Jackrabbits run wild


SDSU Football

By Justin Harned Sportswriter

Not only did the Jackrabbits notch their first win of the season – Zach Zenner became the Missouri Valley Football Conference career rushing leader. 

The No. 12 ranked Jackrabbits’ 44-18 victory over the Cal Poly Mustangs on Saturday night at Coughlin-Alumni Stadium levels SDSU to a 1-1 overall record. The first home game of the season was played in front of 12,219 fans. Cal Poly drops to 0-2 on the season.

Zach Lujan threw his first career touchdown in the home opener – totaling three touchdowns in his first career start. Lujan found junior wide receiver Trevor Wesley in the first quarter, which also recorded Wesley’s first career touchdown reception and put SDSU up early. The Jacks took a 16-12 lead into halftime after Lujan connected with Schneider for a 16-yard touchdown.

“I was a little disappointed to be honest with you,” said head coach John Stiegelmeier. “We had some mix-ups in some numbering stuff … but I thought he stood in there really well and he’s got unbelievable confidence. He made some really good throws but he missed some guys, he’ll get better.”

Zenner holds the throne as the MVFC rushing leader with 4,825 career rushing yards. Zenner’s 193-yard effort on 30 carries Saturday against Cal Poly propelled him past Herb Donaldson (4,746 yards) of Western Illinois from 2005-08. Zenner earned the praise of the Mustang’s coach Tim Walsh following the game, a regularity in the last couple years among opposing coaches.

“Give Zach Zenner a lot of credit, that dude has been a heck of a football player for four years and I am sure when he is finished he is going to be one of the chosen few over 6,000 rushing yards in his career,” Walsh said. “That’s quite an accomplishment.”

SDSU extended their lead to 23-12 on an 11-yard touchdown reception by Jake Wieneke on Lujan’s third touchdown pass of the night on the opening drive of the second half. Zenner broke the league rushing record on a 17-yard run earlier on the drive.

The Jacks slammed the door on Cal Poly’s triple-option in the second half, halting the Mustang’s offense on three drives including a fourth down stop. Nick Mears’ 10 tackles led the defense. Jake Gentile totaled eight tackles, including a sack and two tackles for a loss. Drew Kreutzfeldt also recorded eight tackles.

Gentile lost his spot in starting lineup at safety, but ended up having a career night backing up his replacement, Mears. Stiegelmeier guaranteed the program will use Gentile’s story for the next several years.

“I may have never been more proud of young man than Jake Gentile,” Stiegelmeier said. “What a lot of young people do – hang their head and feel sorry for [themselves] and he came out and helped us win the football game with some big plays.”

Wieneke and running back Brady Mengarelli also scored their first career touchdowns with less than four minutes left in the game.

SDSU will next travel to Cedar City, Utah to take on Southern Utah at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 13.