Saturday, November 4, 2023

College Football: Toreros Defense Sparks Road Win, SDSU stunned in OT

CLINTON, SC — The University of San Diego Toreros (3-6, 3-3 PFL) utilized a strong defensive effort to earn its third Pioneer Football League win of 2023, taking down the Presbyterian Blue Hose 23-13 at Bailey Memorial Stadium Saturday morning.

The Toreros' defense dominated all game, recording 10 tackles for losses and five sacks while recovering two fumbles and grabbing two interceptions. Cornerback Zamir Wallace had a standout performance, forcing two late turnovers that halted Presbyterian drives, including a fumble recovery and a clutch pick-six to seal the win.

The Blue Hose (3-6, 1-5 PFL) jumped out to an early 10-0 lead after a rushing touchdown and field goal. San Diego got on the board with a Re-al Mitchell rushing touchdown to make it 10-7. The Blue Hose added another field goal before halftime to lead 13-7.

The Torero defense tightened after the break, forcing four straight punts and three-and-outs to open the third quarter. Josh Heverly tied the game at 13-13 with a touchdown catch from Mater Dei Catholic alum Dom Nankil. After a missed PAT, Zamir Wallace's fumble recovery set up a go-ahead 47-yard field goal from Aidan Lehman to give San Diego a 16-13 fourth-quarter lead.

With 25 seconds left to play, Wallace sealed the win for the Toreros with a 21-yard pick-six, his second forced turnover of the final frame. The interception was San Diego's third defensive score to clinch a victory this season.

Garrett Carney led USD with 10 tackles and a sack. San Diego High alum Jayden Wickware added six solo tackles and two tackles for loss. Nick Murray grabbed his team-high third interception of the year as well.

San Diego held Presbyterian without a score on its final nine drives, forcing a turnover or punt every possession. The Toreros will return home next week to host St. Thomas in their final home game of the 2023 season.

San Diego State falls to Utah State in Double Overtime

The San Diego State Aztecs fell to the Utah State Aggies 32-24 in double overtime on Saturday night at Snapdragon Stadium.

The Aztecs got off to a good start, taking a 7-0 lead in the first quarter on a 62-yard rushing touchdown by former Cathedral Catholic standout Lucky Sutton. However, the Aggies battled back to tie the game 10-10 at halftime.

Both defenses dominated in the second half, with neither team scoring a touchdown. SDSU took a 17-10 lead in the third quarter on a field goal by West Hills alum Jack Browning. Utah State tied it up again at 17-17 with a field goal in the fourth quarter to send the game to overtime.

In the first overtime, both teams exchanged scores - Jalen Mayden connected with Mark Redman for a 25-yarder for SDSU, while Utah State answered with a touchdown run. In the second overtime, Utah State scored first on another touchdown run. The Aztecs had one last chance to win or take it to third overtime, but Mayden was intercepted in the endzone to seal the 32-24 Aggie victory.

Mayden threw for 265 yards and three touchdowns for SDSU, while Madison alum Kenan Christon had 76 receiving yards and a touchdown. Linebacker Cody Moon led the defense with 13 tackles.

The loss drops SDSU to 3-6 on the season and puts their Bowl Game streak in jeopardy. The Aztecs need to win out to be bowl-eligible and it starts when they host Nevada next Saturday night.

Palomar Cruises Past Southwestern 52-13

The Palomar Comets dominated from start to finish in a 52-13 victory over the Southwestern Jaguars on Saturday night.

Palomar got on the board first with a 16-yard touchdown run by Omarion Ireland midway through the first quarter. The Comets would score two more touchdowns in the second quarter on runs by Jaden White and Jake Whitehead to take a 21-0 lead into halftime.

Southwestern finally got on the scoreboard in the third quarter on a two-yard touchdown run by Jay Gordon, but Palomar responded with a 25-yard field goal by Amanueal Kidanemariam. The Jaguars cut the deficit to 24-13 early in the fourth on a 14-yard touchdown pass from Mar Vista alum Aleks Wojcik to Gordon.

However, that's as close as the Jaguars would get. Palomar pulled away late in the game, scoring four unanswered touchdowns in the fourth quarter. Ireland and Gavin Galzote each had rushing touchdowns, while the Comets also scored on an 8-yard fumble recovery by Andy Devine and a one-yard run by Galzote.

Palomar dominated the box score, outgaining Southwestern 364-105 in total yards. Ireland led the Comets' ground attack with 112 yards and two scores on 19 carries. Jaden White completed 9-of-20 passes for 137 yards and a score.

For Southwestern, Gordon was the bright spot with 58 rushing yards, 14 receiving yards, and both Jaguar touchdowns. But the Palomar defense held the Jaguars to 34 passing yards and 1-of-12 on third downs.

The win improves Palomar's record to 4-6 (3-4 Southern League) while Southwestern falls to 0-10 (0-7).

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