Douglass kicks in new field goal record in Western Oregon game

Adam Zobel

Adam Zobel

The University of Nebraska’s failed attempt to recruit SDSU freshman kicker Perry Douglass proved to be a loss for that school.

The Jackrabbit coaching staff recognized Douglass’ talent and successfully recruited the former soccer player to be their kicker for the next four years. That move paid off this past Saturday as Douglass kicked a new Jacks record of six field goals in his third game at SDSU to lead the Jacks to a 38-3 victory over Western Oregon in front of 5,227 fans at Coughlin-Alumni Stadium.

“I was really lucky to be able to get the job done for the most part and do whatever I can for the team,” Douglass said.

The SDSU offense had trouble getting out of the game as their first drive ended in a punt and the second possession was ended by a Anthony Watson fumble that set up a Western Oregon field goal. The next three Jackrabbit drives stalled deep inside Wolves territory, setting up Douglass field goals from 34, 39 and 27 yards in the first quarter.

The passing attack for the Jacks jumped into gear during the second quarter as Brad Nelson connected with Josh Davis for two 15-yard touchdown strikes. Douglass converted from 23 yards in between the touchdowns to tie the SDSU single-game record of four field goals that was established by Russ Meier in 1981 against St. Cloud State.

Breaking the record, however, was not easy for the freshman kicker. The first chance occurred at the end of the second half, but the 46-yard attempt was blocked, leaving the halftime score at 25-3 in favor of SDSU. Douglass had another attempt in the middle of the third quarter, but he misjudged the strong east-southeast wind and pushed his 47-yard kick wide left.

“I shouldn’t have missed those field goals,” Douglass said.

Undaunted, he was able to convert on the next Jackrabbit possession as he nailed a 43-yard attempt to break the record with 3:58 left in the third quarter. The freshman would add a 39-yarder late in the fourth quarter in closing out the scoring for the Jacks.

Douglass felt fortunate to receive his eight field goal attempts and credited long snapper Joey Abell and holder Brian Janecek for his success.

“I can just focus on kicking the ball,” Douglass said.

Nelson finished the game 17-of-33 for 254 yards. His top targets were Davis with five catches for 51 yards and Janecek with three grabs for 103 yards. Anthony Watson carried the ball 11 times for 151 yards, including a 64-yard touchdown scamper in the fourth quarter that featured several broken tackles.

The defense held the Wolves to only 90 yards of offense, including a total of negative 42 yards on the ground. Linebacker Mike James led the defense with eight tackles, including three tackles for loss. Redshirt freshman Ryan Schlieman had three sacks to slow down the Wolves.

Despite the win, there are several aspects of the game that the Jacks need to improve as they face five Division I-AA opponents in their next five games. The offense was able to score only three touchdowns out of twelve drives that reached the Western Oregon 30-yard line. In addition, the running attack struggled early as the Jacks only garnered 20 yards on 14 carries in the first half. Finally, SDSU committed 11 penalties that cost them 119 yards.

Stiegelmeier said that the penalties were a result of frustration by the offensive, aggressive defensive play, and an overall lack of focus and concentration.

Another concern for the Jacks is the health of their team as numerous players have been playing injured, including Nelson and linebacker Chris Coauette.

“We are extremely beat up,” Stiegelmeier said.

SDSU travels to Baton Rouge, Louisiana this week to face Division I-AA stalwart Southern in the first meeting between the two schools.

Southern is probably most recognized for playing Grambling in the annual Bayou Classic and being the alma mater of St. Louis Rams safety Aeneas Williams.

The Jaguars enter the game with a 2-1 record following a 42-12 victory of Prairie View A&M. Southern features a balanced offensive attack that averages nearly 190 yards per game on the ground and 222 yards through the air. The Jaguars finished the 2003 campaign with a 12-1 record.

“We’re going to have our hands full,” Stiegelmeier said.

Kickoff at Ace W. Mumford Stadium in Baton Rouge will take place this Saturday night at 7 p.m.

#1.886000:2552174815.jpg:5throws to 22 muscling for.jpg:Quarterback Brad Nelson watches runningback Anthony Watson muscle past a defender for a few more yards.:Mike Carlson