The 2018 First Responder Bowl never happened. The 2019 First Responder Bowl will never be forgotten.
Okay, maybe not, but freshman Cory Munson booted a 52-yard field goal as time expired to lift Western Kentucky to a 23-20 win over Western Michigan in Dallas.
After a 10-10 first half in which WKU quarterback Ty Storey through a pick six and Munson missed a 29-yarder at the halftime gun, Western Michigan took its first lead on a 6-yard Jon Wassink pass to DaShon Bussell, capping a 10-play, 90-yard drive.
WKU (9-4) tied the game with 10:40 to play on a 5-yard strike from Storey to Lucky Jackson, and the teams then exchanged long field goal drives — a 12-play drive that put WMU ahead 20-17 with 4:58 left, then a 9-play drive that tied the game at 20 with 1:36 remaining.
Western Michigan (7-6) then moved in position to win the game with a 3rd-and-1 from the WKU 28 and 37 seconds remaining, and the Broncos had the perfect play drawn up: a zone-read keeper that gave Wassink a red carpet straight to the end zone. All he had to do was keep his feet.
He couldn’t keep his feet.
If there was a college football version of Shaqtin' a Fool, this would be on it.
Oh noooooo 😭😭😭 pic.twitter.com/iFpAZDr0SZ
— Yahoo Sports College Football (@YahooSportsCFB) December 30, 2019
Rather than attempt a 52-yard field goal, WMU head coach Tim Lester elected to go for a 4th-and-3 from the WKU 30, but Wassink’s pass was broken up and the Hilltoppers regained possession with 27 seconds and one timeout.
Storey found running back Gaej Walker for completions of 11 and 20 yards, taking the ball from WKU’s own 30 to the WMU 39, but head Hilltopper Tyson Helton elected to try a Hail Mary with three seconds remaining rather than ask Munson to kick a 57-yard field goal.
The Hail Mary fell incomplete, but the play was a success. After protest by the WKU bench, officials reviewed the play and found 12 Broncos on the field, giving Western Kentucky one untimed down. Helton elected to kick from 52 yards, and Munson’s kick was good.