SDSU gets to .500, defeats the aggies

Chris Mangan

Chris Mangan

For the first time all year, the Jackrabbit football team is at .500 and has proven that it can go on the road and win.

“Getting back to .500 has seemed like a marathon and we have finally made it,” junior quarterback Ryan Berry said. “We just need to keep this momentum going forward and keep building on it.”

The Jacks (4-4, 2-0 GWFC) went on the road and beat the UC Davis Aggies (3-6, 1-3 GWFC) 28-21; the Aggies hopes of 38 consecutive winning seasons ended with the loss. The Jacks won a one-possession game for the first time all year and guaranteed that the season finale against North Dakota State will again be for the Great West Conference title as well as the Dakota Marker.

“Playing for a conference title is and has been the ultimate goal the entire season,” Berry said. “The fact that we are guaranteed a chance to win is a huge boost of confidence for us just knowing that we can control our own destiny.”

Things were dramatically different than the last time the Jacks went out to Davis; that time the Jacks suffered a 52-0 setback in their first ever Division I football game.

The Jacks went out and proved that history would not repeat itself by jumping out to a 21-0 lead and controlling the ball for much of the first half.

Things got dicey in the second half as the Aggies used a blocked field goal at the end of the first half to build momentum coming into the second half. The Aggies cut the deficit to only seven early in the fourth quarter.

The Jacks would open the lead back to 14, thanks to a 70-yard touchdown pass from Berry to junior wide receiver JaRon Harris, the second receiving touchdown for Harris on the day and the sixth straight game that Berry and Harris have hooked up for a touchdown of over 25 yards.

“JaRon is just a guy who can make plays, so we just try to get him the ball in situations where he can do that,” Berry said. “The fact that he has so many big plays these last six weeks is just a testament to how special he can be with the football in his hands.”

Things would get interesting again on the next possession as the Aggies again pulled to within seven with just over five minutes.

The offense for the Jacks was finally able to put the game away, something they had failed to do when they had the ball in the final minutes against Western Illinois, Youngstown State and Georgia Southern. Berry completed two key third-down passes on the final drive, first to senior tight end Chris Wagner and then to senior wide receiver Chris Doblar. Doblar’s touchdown came after a touchdown run by senior running back Cory Koenig was called back due to a penalty.

Koenig finished with 160 yards on 30 carries one week after his 259-yard performance against Cal Poly.

“The offense did a great job all game,” senior linebacker Justin Kubesh said. “Their ability to control the ball and put points on the board won the game.”

Even though it was a win, “We know we can play better,” junior defensive lineman Eric Schroeder said. “The first half proved it.”

The Jacks go on the road to face Central Arkansas this week with kickoff slated for 6 p.m.

“Getting a conference road win is great, but we need to put it behind us and focus on Central Arkansas,” Kubesh said.

#1.883159:1099294598.jpg:football.derektang.californiaaggie.jpg:Wide reciever JaRon Harris catches the ball in the endzone, scoring one of his three touchdowns against UC Davis.:Derek Tang/California Aggie