UC Davis football defeats Sac State 48-30 in the 63rd Causeway Classic
Coming off of a tough loss to Montana State, the UC Davis football team geared up for the 63rd Causeway Classic at Aggie Stadium against the Sacramento State Hornets last Saturday. The cold, windy and rainy weather did not stop the Aggies from performing, as three players put up career-high numbers, breaking school records in the process.
Seniors running back Manusamoa Luuga and quarterback Ben Scott, along with sophomore wide receiver Keelan Doss all had tremendous games that contributed to the 48-30 victory, giving UC Davis its second straight Causeway Classic win.
“Those guys said that they wanted to keep the trophy at home, and it’s at home. The hat goes off to all the guys in that locker room,” said head coach Ron Gould. “I can’t be more pleased with the effort of this football team, and with the heart and the character that has been exhibited by these men. Sometimes people don’t see the foundation, you only see when you start putting the house together, but the foundation is solid, and it is because of the character of the men that we have here.”
The game started off strong for the Aggies; Luuga ran the ball for a 58-yard touchdown on the Aggies first possession, leading 7-0. Sophomore running back Josh Kelley ran for a 17-yard touchdown later in the quarter after Sac State had equalized, pushing the score to 14-7.
Scott threw three touchdown passes to Doss, all in the second quarter at 12, 57 and six yards. The Hornets earned a field goal and a rushing touchdown to bring the score to 34-17 at the half.
Early in the third quarter, Sac State scored an early 10 points off of a 35-yard field goal and a fumble recovery for a touchdown, shrinking the lead to 34-27. Scott completed a touchdown pass to senior tight end Nehemiah Winston at 6:24 for a 14-yard touchdown in the third quarter, and threw another touchdown to Doss in the fourth for an incredible 58 yards to extend the lead to 48-27.
After a field goal by Sac State in the fourth, the Aggies were able to hold onto their defense and finish the game 48-30.
Luuga ran the ball for a career-high 249 yards and earned him over 1,000 rushing yards overall on the season, and his one touchdown allowed him to break through the Aggie’s single-season top 10 in touchdowns, rushing for 11 on the year. Luuga’s performance is the third-highest single game total in school history.
“The biggest thing that pushed me was that this could be my last game ever,” Luuga said. “I wanted to give my all for coach and my teammates. I don’t know what the future is going to bring, but I wanted to take the win and today, we did that.”
The passing game for UC Davis was attributed by Scott’s 14 of 24 completed passes, 292 passing yards and five touchdowns, all without being sacked even once.
“It isn’t about me or about the other seniors,” Scott said. “It is bigger than what we know. It’s about Aggie Pride and about taking pride in your university. We don’t lose to Sac State, and I think our record over the years shows it. We find a way to come together to play against those guys.”
The offense clicked for the Aggies throughout the entire game, proven by Doss who totaled 207 receiving yards and four touchdowns, tying the school record for most touchdowns in a game. His 207 yards put Doss as the fifth Aggie in UC Davis history to go over 200 yards.
The defense held Sac State to only 232 total yards. Sophomore safety Ryan Parenteau and junior linebacker Ryan Bua each had 10 tackles, Bua earning two sacks to go along with it.
UC Davis finished the game with 598 total yards, its second highest of the year, and the season-high 306 of those yards came from the rushing game. The win broke the Aggies’ three-game losing streak to finish 3-8 overall and 2-6 in the Big Sky Conference. The 3-2 home record for UC Davis was the first winning home record since 2012.
“That’s our team: the grit, the heart and the passion,” Gould said. “When I tell you guys that we are close, we are close. I don’t know why things didn’t turn out the way we wanted to this year, but I will tell you that the men in that locker room are special individuals. They came to work every day, busted their tails and had a smile on their face. That was the reason we were able to be victorious tonight.”
Written by: Ryan Bugsch — firstname.lastname@example.org