The weather on Nov. 12 cooperated for the pregame ceremonies to honor Veterans
Day and MSU’s senior football players. After six straight losses, the MSU football team looked to send their seniors off with a final victory at Bobcat Stadium for the last home game of the season. University of California Davis came into the showdown with limited success this season, as well. Both teams came entered matchup with a 2-7 record, while UC-Davis had already managed a conference victory against Northern Colorado.
The Aggies took control for the majority of the first quarter finishing with a 13 play, 77-yard drive. The drive took seven minutes and 20 seconds off the clock and put UC Davis up 7-0.
Both teams traded field goals making the score 10-3. After the UC Davis field goal, senior Chad Newell put the Bobcats on his back rushing five out of nine plays for 39 yards. Newell finished the drive with a 10 yard run to tie the game at 10.
With two minutes and nine seconds left in the half, Bobcats received the ball and quickly drove down field. With 34 seconds remaining, the Cats ran a trick play running a sweep left with Newell, who tossed the ball to freshman Kevin Kassis who ran right and threw the ball into the end zone to redshirt freshman Cameron Sutton for a 23-yard touchdown strike.
With only 23 seconds left the Aggies drove 44 yards in three plays kicking a 48 yard field goal making the score 17-13 at the end of the first half. The Bobcats were able to hold off the Aggies in the third quarter.
To start the fourth quarter, the Bobcats were in the red zone but were unable to score and settled for a field goal by freshman Gabe Peppenger. With 14:04 left in the game, UC Davis looked to tie the game, however, junior Mac Bignell had other ideas.
Bignell led the defense for the Cats with seven total tackles and one impressive turnover in which he tackled and stripped the runner of the football at the same time. “It was one of the plays that put it out of reach for them,” Bignell said, “[the] offense did a great job of scoring right afterwards.” Freshman Chris Murray ran the ball 22 yards for the touchdown and the final score of the game, putting the Bobcats up 27-13.
In the end the Bobcats were the stronger team. After six consecutive losses in which turnovers plagued them, MSU was able to maintain discipline causing one turnover and committing none. Another key to the Bobcats success was field position set up by return man junior Jayshawn Gates, who had four returns for 109 yards, his longest being 53.
“I’m just very, very happy for these kids,” Head Coach Jeff Choate said, “It’s nice not only for these seniors, but for the team as whole, to be winners again.” The team hopes to extend that feeling into next weekend as they finish off their season against the University of Montana on Nov. 19 at noon on Root Sports.