Washington State offensive lineman Jarrett Kingston (52) lifts wide receiver Calvin Jackson Jr. while celebrating Jackson’s touchdown during the first half of a game against Stanford on Saturday in Pullman. (AP Photo/Young Kwak)

Washington State offensive lineman Jarrett Kingston (52) lifts wide receiver Calvin Jackson Jr. while celebrating Jackson’s touchdown during the first half of a game against Stanford on Saturday in Pullman. (AP Photo/Young Kwak)

Washington State rallies to beat Stanford

Max Borghi scores with 1:30 left in the game as the Cougars come back for a close 34-31 win.

Associated Press

PULLMAN — Max Borghi scored on a 2-yard run with 1:30 left in the game as Washington State came back to beat Stanford 34-31 on Saturday in what was possibly the last game for WSU coach Nick Rolovich because of his refusal to get a COVID-19 vaccination.

The state of Washington has set a deadline of Monday for all public employees — including the Cougars’ coach — to be vaccinated against the coronavirus. Rolovich has applied for a religious exemption and his future with the team hangs on the answer.

Rolovich, who is the highest paid state employee at more than $3 million per year, has refused to be vaccinated for unspecified reasons, in defiance of Washington Gov. Jay Inslee’s mandate. He is the only unvaccinated coach in the Pac-12.

Borghi’s winning score was set up by a 41-yard pass reception by Calvin Jackson Jr. Borghi finished with 89 yards rushing and two touchdowns.

Quarterback Jayden de Laura threw for 289 yards and three touchdowns for Washington State (4-3, 3-2 Pac-12), which won its third straight game and holds a five-game winning streak against Stanford.

Austin Jones and Benjamin Yurosek caught touchdown passes for Stanford (3-4, 2-3), while Joshua Karty kicked three field goals.

Quarterback Tanner McKee fired a 45-yard touchdown pass to Yurosek on Stanford’s first possession. Karty added a pair of field goals as Stanford jumped to a 13-0 first quarter lead.

The Cougars came to life in the second quarter, as de Laura threw touchdown passes of 32 yards to Travell Harris, 31 yards to Jackson and 10 yards to De’Zhaun Stribling for a 20-13 lead.

Borghi powered over from the 2 late in the third quarter to lift WSU to a 27-16 lead.

But the Cardinal replied with a 74-yard drive. McKee pushed into the end zone from the 1 early in the fourth, then ran in the two-point conversion to cut Washington State’s lead to 27-24.

After a Washington State punt, Stanford drove 85 yards and took a 31-27 lead on McKee’s 8-yard scoring pass to Jones with 7:32 left in the game.

Washington State got the ball back on its 30 with 3:26 left. De Laura marched them down the field and Borghi scored the winning points with 1:30 left.

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