Tuesday, May 5, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Aggies rise to new heights with win at Southern Utah

By
From page B1 | October 06, 2013 |

1006UCDfoot1W

UCD quarterback Randy Wright eludes Southern Utah's James Cowser to get a pass off in the Aggies' 21-3 win over the Thunderbirds at SUU's Eccles Coliseum. Asher J. Swan/Courtesy photo

CEDAR CITY, Utah — Elevation, schmell-a-vation.

Despite coming to town less than 24 hours before kickoff, despite knowing it was playing at nearly 6,000 feet above sea level, despite the fact that its tongues were dragging in 2011 during a lopsided loss at Eccles Coliseum, the UC Davis football team dominated host Southern Utah, 21-3, on Saturday in another impressive step forward under first-year coach Ron Gould.

Running back Gabe Manzanares, not even on the Aggie radar in the spring, rushed for 175 yards and two touchdowns, while reborn senior quarterback Randy Wright conducted a clock-consuming offense as UCD threw its helmet in the Big Sky Conference race.

The Aggies, who started 0-4, have notched back-to-back league wins and share the top of the standings with Sacramento State, Montana and Montana State, all at 2-0.

In his last two games (Saturday and a 208-yard day against Idaho State), junior Manzanares — a transfer from City College of San Francisco — has rushed for 383 yards. For the season, he’s at 546 with a 4.8 yards-per-carry average.

Wright — a guy who started 32 of 33 games in his first three seasons on campus — lost his job after a season-opening 10-7 loss at South Dakota. He came in during the first quarter of last week’s win over Idaho State and started at Southern Utah.

Aggie defensive end Nick King thinks Wright is back, and that the QB and running back are a tandem with which to be reckoned.

“It was great to stand on the sidelines watching (Randy) work, watching Gabe run the ball,” the senior told The Enterprise.

Wright completed 16-of-25 for 193 yards and a 19-yard touchdown pass to T. J. King, which gave UCD a commanding 21-3, third-period lead.

Wright and Manzanares combined to give the Aggies a 33:24-26:36 time-of-possession advantage.

Competing in Utah, generally a tough place for flat-landers to play, King and his coach said being more than a mile in the air for this one didn’t matter.

“I was actually standing on the sideline ready to go, wanting to get back in there,” King added.

“We didn’t even talk about the altitude all week. That’s not a factor,” Aggie coach Ron Gould said after the game. “We talked about preparation all week; working hard day in and day out.”

Gould also praised Wright’s second terrific effort in a row.

“Randy came in and did a fabulous job again … very pleased with how he’s orchestrating the offense.”

The Thunderbirds (4-2, 1-1) got pushed around on this day, thanks to the trench play of tackles Chris Schneider and Ian Joseph, guards Jimmy Kunkel and Parker Smith, center Jay Luchetti and fullback Dalton Turay.

“I’m real pleased with the offensive line,” Gould continued. “Those guys are playing physical, coming off the ball with an attitude.

“Overall, you’ve got to be pleased with a victory.”

On its first possession, SUU flexed its muscle, but an 11-play drive fizzled when Colton Cook’s 29-yard field goal attempt was blocked by Jonathan Perkins.

UCD, however, gave the ball right back — thanks to a Manzanares fumble.

In business at their own 44, the T-Birds turned the miscue into a successful Cook three-pointer (from 30 yards out).

For Aggies fans, it started to look familiar …

UCD has struggled keeping the ball and Southern Utah had a 7:53-1:31 time-of-possession advantage by that point in the game.

But after that Thunderbird FG, things began to change.

The two squads traded possessions before Wright directed an eight-play, 55-yard drive that put the visitors up 7-3 (Manzanares scoring from 16 yards out). SUU couldn’t move again — thanks in part to a Steven Pitts sack of quarterback Aaron Cantu and a timely Anthony Kaspar stop of RB Raysean Martin on a third-down draw.

Brock Miller’s punt put the Aggies back at their own 27, but once again Wright was masterful.

Each of his three completions gave UCD first downs — including a 19-yarder to T.J. King that gave the locals a first-and-goal at the SUU 2.

Two plays later, Manzanares followed Turay into the north end zone and, just like that, the Aggies were in control, 14-3, and the crowd of 3,558 fell silent for much of the rest of the afternoon.

King is working himself into an important role as he and Wright build chemistry. The junior caught four passes for 70 yards a week ago and had four more receptions for 69 yards and the back-breaking 19-yard TD on Saturday.

Taylor Sloat, an All-Big Sky preseason selection at tight end, also is starting to feel it. The senior caught three passes for 34 yards and was often part of Manzanares’ blocking convoy.

Manusamoa Luuga, the freshman from Long Beach Poly High, carried the rock seven times for 32 yards.

Cantu completed 29-of-50 passes for 281 yards. But he was intercepted twice: once by Dre Allen and the other time by Shamawn Wright in the end zone, ending a 13-play, 90-yard T-Bird drive with no love.

SUU netted 45 yards rushing and No. 1 rock carrier Martin was held to 47 while Cantu was sacked four times, losing 13 yards.

Next up for UCD is Saturday’s Homecoming game against Montana (4 p.m.). The Grizzlies beat Portland State, 55-27, Saturday.

— Reach Bruce Gallaudet at [email protected]

Comments

comments

Bruce Gallaudet

.

News

Mother, daughters killed in crash caused by wrong-way driver

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
 
Sexual assault awareness campaign recognizes teens

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Indoor Fun Fly comes to Woodland

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3

 
Learn to use walking poles effectively

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3

Capitol drive collects essentials for young lives

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Sunrise Rotarians honor student role models

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3

Vet Med Large Animal Clinic has a new director

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B3

 
Party celebrates release of Lescroart’s new novel

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3

Grace Valley hosts open house

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B3

 
Pets of the week

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8 | Gallery

Speakers cancel for health reasons

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

 
Davis Municipal Fiber will give people a choice

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

Independent study enrollment underway

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

 
Faulkner featured at Poetry Night on Thursday

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

Got bikes? Donate ‘em!

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

 
Sunset Rotary hosts Thursday-afternoon bingo

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

Winters agri-tour visits Four Winds Nursery

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

 
Fresh cherries at Sutter market

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8 | Gallery

Special KDRT broadcast celebrates Grateful Dead’s 50 years

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

 
Information offered on city tax refund program

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A10

Monthly tour set at Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10 | Gallery

 
Tour de Cluck participants can get here by train

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

.

Forum

Weeds pose a threat to pets

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

 
Is your bike waiting for you?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

Tips to reduce student stress

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

 
John Cole cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: B4

Think long and hard about our town’s future

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4

 
Whom will our council represent?

By Michelle Millet | From Page: B4

New rule: No dough, no art

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
Ready to cut her off

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

.

Sports

Visiting Eagles edge Blue Devils

By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
DHS celebrates Senior Day with a fun victory

By Chris Saur | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Majors roundup: Thompson, D’Angelo lead Brew Crew rally

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
UCD roundup: Aggies baseballers fall in 13 innings

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B12

 
.

Features

.

Arts

From Bach to rock, Regal Beezers will entertain

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11 | Gallery

 
Student filmmakers showcased at UCD Festival

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11

Stellar acting brings home Capital Stage’s dark comedy

By Bev Sykes | From Page: A11 | Gallery

 
Student choreographers, dancers stage festival at UC Davis

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11 | Gallery

.

Business

.

Obituaries

Emma Sallie Wing Hale

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

 
Robert Simpson Loomis

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

.

Comics

Comics: Tuesday, May 5, 2015 (set 1)

By Creator | From Page: B5

 
Comics: Tuesday, May 5, 2015 (set 2)

By Creator | From Page: B7