While the first half of Saturday night’s game was characterized by solid defense and strong feet from both sides, the Weber State offense broke through in the third quarter for the eventual win.
In the future, head coach Bob Biggs would like to see consistent performances by his Aggies in all aspects of the game.
“We haven’t played a complete game,” he said. “There are times when the offense has played well and times when the defense has played well. We need to find a rhythm.”
Weber State came alive in the first quarter with a 22-yard field goal by kicker Shaun McClain, taking the 3-0 lead.
The Aggie defense, however, was well trained to put pressure on the storied Wildcat quarterback Cameron Higgins, holding him to just six completions on 41 yards in the first half.
Meanwhile, the Aggies racked up 186 yards on offense in the first half, including 89 on the ground.
“[Weber State] really didn’t get much going until the second half,” Biggs said. “We just didn’t capitalize on the opportunities we had. We got down in their territory [and] we had to settle for field goals and missed a real opportunity when we got down inside their 10-yard line [in the second quarter].”
Those field goals, coming from the so-far-perfect Aggie kicker Sean Kelley would prove to be the only points scored by UC Davis.
The first came in the second quarter from 42 yards out.
His second boot was later in the second after the Aggies struggled to get through the Wildcat redzone. After a penalty pushed UC Davis back five yards, the offense couldn’t penetrate past the 7-yard line. Kelley’s name was called for the 21-yard kick to give UC Davis a 6-3 lead going into halftime.
That lead would last until Weber State came out a new team in the second half of the game, when it delivered an 11-play, 92-yard drive which was capped by a 2-yard touchdown run from Mike Hoke, giving the Wildcats the 10-6 lead.
“They came out in the second half and changed the tempo,” Biggs noted. “They caught us back on our heels. They hit a couple runs and got the momentum.”
The Aggies scored for the last time in the fourth quarter on another 42-yard kick from Kelley, his 15th consecutive field goal.
“He’s got quite a streak going,” Biggs said. “Anytime we get to an opposing 30-yard line, or even 35, it gives you some options in close games knowing you have a good chance to make a field goal.”
On the next Weber State drive, however, the Wildcats returned the favor to make the score 13-9.
Weber State never looked back as it extended the lead to 20-9 with a 60-yard score with 6:25 remaining in the game.
Aggie quarterback Randy Wright completed 19 of 39 passes, nine of which went to receiver Sean Creadick who posted his first 100-yard game.
Linebacker Dozie Amajoyi had nine total tackles, while Marshall Congdon finished with a game-high 14 before a knee injury in the end of the game.
“We played very well the first half against an explosive offense,” Biggs said. “We really contained them, particularly our linebackers. Congdon played extremely well. It was electrifying watching him play. He had a nose for the ball and he was making plays from the backfield.”
With the loss, UC Davis drops to 1-3 on the year.
The Aggies will prepare now to travel to San Jose State Saturday to play the Spartans at 5 p.m.
GRACE SPRAGUE can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.