Nov. 10, 2012
CHENEY, Wash. - David Gaylord blocked Brady Stuart's game-tying 52-yard field goal attempt with 41 seconds to go on Saturday as fifth-ranked Eastern Washington rallied in the second half to spoil UC Davis' upset bid for a 31-28 Big Sky Conference football win at chilly Roos Field.
The Aggies, who scored 22 unanswered points in the second quarter to take a 25-14 halftime lead, lost their third straight game and are 3-7 overall and 2-5 in the Big Sky. The Eagles moved into a share of first place in the Big Sky with a 6-1 mark and are 8-2 overall.
UC Davis lost to its third ranked team this season, including two top teams with then-No. 2 Montana State and Eastern Washington by a combined 10 points.
Quarterback Randy Wright completed 24 of 43 passes for 289 yards and a 72-yard touchdown to Corey Galindo, while Galindo finished with four catches for 113 yards. Fullback Dalton Turay rushed for 58 yards and a pair of scores in the second quarter. Linebacker Reece Ludwig led the defense with eight tackles while linebacker Jordan Glass and defensive end Nick King each had a sack.
UC Davis led 28-24 near the midway point of the fourth quarter but Eagles quarterback Vernon Adams scrambled for a nine-yard touchdown run with 8 minutes, 13 seconds left for a 31-28 EWU lead. Wright was intercepted for the only time of the game on the next drive but the defense held, forcing a punt that gave UC Davis the ball at its own 2 with six minutes left.
The Aggies moved down the field looking for at least a tying field goal, converting three third downs. They also came through once on fourth down when Wright scrambled to his left and leaped to the Eagles' 34 to keep the drive alive with around a minute to go.
UC Davis nearly made another third wn conversion with less than a minute to play when Galindo had a step on Eastern Washington's T.J. Lee III. However, Lee III made a big breakup, bringing up fourth down. The Aggies called timeout to try a career-long 52-yard attempt by Stuart, but Gaylord blocked the kick to end the threat.
"We had some tough field positions for most of the second half," said Aggie coach Bob Biggs. "It seemed like the ball was always down inside our own 10-yard line. It was a close game and we did a good job of punting it and getting it back out but they're a good football team."
Trailing 14-3 heading into the second quarter, the Aggies put together one of their best periods of the season, scoring 22 unanswered points over three consecutive drives.
A four-play, 89-yard drive got the rally going with Wright scrambling and then finding Galindo for a 72-yard catch-and-run score after Galindo slipped behind the defense. Galindo raced to the right pylon, diving for the goal line on the long score. Wright then hit Mark Martindale for the two-point conversion after UC Davis faked the extra-point kick.
A nine-play, 72-yard drive, punctuated by a 38-yard pass play along the left sideline from Wright to Luke Williams, and a 14-yard pass to tight end Cameron Sentance, was capped by Turay's first touchdown. He plunged in from a yard out on fourth down after a UC Davis timeout to give the Aggies an 18-14 lead midway through the quarter.
The Aggies got the ball back again after the defense forced the third of three straight punts from Eastern Washington. Starting from its own 21 with 5:56 left in the half, UC Davis marched down the field again. Wright completed 6 of 8 passes for 56 yards on the drive which resulted in Turay scoring from two yards with just eight seconds left to help make it 25-14 at halftime.
The Aggies dominated time of possession in the first half, holding the ball for more than 20 minutes while outgaining the Eagles 278-178 in total yardage. Wright completed 14 of 23 passes for 215 yards in the opening two quarters while Galindo had four receptions for 101.
The defense allowed 14 points and 159 yards in the first 15 minutes but just 18 yards and no first downs in the second quarter.
The teams traded field goals on their opening drives of the third quarter - Jimmy Pavel hitting from 45 for the Eagles and Stuart connecting for 21 for the Aggies - before Eastern Washington got to within 28-24 on a 51-yard pass play from Kyle Padron to Greg Herd.
The Eagles put together their eventual game-winning drive, starting at their own 34-yard line. Adams had two big pass plays to Brandon Kaufman, finding him for 23 yards early in the drive and then for 24 that put the ball on the Aggies' 9. Adams then went around the right side for the touchdown.
The Aggies outgained Eastern Washington 435-361, had more first downs (21-18) and outrushed the Eagles, 146-119. Stuart had a 41-yard field goal in the first quarter.
Temperatures in the game hovered around 30 degrees, settling around 29 in the second half.
UC Davis, which was playing its final road game under retiring head coach Bob Biggs, will complete the 2012 season and try to send Biggs off with a win when it hosts rival Sacramento State next Saturday in the annual Causeway Classic game. Kickoff is 3 p.m.