DAVIS, Calif. - Senior Manusamoa Luuga ran for a career-high 249 yards, including a 58-yard TD on the Aggies' first play of the game, and sophomore Keelan Doss had 207 receiving yards and school-record tying four touchdowns as UC Davis beat Sacramento State, 48-30, for its second straight Causeway Classic win on Saturday afternoon at Aggie Stadium.
The win snapped a three-game losing streak for UC Davis, which finished its season with a 3-8 overall record and a 2-6 mark in the Big Sky. The Hornets, who picked up 152 rushing yards from Jordan Robinson a week after he ran for 258 against Portland State, also ended the year with a 2-6 conference mark. They were 2-9 overall.
Aggie senior quarterback Ben Scott completed 14 of 24 passes for 292 yards and five touchdowns after also hitting tight end Nehemiah Winston for a 14-yard score. He found Doss for touchdowns covering 12, 57, 6 and 58 yards. UC Davis finished with a 598 total yards - its second-highest total of the year - which included a season-high 306 yards on the ground.
Luuga also posted a 1,000-yard rushing year for the first time, finishing with 1,077.
The Aggie defense, meanwhile, held the Hornets to just 232 total yards, including just 76 through the air. Safety Ryan Parenteau and linebacker Ryan Bua each had 10 tackles to lead the way. Bua had a pair of sacks while Parenteau added a pair of TFLs.
"I want to say how proud I am of a football team that, when you talk about 'Aggie Pride,' when you talk about what's emblematic of 'Aggie Pride,' that's our team," said head coach Ron Gould. "The grit, the heart, the passion. I don't know why things didn't turn out they way they did, but I'll tell you these men in the locker room are special individuals."
The win came after a statue of former head coach Jim Sochor was unveiled outside the stadium prior to the game.
"This is definitely for Coach Sochor," added Gould. "This is for him, his family, his wife, Donna, who is a special woman. I don't have words to articulate how excited I am for us to win this game for him and his family. We lost a great man but, although, he's gone, he will never be forgotten."
Luuga's 58-yard score came barely two minutes into the game and staked UC Davis to a quick 7-0 lead. Joshua Kelley added a 17-yard TD run later in the quarter after Robinson's 2-yard score tied it. Leading 14-7, the Aggie stretched their lead to 28 points after Scott hit Doss for back-to-back TD passes of 12 and 57 yards, respectively, over a 3-minute span of the second quarter.
Doss' third touchdown reception of the quarter came on a 6-yarder from with 3:53 left before that made it 34-10. Robinson's 1-yard plunge pushed it 34-17 at halftime.
Sacramento State rallied with 10 straight points early in the third quarter thanks to a Jaime Medina's 35-yard field goal - his second of the game - and Manny Scott-Anderson's 22-yard fumble return for a TD on the Aggies' next play. Winston's score and Doss' last score - this time from 58 yards - reopened the lead to 41-27 early in the fourth quarter and the final score except for Medina's 37-yard field goal with 6:14 to go.
Luuga's 249 yards smashed his previous career-high of 160 yards set against Eastern Washington earlier this season. It's also the third-highest single-game total in school history and is the Aggies' highest since Gabe Manzanares went for 230 against Cal Poly in 2014. Doss' receiving total was the Aggies' second 200-yard game total of the year, joining Ramon Vargas' 208 yards against Southern Oregon. Doss also became the fifth Aggie in school history to go over 200 yards while tying John Shoemaker's school record of 4 TD receptions against Western Washington in 1999.
Scott completed 14 of 24 passes for 292 yards and wasn't sacked. His 5 TDs were a career-high, eclipsing the four he did three other times, including once this year. Keleen Culberson had four of the Aggies' nine pass break-ups. Besides Bua and Parenteau, UC Davis also had sacks by Zak Pettit and Anthony Baumgart. Baumgart also forced a fumble.
"The guys said they wanted to keep the trophy at home and it stayed home," said Gould. "I couldn't be more pleased with the effort of this football team. I couldn't be more pleased with the heart and character that has been exhibited by these men."
Manny Scott-Anderson led Sacramento State with 12 tackles.
Aggies host Southern Utah in home finale
Maier added to Walter Payton Award’s watch list
Maier named to CFPA Midseason Watch List
Max O'Rourke named to Fred Mitchell Award watch list
Ken O'Brien honored in football's home finale
Gameday Central vs.
19/15 Southern Utah (4 p.m. PT)