Nov 162003
 
Authors: Joelle Milholm

For the 20-plus seniors who took the field for the last time at

Sonny Lubick Field at Hughes Stadium, the Rams’ 21-6 win provided a

perfect ending to a not-so fairy-tale season.

“It feels good to win our last one,” said senior linebacker Drew

Wood. “I am cherishing it.”

In a defensive battle, CSU snapped its two-game losing streak

and improved its conference record to 3-3, as the Rams beat San

Diego State on Saturday.

“From a defensive standpoint, that was a heck of a football

game,” CSU head coach Sonny Lubick said. “I thought we played one

of our best games of the year here today.”

Senior wide receiver Eric Hill pulled in a 67-yard,

momentum-changing touchdown pass from senior quarterback Bradlee

Van Pelt and increased the Ram’s lead over San Diego State to 14-6

with nine minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.

“I had no idea I was going to be wide open,” Hill said. “But

when I saw the cornerback covering Anderson, I knew if Bradlee read

it right, we could get a big play out of it.”

After Hills catch, the Rams ran away with the game on a 42-yard

touchdown run by junior running back and San Diego native Jimmy

Green. Green saw more time than usual and finished the game as

CSU’s rushing leader with 69 yards on eight carries.

Sophomore defensive back Ben Stratton intercepted a pass from

San Diego State quarterback Adam Hall and ran it 35 yards for the

only Ram points of the first half.

“We came out and played Ram-tough defense,” Stratton said. “We

had fun today. That was the first game where everyone on defense

had fun. I had a blast out there. If you have fun and play as a

team, you have great days.”

In the third quarter, Stratton came up big again when he blocked

J.C. Mejia’s 52-yard field goal attempt to preserve CSU’s 7-6

lead.

“I was thinking if they kick another one, I am going to block it

because the last one went right through my hands,” Stratton said.

“And sure enough, it went up, I put my hands up and I sure did

block it.”

Stratton and senior lineman Bryan Save shined on defense with

seven and 11 tackles respectively. Save also had two sacks that

combined for 15 yards lost for the Aztecs.

“Whenever you get one-on-ones, you want to take advantage of

that. You gotta win those,” Save said. “We got a lot of

opportunities to go one-on-one and we did real well.”

With 1:48 left in the second quarter, the Aztecs were faced with

a crucial third down with 15 yards to go from the CSU 43-yard line.

Save sacked San Diego quarterback Adam Hall for a loss of eight

yards, forcing the Aztecs to punt. The half ended with CSU leading

7-3.

The Aztecs inched closer to the Rams with a 41-yard field goal

in the third quarter by Mejia, making the score 7-6. Mejia, the

sole provider of points for San Diego State, made two of five field

goal attempts, including a career-high 51-yarder in the first

quarter.

San Diego State outplayed CSU on offense, gaining 345 yards

while the Rams managed 324. Hall completed13 of 26 passes for 140

yards before leaving the game in the third quarter with a finger

injury.

Van Pelt finished his last home game with 49 yards rushing and

completed 11 of 19 passes for 156 yards.

“They made plays and my hat goes off to them,” Van Pelt said of

the Aztecs’ defense. “They stopped us, but we got the upper hand.

We stepped up and performed better than their defense.”

Once again, sophomore wide receiver David Anderson was Van

Pelt’s chosen target and finished the day with seven receptions for

77 yards.

With the win, the Rams became bowl eligible but will need to win

next weekend at Nevada-Las Vegas before considering a bowl

game.

The Rams are tied for third place in the Mountain West with

Brigham Young and Air Force but have defeated both in head-to-head

competition.

“We just gotta win one more and see what happens,” Wood said. “I

would love to go to a bowl game, but we just want to win our last

game.”

 

 

 

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