Sunday, October 12, 2014

Toreros hang on to beat Stetson 31-23

The USD Toreros sported purple game apparel in support of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

TORERO STADIUM (10/11/2014) Sophomore Jonah Hodges rushed for two touchdowns and a school-record 273 yards to help the San Diego Toreros (4-1, 2-1 PFL) survive a scare over the visiting Stetson Hatters (2-4, 0-2 PFL).

The original mark was set by Sammy Croom who ran for 271 yards against Azusa Pacific in 1972.

During USD's opening play from scrimmage, Hodges set the tone with a 53-yard run for the game's opening touchdown. With the help of several Torero miscues, the Hatters responded with 16 unanswered points to take a 16-7 lead early in the second quarter.

Redshirt junior quarterback Trey Wheeler made his first start as a Torero while Keith Williams sat out with a hand injury. He completed 18 of 31 passes for 153 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions.

His first touchdown pass found the hands of tight end Ross Dwelley, who stumbled in the end zone for a 17-yarder to cut Stetson's lead to 16-14 at the half.

A 28-yard field goal by David Last was the lone score of the third quarter, but it gave the Toreros a 17-16 lead.

Set up by his 60-yard quarterback keeper, Ryan Tentler found receiver Jonathan Strahl for a 2-yard score to regain the Hatters' lead early in the fourth quarter.

Trailing 23-17 while facing 4th & 4 on Stetson's six-yard line, a decision to go for it paid off big when Wheeler's pass hit Reggie Bell between two defenders for the go-ahead touchdown.

Following a three-and-out by the defense on the ensuing possession, Hodges sealed the game with a 56-yard run up the middle for a touchdown. The run tied the school record which he would go on to break with a 2-yard run on his next carry.

Stetson's offense had two more opportunities to tie the game. On the first opportunity, linebacker Nic Henson's forced fumble fell into the hands of safety Joe LaBarbara for his second recovery of the game.

After a USD punt, cornerback Toney Sawyer picked off Tentler's pass in the end zone, leading to the victory formation and a third straight win.

Next Saturday, the Toreros continue PFL play when they travel to Indianapolis for a 9:00 a.m. matchup with the Butler Bulldogs.


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