 96-second drive that ended with a 48-yard Jordan Williamson field goal as time expired in the half.

Notre Dame had just 106 net yards worth of offense in the first half. Stanford, meanwhile, generated 153.

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