Nov. 21, 2009
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -
Brandyn Reed hauled in a 13-yard touchdown pass from McLeod Bethel-Thompson with 20 seconds left in the game, capping a 21-point fourth quarter for Sacramento State, as the host Hornets rallied for a 31-28 win over UC Davis on Saturday in the 56th annual Causeway Classic, played before 17,127 fans.
UC Davis, which won the Great West Conference championship and posted its first winning season since 2006, finished 6-5 while Sacramento State won the local rivalry for the second straight year to conclude its season 5-6. Aggies' wide receiver Chris Carter capped his standout career with nine catches for 84 yards and a touchdown, becoming the program's all-time receptions leader with 213.
Aggie quarterback Greg Denham completed 28 of 39 passes for 307 yards and two touchdowns, posting his third 300-yard game of the season and ninth of his career. Nick Aprile, directing UC Davis' version of the "Wildcat" formation, rushed for a pair of scores while receiver Bakari Grant had a 49-yard touchdown reception.
Bethel-Thompson, who came in in the third quarter for starter Jason Smith, finished with 233 passing yards and a pair of scores while Reed hauled in seven passes for 134 yards, also scoring from 39 yards early in the fourth.
"I give credit where credit is due," said Aggie coach Bob Biggs. "They made plays, we didn't make enough. Give them credit."
Sacramento State trailed 28-17 early in the fourth quarter after Denham connected with Grant over the middle and Grant turned the play into his long touchdown. The Hornets began their rally with a 10-play, 56-yard drive that was capped by Jake Croxdale's two-yard run with 7 minutes, 36 seconds left.
UC Davis moved to just inside Sacramento State's territory on its ensuing drive but had to punt with 4:57 to play. Bethel-Thompson then directed the game-winning drive by completing eight passes to put the Hornets at the Aggies' 13-yard line with 25 seconds left. He then found Reed in the back, right corner of the end zone with the go-ahead score.
Carter tried to lateral after a catch on a final UC Davis attempt to score in the waning seconds but the ball was turned over to the Hornets.
A 37-yard field goal by Chris Diniz staked the Hornets to an early 3-0 lead but Aprile rumbled in for a 3-yard score on the first play of the second quarter and then from a yard out with 6:46 to put UC Davis in front 14-3. Bethel-Thompson's 1-yard run finished of a 7-play, 66-yard early in the third quarter to make it 14-10 before Carter helped put the Aggies back up 21-10 with a 9-yard connection from Denham with 4:54 left in the third.
Reed's 39-yard score started the Hornets' fourth-quarter rally.
Carter, whose catches broke the previous record of 207 by Tony Kays (2003-06), finished with 2,434 career yards and 15 touchdowns. His yardage is sixth all-time at UC Davis
Josh Reese rushed for 53 yards to lead the UC Davis rushing attack while tight end Dean Rogers added five catches for 39 yards. Senior Patrick Michelier had a 10-yard sack in his final game, leading UC Davis with six tackles including three solo. Linebacker Dozie Amajoyi and defensive end Tommy Grillo also had sacks. Amajoyi joined four other Aggies with five tackles.
Despite the loss, the Aggies still enjoyed a successful season. Their conference title was the program's first since 2005 while its winning season was UC Davis' 38th in the past 40 seasons. UC Davis also posted a three-game winning streak, gave No. 3/1 Montana all it co