Air Force gets first conference win 41-35

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LAS VEGAS (AP) - Isaiah Sanders accounted for four touchdowns Friday night to lead Air Force to a 41-35 win over UNLV.

Sanders completed 9 of 11 passes for 217 yards and one touchdown and rushed for 173 yards and three TDs. Rona Cleveland had three receptions for 100 yards and one touchdown for the Falcons.

Air Force (3-4, 1-3 Mountain West) held off a late rally by UNLV, which erased a 20-point deficit with 5:45 left in the third quarter by scoring 14 unanswered points.

The Falcons stopped UNLV (2-5, 0-3) on fourth-and-8 with less than two minutes left in the game, as Max Gilliam's pass to Darren Woods Jr. fell incomplete.

Gilliam, who was making his third start in place of injured starter Armani Rogers, was 26-of-38 passing for 261 yards and three touchdowns and one interception. The sophomore averaged 186.5 yards passing in his previous two starts for the Rebels, who rank 123rd nationally with just 123.7 yards per contest.

Lexington Thomas rushed for 108 yards and two touchdowns for UNLV.

The Rebels held a 21-20 lead at halftime, but Air Force wasted no time in jumping on a UNLV defense that allowed 109 points and 1,100 yards in its previous two games.

The Falcons - which tallied 572 yards of offense - scored 21 unanswered points in the third quarter to pull ahead 41-21. The Rebels' defense has allowed more than 500 yards in four of their seven games this season.

Air Force, which has the 106th-ranked offense in the nation, had no trouble moving the ball against UNLV, converting on its first seven possessions - two field goals and five touchdowns.

TAKEAWAY

Air Force: The Falcons kept their bowl hopes alive by securing their third win of the season. After hosting preseason Mountain Division favorite Boise State next week, the Falcons close the season against Army, New Mexico, Wyoming and Colorado State, who have a combined record of 12-14.

UNLV: While the Rebels continue to struggle defensively, Thomas continues to climb the ladder as UNLV's most successful running back. His 74-yard TD run was his second run of more than 70 yards this season, contributing to his 16th game with at least 100 yards rushing. He ranks second behind Mike Thomas on the all-time list for 100-yard games. Thomas (3,148) is two yards shy of passing Thomas (3,149) for career rushing yards. He is 586 shy of passing Tim Cornett (3,733) as the school's all-time rushing leader.

UP NEXT

Air Force: Hosts Boise State next Saturday

UNLV: Travels to San Jose State next Saturday

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