Fullback Jake Anderson slotted a clutch penalty to put the University of California just ahead of Utah and propel the Bears to a dramatic 23-22 victory over the Utes Saturday at Rio Tinto Stadium.
Goalkicking was key to this match, as Cal missed a couple of key kicks - starting flyhalf Alex Aronson missed one kick and hit the post on another. But Aronson also kicked some important points, as did Utah's Danny Christensen.
Aronson opened the scoring with a penalty eight minutes in, and then Cal scored a try - their only one - two minutes later to lead 8-0. Aronson slotted a goal midway through the first half and Cal led 11-0 through to halftime.
But it was still close, and Utah showed their ability to score from anywhere. Scrumhalf Don Pati split the midfield to score under the posts, and with Christensen's kick the score was 11-7. Christensen and Aronson traded kicks to make it 14-10, and then, after Aronson was subbed off, Anderson took over the kicking duties, propelling Cal to a 17-10 lead.
But Utah wasn't done. Tonata Lauti punished Cal out wide to make it 17-15, and after another Anderson penalty, Utah took the lead for the first time when the forwards piled over with the ball in hand. Christensen's conversion made it 22-20 with time winding down.
Then with almost no time left, Cal got another penalty. Anderson was true with his kick, and Cal won, barely, 23-22.