Friday, February 27, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Game balls aplenty in UC Davis domination of Causeway Classic

1126ucdfootW

UCD senior Jimmy Kunkel (79) celebrates with the trophy after the Aggies defeated Sacramento State, 34-7, at Saturday's Causeway Classic. Kunkel and his fellow offensive linemen were brilliant in the victory. Wayne Tilcock/Enterprise photo

By
From page B1 | November 26, 2013 |

Wow.

After the Aggies’ stunning 34-7 domination of Sacramento State in the 60th annual Causeway Classic, UC Davis coach Ron Gould is going to have to order some new footballs for 2014.

Apparently there weren’t any left Saturday after game balls were handed out.

A look back shows UCD’s best performance of the season as Gould’s team ended his first year in Davis with grand style.

“This win was a testament to (the players’) character, to who they are,” Gould explained following the win that gave the Aggies a fourth-place tie in the Big Sky Conference. “I’m so blessed to have had the opportunity to coach these guys.”

After a handful of Classics in which the largest margin of victory was seven points, the Aggie O-line helped start this rout early. It made mincemeat of the Hornet front while offensive coordinator Kevin Daft had just the right play in mind … call after call.

Twice on Sac State blitzes, Daft went to screen plays. The results made Aggie Nation swoon.

The first was a 14-yard completion (Randy Wright to Tom Hemmingsen) for a first down en route a field goal. Brady Stuart’s kick made things 24-7 just before intermission.

Later, on a drive to its final touchdown, UCD faced a third-and-eight deep in its own territory, Wright found Tavior Mowry for those precious eight yards — continuing the drive.

The Aggies didn’t turn the ball over, controlled time of possession and allowed running back Gabe Manzanares to gain 217 combined yards rushing and receiving.

Certainly the former UCD quarterback, Daft, gets one of those game balls.

But let’s hand out the others…

Jimmy Kunkel and Friends — The senior guard gets to accept this ball on behalf of that offensive line.

Blocks from Jay Luchetti and Kunkel helped Manzanares score the first of his two touchdowns, then sophomore Parker Smith laid waste to a Hornet as Manzanares went 33 yards for his second score. A 32:41-27:19 possession advantage tells the rest of the story as UCD had 400 yards of total offense.

Tom Hemmingsen — The senior wideout bade farewell to Aggie Nation with seven receptions for 52 yards and a touchdown. Hemmingsen can say the last time he touched the ball at UCD, it went for a TD — a diving grab from six yards out.

Steven Pitts — On a night that UCD often went with just two linebackers (in front of nickel defenses), Pitts led all tacklers with 13 stops. He also recorded a sack and plastered Sacramento State QB Jahid Vercher for a three-yard loss on Vercher’s first carry in replacement of Garrett Safron.

Bert Watts — The first-year defensive coordinator had a perfect game plan. The Hornets, who racked up more than 600 yards against Portland State, had nowhere to run Saturday. Sac State gained 75 yards on the ground (2.6 ypc).

“Our coaching staff put us in the right positions and when you’re in the right positions, you have no choice but to make the play,” Pitts explained.

Give linebackers/special teams coach Jeff Copp a share of Watts’ gameball. The two-man linebacker lineups combined for 21 tackles.

Jonathan Perkins and the secondary — The Gardena High product went out with a bang as he recorded nine tackles. But Perkins was only one-seventh of the solution as teammates Aarynn Jones, Charles Boyett, Tre Sayles III, Dre Allen, Shamawn Wright and Patrick Wells doused a once-sizzling-hot Sac State receiving corps.

When Wright broke up a late pass that was intercepted by Sayles, it put a bow on the package. Three-time league conference Player of the Week Safron was stifled. Coming off a 554-yard, four-towndown passing performance in beating Portland State the week before, Safron threw for only 221 yards and no TDs.

Gabe Manzanares — His big day Saturday put his season rushing total at 1,285 yards, the fifth-best mark in UCD history. He scored 10 touchdowns on the ground and one through the air after catching 27 passes for 385 more yards.

He has five straight 100-yard games and Saturday’s 217 yards in total offense should get anyone a free ball, regardless of performances around him.

Nick King — The Aggie sack leader (eight) got two more on Saturday. One stopped Safron on third down, forcing a punt that eventually led to UCD’s last touchdown of 2013. King, a senior, had five tackles in all as Sacramento State tried to work the ball away from his side of the field.

Colin Kelly — There was a traffic jam on the other end of the line as the Hornets tried Kelly Avenue to no avail. The senior DE accounted for nine tackles — twice ending Sacramento State drives.

Randy Wright — Sure, 17-of-22 for 212 yards and a late TD don’t make for headline statistics. But this was Wright’s swan song. He started all but four games in four seasons as an Aggie — and the Hornets never got his number.

Wright — No. 17 for the few Sac State fans who don’t already know — went 4-0 in the Causeway Classic.

“Give Davis the credit,” Sacramento State coach Marshall Sperbeck said of the one-sided Classic. “They had a good game plan, they executed well on offense. Defensively they kept us in check.

“They established the game right away … on both sides of the ball.”

Yep. Aggie fans noticed.

Notes: Four Big Sky schools are in the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs, with Eastern Washington (10-2) getting the third seed and Montana taking a No. 8 placement. Both teams get first-round byes. On Saturday, Southern Utah (8-4) plays Sam Houston State (8-4) while Northern Arizona (9-2) meets 8-4 South Dakota State. UCD beat Southern Utah, 21-3, and had a 10-7 fourth-quarter lead on NAU before two late Jimmy Laughrea passes were returned for Lumberjack touchdowns. Two-time defending champion North Dakota State (11-0) is the No. 1 seed.

— Reach Bruce Gallaudet at [email protected] or 530-320-4456.

Comments

comments

Bruce Gallaudet

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Mother arrested for death of baby Justice Rees

    By Lauren Keene | From Page:

     
    New greenhouse will add to ‘Farm to Mouth’ program

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

    Learn about pollinators, gardens and honey at Yolo Basin fundraiser

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
     
    Can you give them a home?

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2 | Gallery

     
    For the record

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

    Fire damages South Davis home

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2 | Gallery

     
    Gerber nominations close Saturday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Explorit: Humming right along

    By Lisa Justice | From Page: A3

     
    Flower arrangers feature S.F. designer

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Celebrate Africa on Saturday at I-House

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Chamber explores how to pay for Davis’ needs

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Wolk and Dodd team up to provide Napa earthquake tax relief

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Robb Davis to speak about homelessness, energy

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Spring sing-along is March 4

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    A fill-up mishap

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

    Two free yoga classes offered March 12

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Take a night walk at Cache Creek

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    Class of 1970 plans 45-year reunion

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Bicycle safety course to be offered in Davis

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Documentary on immigration issues will be screened

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

    Learn about your brain on March 14

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Adopt a household for Bridge to Housing participants

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

    Workshop will teach sustainable gardening methods

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

     
    .

    Forum

    Tired of all of this

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Start early to build healthy dental habits

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B6

     
    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: B6

    No extra cost for containers

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B6

     
    Oral Health Project launches

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B6

    Here an H, there an H

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B6

     
    Cavalier attitude about bike safety

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B6

    .

    Sports

    Blue Devil boys expect a spike in production

    By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Inquiring minds want to know about Aggies

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

    Encouraging start for DHS boys tennis team

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Off day for Aggie men at UCSB

    By Kim Orendor | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Aggie women fall to 4th after lackluster showing

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Lady Devils are on to the SJS semis

    By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Late goal lifts Red Wings over Sharks

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

    Watney struggling at windy Honda Classic

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B12

     
    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    Monticello announces March schedule

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

     
    The Artery presents ‘Stepping Into Nature’

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A10 | Gallery

    YoloArts’ Gallery 625 presents ‘The Poetry of Dots’

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

     
    International Film Series to present ‘Jaffa’

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

    ‘Focus': A sharply conceived caper

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11 | Gallery

     
    The Woodland Opera House announces 2015-16 season

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12 | Gallery

    .

    Business

    Nissan’s Z remains an affordable performer

    By Ann M. Job | From Page: B3

     
    Car Care: Simple DIY steps to protect your car through all seasons

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

     
    .

    Obituaries

    George Miller Jr.

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Death notice: Celia E. Recchio

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Vernon E. Burton

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Dieter W. Gruenwedel

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Friday, February 27, 2015

    By Creator | From Page: B5