Oct. 4, 2003
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Running back Antar Mahasin scored from a yard out with 14 seconds remaining on Saturday, capping a furious 76-yard UC Davis drive inside the final two minutes, as the Aggies edged Sacramento State 31-27 in the 50th annual Causeway Classic, played before 15,403 fans at Hornet Stadium.
UC Davis, which won for the fourth straight time in the local rivalry, evened its record at 2-2. The Hornets dropped to 2-3.
Mahasin's late score gave UC Davis the lead after the Hornets went in front 27-24 with 1 minute, 40 seconds remaining after a 2-yard touchdown reception by Jason Girley. Starting on their own 24-yard line with 1:36 left and a pair of timeouts, the Aggies engineered a memorable drive behind backup quarterback Jon Barragan, who played the second half after injured starter Ryan Flanigan left the game.
Mahasin - who had a career-high 163 yards on 34 carries in the game to go with three touchdowns - carried for 15 and 9 yards on draw plays that were sandwiched around a short pass from Barragan to Tony Kays, putting UC Davis at the Hornets' 48. Barragan's 15-yard pass completion to Aaron Plunkett preceded another 12-yard run by Mahasin that set the Aggies at Sacramento State's 21 inside the final minute.
Barragan then found receiver Mo Mortazavi for a over-the-shoulder 14-yard catch to the 7-yard line with 30 seconds to go, and then nearly scored himself on a keeper that put the ball less than a foot away from the goal line. That set the table for Mahasin who plunged in over the left side, delivering the Aggies the lead.
The Hornets had a final attempt to win the game but their drive didn't advance far and UC Davis won for the 35th time in the Causeway Classic series.
The Aggies trailed 14-0 in the first quarter after a pair of scores from standout Hornet running back Tyronne Gross. He first scored on a 5-yard run midway through the quarter, and following a short UC Davis possession, finished off an 8-play, 76-yard drive with 1:49 left in the quarter by scoring on a 10-yard run.
Mahasin, in workhorse fashion, carried seven times on the Aggies' first scoring drive in the second quarter, tallying runs of 11, 12, 16 and nine yards along the way. His final carry of the drive was a 3-yard touchdown run the brought UC Davis to within 14-7 with just under five minutes to go before half.
Dusty Apocotos' 27-yard field goal less than two minutes later made it 14-10 going into half.
The second half saw both teams led by backup quarterbacks. Barragan took over for the Aggies while Blake Mori filled in for senior Ryan Leadingham, who left with a wrist injury.
Mahasin scored his second touchdown - this one from four yards out - late in the third quarter, giving UC Davis its first lead at 17-14. The drive - which began at the Aggies' 30-yard line after a field goal attempt by Mitch Lively was blocked by Daniel Kim - featured a 15-yard run by tight end Nolan deGraaff on a fake field goal to inside the Hornets' 10.
Sacramento State, however, regained the lead on the first play of the fourth quarter when Mori found Fred Amey on a 15-yard scoring strike. Lively's extra-point attempt, though, hit the crossbar and the Hornets only led by a field goal. That drive began at the Aggies' 33 after three kick off attempts by Dusty Apocotos went out of bounds and the fourth attempt - this one from the UC Davis 20 - bounded off a Sacramento State player just 13 yards away.
Trailing 20-17, UC Davis received a big break when Mori was sacked and fumbled inside his own 20. Defensive end Jake Mossawir recovered at the 17 and Barragan found tight end Daniel Fells on a short 3-yard touchdown pass with 6:24 to go, giving the Aggies a 24-20 lead. Gross rushed for 23 yards on the Hornets' next drive while Morri completed five passes, including the go-ahead score to Girley inside of two minutes to play.
Barragan was 8 of 11 passing for 79 yards while Flanigan was 4 of 12 for 68 yards before leaving. Kevin Freeman caught four passes for 42 yards with eight other Aggies hauling in one each. Gross - who had 240 yards rushing in Sacramento State's 47-21 win against then-No.12 (I-AA) Idaho State last week - was held to just 62 yards on 20 carries. Leadingham was 12 of 21 for 132 yards before giving way to Mori, who completed 9 of 14 for 89 yards. Amey had eight catches for 110 yards.
Mossawir had seen unassisted tackles to lead the UC Davis defense, while middle linebacker Kelly Valaau had seven total tackles, defensive end Aaron Latzke had six and safety Ejiro Evero and linebacker Justin Patterson each had five. Cornerback Angelo Caffese broke up a pair of passes while Kent Sheridan and linebacker Tom Parisi each had sacks.
UC Davis finished with 379 yards of total offense while holding Sacramento State to 297. The Aggies finished with 232 rushing yards.
The Aggies return to action next Saturday against Western Oregon at 6 p.m. at Toomey Field, beginning a stretch where they will play five of their final six games at home.