Christian Chapman threw an 8-yard touchdown pass to tight end David Wells with 54 seconds left, capping a wild ending sparked by a darkness delay in San Diego State’s 20-17 victory over No. 19 Stanford on Saturday night.
Six plays before Wells’ score, the game was delayed nearly 25 minutes when most of the lights went out at 50-year-old San Diego Stadium. The city has fallen behind on maintenance of the stadium, and the NFL’s Chargers moved to Los Angeles earlier this year after they couldn’t get a deal for a new home.
The game resumed with the Aztecs on the Stanford 42, and SDSU quickly moved in for the score. On the winner, Chapman rolled right and found Wells, who slammed into Brandon Simmons and tumbled into the end zone.
After the lights went out, thousands of fans shined lights from their cellphones.
“I was saying it was the calm before the storm-type thing,” Chapman said. “We’re all in there, we were telling each other, ‘This this is it.’ I mean, crazy can’t write it any better. The lights shut off, you’re in the stadium, everyone’s showing their lights, the fans are going crazy.”
Stanford coach David Shaw said he didn’t think the delay affected Stanford’s defense.
“If anything, San Diego State had the momentum,” he said. “They’d just gotten an explosive play, they got a big play before the lights went out.”