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It was a weekend of Wildcat victories, some more exciting than others

NCAA Football: Iowa State at Kansas State Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

Football

Kansas State beat Iowa State 20-19 on Senior Day in Manhattan yesterday. It was the 10th consecutive victory for the Wildcats over the Cyclones, and Kansas State is now just one win away from evening the all-time series (which Iowa State leads 49-48-4).

But these are just numbers, and numbers could never capture the insanity that is Farmageddon. In 2015, Kansas State needed a miracle, and somehow got it. In 2017, Kansas State needed a two-minute drill from a freshman quarterback, and somehow got it.

Iowa State topped Kansas State in total yards, time of possession, first downs, third downs, and penalty yards. For much of the game, the Cyclones dominated the line of scrimmage and looked like they’d finally pull off their first victory over Kansas State in a decade.

The offense didn’t grade out well for three quarters, and Bill Snyder was particularly critical of the decision to not pass the ball for much of the game. Through three stanzas, the Wildcats had 99 total yards of offense and just three first downs. The fourth quarter changed all that though. Kansas State had 165 yards in just the last quarter, including a 68-yard touchdown drive that helped close Iowa State’s lead to just five points.

Thompson then led the team 87 yards in 1:55 for the winning score, and won himself a place in Kansas State lore forever.

As Jon Morse notes in his post-game recap, this victory belonged to Thompson, of course, but also to Dominique Heath, Zach Reuter, and Isaiah Zuber, who all deserve major props as well. It belonged to Sean Snyder too, whose unprecedented display of emotion on the sidelines may have actually keyed the victory.

But still, this was Thompson’s moment more than any other player’s. He grew up last week, and this week, he cemented his place in the purple imagination. In the waning minutes of the game, Thompson managed a feat that we’ve rarely seen from Kansas State before. For me, it brought back memories of that Carl Straw drive against North Texas that gave Snyder his first victory in Manhattan. Indeed, Stan Weber’s breathless play-by-play closely recalled Mitch Holthus completely losing his mind in 1989.

In a sense, and if and only if this win turns out to be Snyder’s last in Manhattan, Thompson’s two-minute drill brings Kansas State full circle. The past is the present, and the present is the future.

What’s next for Kansas State? Well, a bowl game is a certainty, but we may have to wait a little longer to find out exactly which one. Our own JT VanGilder breaks down various bowl scenarios, and there’s a poll, so vote for your bowl destination of choice!

Basketball

After a late rally fell short against Arizona State, Kansas State regrouped to beat George Washington 67-59 and took third place at the Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational on Friday.

Kamau Stokes led the team in scoring with 19 points, while Dean Wade had 17 points and nine rebounds. The Wildcats had 18 points in the paint in just the first half, with Wade leading the charge and Makol Mawien adding eight on 4-of-4 shooting. For the game, Kansas State shot 50% from the field and was nearly perfect from the free throw line (9-of-10).

Up next, the Wildcats return to Bramlage Coliseum to take on Oral Roberts. Tip off is set for 7 PM on Wednesday and the game will be on FOXSports Kansas City and/or ESPN3.

The women, also coming off a tough loss to #4/5 UCLA, played a more complete game against Penn State and notched a 70-65 victory at the South Point Thanksgiving Shootout.

Peyton Williams had a career-high 19 points to tie teammate Kayla Goth for the game. Williams also had eight rebounds while Goth managed six assists. Kaylee Page had 13 points, seven rebounds, two blocks, and two assists.

A strong fourth quarter run helped seal the victory. Overall, the Wildcats shot 42% from the field and 81.8% from the free throw line while holding Penn State to just 34% shooting.

The Wildcats will stay on the road to take on Missouri on Thursday in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge. Tip off is set for 8 PM and the game will air on the SEC Network as well as on ESPN3.