Nov. 13, 2004
DAVIS, Calif. - Halfback Cinque Chapman rushed for a game-high 105 yards on Saturday and quarterback Steve Walker passed for 227 yards and three touchdowns as North Dakota State stalled No.21 UC Davis' bid to clinch a tie for the Great West Football Conference championships with a 25-7 win before 6,720 fans at Toomey Field.
The Aggies dropped to 6-3 overall while ending their conference season at 3-1. North Dakota State finished its season with an 8-3 overall mark and a league record of 2-3. UC Davis concludes its year with a nonconference matchup at Portland State next Saturday.
North Dakota State jumped on the Aggies' with 14 points in the first quarter, holding UC Davis to just five yards of offense in the opening 15 minutes. The Bison opened a 22-0 lead at halftime and led 25-0 in the second half before the Aggies got on the scoreboard in the fourth quarter when Nelson Doris splintered through the Bison defense for a seven-yard touchdown run.
North Dakota State finished with 410 yards of total offense, held the Aggies to 301 and held the ball nearly eight minutes longer than UC Davis.
"You have to give credit where credit is due," said UC Davis coach Bob Biggs. "They outplayed us today, that's the bottom line. Their backs run hard and their line blocked well.
"They did what we wanted to do," he said. "They had a good balance with the run and play-action."
Quarterback Jon Grant threw for 240 yards, completing 23 of 34 passes, but was sacked four times including one that resulted in a safety. Doris had a team-high 42 rushing yards and receiver Tony Kays had a game-high six catches totalling 65 yards. Tight end Daniel Fells caught five passes for 90 yards.
North Dakota took the opening kickoff 78 yards on 11 plays with
Walker - making his third start of the year - hitting receiver
Travis White on a 24-yard touchdown pass for a 7-0 lead with 9
minutes, 13 seconds to go in the first quarter.
After holding UC Davis to a three-and-out on its first series, the Bison scored again with 5:29 left in the quarter as Walker hit flanker Charles Wiest on a 29-yard touchdown strike, capping a 57-yard drive.
The Aggies didn't get a first down in the opening quarter and were held to just five yards rushing and six total plays. North Dakota State extended its lead to 16-0 with 4:41 to go in the half when noseguard Justin Frick sacked Grant in the endzone, a play in which Grant was called for intentional grounding resulting in a safety. Taking the ensuing free kick, the Bison made it 22-0 when Walker threw a 50-yard touchdown pass to receiver Marques Johnson.
UC Davis mounted a 13-play, 78-yard drive over the final four minutes of the first half but Grant's pass to receiver Jesse Oliva from the four-yard line fell incomplete as time expired.
North Dakota State had 283 yards of offense in the first half and held the Aggies to just 114. UC Davis tightened defensively in the second half, holding the Bison to just 127 yards and a 46-yard field goal by Cory Vartanian but North Dakota State held UC Davis in check for most of the rest of the game.
"We had tough field position all day," said Biggs. "It was a combination of things, but the bottom line is that they controlled the game better than we controlled the game. We're at our best when we're able to mix up the run and pass and we were not able to do that today."
Linebacker Jayd Kittelson had 12 total tackles to lead the Bison while linebacker Dan Elbanna had 15 total tackles and a sack to pace the Aggies.UC Davis can still clinch at least a tie for the conference title but needs a win by Northern Colorado against Cal Poly on Saturday night and then a Northern Colorado loss to South Dakota State next week. That would leave UC Davis, Northern Colorado and Cal Poly as tri-champions of the first-year league.
UC Davis will face Portland State at noon next Saturday in its season finale.