Johnson finishes night on one knee

Idaho StatesmanJanuary 2, 2007 

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Ian Johnson capped his storybook season with a fairytale ending at the Fiesta Bowl.

Moments after scoring the game-winning 2-point conversion — one that lifted Boise State to a dramatic 43-42 overtime victory against favored Oklahoma, Johnson made his biggest move of the night.

The Broncos' star took a knee — and proposed to his girlfriend, 21-year-old Chrissy Popadics on the sidelines. Television cameras captured the moment and broadcast it to the University of Phoenix Stadium crowd as well as a national television audience.

"I was going to do it when I got home to California, but there was no better time," Johnson said.

Certainly not.

Johnson rushed for 101 yards on 23 attempts and his nation-leading 25th touchdown in the victory. Plus, he scored the game's final points, a two-point conversion off a Statue of Liberty play to give the Broncos the win.

"I'm sure it wouldn't have been as romantic if we would have lost," quarterback Jared Zabransky said.

Popadics, the Broncos' cheerleading captain, and the rest of her squad had been near tears just moments earlier as Boise State squandered a big lead and seemed destined to lose.

The tears came, but for a different reason. Popadics was so emotional in the aftermath that she could do little more than spell her name to various reporters.

When the cheerleaders heard the news on the field, they screamed and hugged.

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