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YOLO COUNTY NEWS
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Aggies sweep Great West\’s weekly awards

By
November 16, 2010 |

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When UC Davis came from 21 points down on Saturday to retain the Golden Horseshoe trophy with a thrilling 22-21 road win over Cal Poly, there were a bunch of heroes.

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That was confirmed on Sunday when the Great West announced its weekly player awards and the Aggies won all three. In fact, the conference probably wished it had more accolades to give out this week to honor every deserving UCD player.

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The three Aggie recipients were quarterback Randy Wright, who was named the Offensive Player of the Week, linebacker Byron Gruendl, who took defensive honors and kicker Sean Kelley, who

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garnered special teams accolades.

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Wright, a 6-foot-3, 185-pound redshirt freshman from Santa Rosa, completed 23-of-40 passes

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including a pair of touchdowns to wide receiver Sean Creadick in the fourth quarter. For the third consecutive contest, Wright threw for a career-high in yards, torching the Mustangs for 302 on Saturday.

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After hitting Creadick for a 16-yard TD that brought the Aggies to within 21-15, Wright was

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7-for-7 for 67 yards on the game-winning drive. The UCD QB capped that march with a five-yard strike to his senior wideout with just 35 seconds left to make it 21-all and set up Kelley\’s game-clinching extra point.

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“When he had too, Randy delivered the ball and made some great throws,” UCD head coach Bob Biggs said on Monday\’s Great West teleconference. “I thought he did a great job making some key reads in the fourth quarter and I was glad to see him honored and recognized.

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“The way he has played, particularly in the last half of the season, he has done a remarkable job and made tremendous strides as a freshman and I think deserves some consideration for freshman of the year.”

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Kelley, a junior from Monrovia, made all three of his field goal attempts, providing the Aggies\’ first three scores after they trailed 21-0 in the second quarter. His 39-yard boot just before halftime made it 21-3, while his field goals from 20 and 19 yards cut the Cal Poly advantage to 21-9 and set up the fourth-quarter heroics by Wright and Creadick.

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“We were able to keep chipping away with field goals,” said Biggs, who added that he thought Kelley deserved to be on the 2010 all-conference team. “Our kicking game was solid … and the extra point turned out to be the difference in the game.”

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Kelley has now made 34 career field goals, which puts him No. 2 all-time at UCD.

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Gruendl, a 6-2, 195-pounder from Danville, helped key a strong defensive effort for the Aggies after intermission. UCD held the Mustangs to just 91 yards in the second half, after they had put up 268 before the break.

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The sophomore linebacker finished with a game-high nine tackles, four of them solo and one tackle-for-loss. Gruendl, who tied his career-high for tackles, also provided a key interception early in the third quarter that led to an Aggie field goal.

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“Byron Gruendl in particular was all over the field … he\’s an outstanding player,” Biggs said. “Sometimes defensively it\’s hard to show up all the time and sometimes, depending on the type of team you are playing, at linebacker it gives you more opportunities. This was a game where he had the opportunity … to make a lot of plays.”

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Like the UCD/Cal Poly matchup, there were two other games last weekend that featured a pair of future Big Sky opponents squaring off against each other. It was announced earlier this season that the Aggies, the Mustangs, North Dakota and Southern Utah would all join the conference by 2012. South Dakota, who is expected to be the fifth and final Great West team to join the Big Sky, was also in action on Saturday.

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Montana 27, North Dakota 17: At Missoula, Mont., Chase Reynolds ran for 173 yards and three touchdowns to carry the Grizzlies over the Fighting Sioux.

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Reynolds\’ 2-yard scoring run in the fourth quarter was the 51st of his career, breaking the all-time Montana career rushing touchdown record previously held by Lex Hilliard.

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Justin Roper threw for 231 yards and a touchdown for the Grizzlies (7-3), while Antwon Moutra had 100 yards receiving on three catches and a TD.

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Mitch Sutton led North Dakota (3-7) in rushing with 76 yards and two touchdowns.

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After Montana went ahead 13-0 midway through the second quarter, UND\’s Dominique Hawkins ran the ensuing kickoff back 99 yards to the Grizzly 1-yard line.

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That set up a 1-yard plunge by Sutton to cut the lead to 13-7 and began a stretch of 17 straight points by the Sioux to take a 17-13 advantage with 11 minutes to play in the game. The other points came on a 29-yard field goal by Zeb Miller and a 50-yard run by Sutton.

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But Montana answered back on its next series, regaining the lead at 20-17 on a 14-yard Reynolds run. Reynolds then closed out the scoring and sealed the victory with his third touchdown late in the game.

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Eastern Washington 31, Southern Utah 24: At Cheney Wash., Bo Levi Mitchell connected with Brandon Kaufman on a late scoring pass and Jesse Hoffman came up with a pair of key fourth-quarter interceptions as the Eagles beat the Thunderbirds on Saturday for their sixth straight victory.

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Hoffman also returned a kickoff 82 yards for a touchdown and Taiwan Jones rushed for 158 yards and a touchdown for Eastern Washington (8-2). Brad Sorensen threw for a career-high 434 yards and two TDs for Southern Utah (6-5), which had won its last five games, including a 55-24 contest at Aggie Stadium to clinch the Great West title on Oct. 30.

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With Saturday\’s game tied at 24 and the T-Birds on the move, Hoffman came up with his first interception at the Eagle 45 with 6:01 left. Later, facing third-and-9, Mitchell eluded a big pass rush and found Kaufman between two Southern Utah defenders in the end zone with 3:39 remaining.

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Hoffman picked off Sorensen again on the Thunderbirds\’ next series to put the game away.

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Lamar 24, South Dakota 20: At Beaumont, Texas, Doug Prewitt hit Barry Ford for a 14-yard touchdown pass with 43 seconds remaining on Saturday to lift the Cardinals over the Coyotes.

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Marcus Sims\’ 37-yard touchdown run had given South Dakota (4-7) a 20-17 lead with 2:30 remaining in the nonconference game, but Prewitt led Lamar (4-6) back, converting a third-and-21 play with a 53-yard pass to Kendri Prejean to reach the Coyotes 27-yard line. Prewitt then connected with J.J. Hayes twice before finding Ford for the winning points.

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Prewitt finished 24-of-29 for 286 yards and three touchdowns with one interception.

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Chris Ganious rushed for 91 yards for South Dakota.

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