Sports

Mission Prep grad Patrick Laird has breakout game for Cal in win over UNC

Cal Bears running back Patrick Laird, pictured here in 2016, had the best game of his college career in a win over UNC to open the 2017 season.
Cal Bears running back Patrick Laird, pictured here in 2016, had the best game of his college career in a win over UNC to open the 2017 season. isiphotos.com

Patrick Laird predicted it.

“I think this season, I will probably create something that will be the best moment of my career so far in football,” Laird, a Mission Prep graduate and former walk-on running back for the Cal Bears, told The Tribune after being awarded an athletic scholarship.

That moment came Saturday in Cal’s come-from-behind 35-30 win over UNC to open its 2017 season.

With Cal down 17-14 with just less than five minutes left in the third quarter, Laird caught a pass from quarterback Ross Bowers and took off up the sideline, stopping on a dime before pushing his way for the 54-yard score.

Even L.A. Chargers quarterback and former Cal Bear Jared Goff took notice.

“Pat Laird you PSYCHO!” Goff tweeted.

UNC re-took the lead, but the Bears scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns to seal the win.

Laird, a red-shirt junior, finished the game with the best stat line of his college career: three carries for 9 yards and two catches for 59 yards and a touchdown.

Bowers went 24-of-38 for 363 yards and four touchdowns passing.

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