Aztecs Defeat Sacramento State 28-14, Chapman Injured
San Diego State wins its home opener. Quarterback Christian Chapman exits with a knee sprain, and Ryan Agnew steps up.
Sacramento State surprised the Aztecs with resilient play before SDSU took control of the game.
San Diego State defeated Sacramento State 28-14 at SDCCU Stadium in front of a crowd of 45,755. As is tradition, the Aztecs season home opener was celebrated with a post-game KGB SkyShow.
Facing off against Sac State, Aztecs fans had a few things in mind: quarterback Christian Chapman’s record-setting 24th career victory; Juwan Washington’s second game as lead running back- and fireworks.
After kickoff, Sacramento State had the first scoring opportunity. Kicker Devon Medeiros’ 48-yard field goal attempt dinked the left upright and was rejected back to the end zone.
SDSU took over at its own 31-yard line and managed an effective drive: four passes and five runs in nine plays, and the Aztecs succeeded despite glitches.
SDSU wide receiver Fred Trevillion had a perfectly good pass go right off his hands on a play. Chapman was sacked for an 11-yard loss on another and the Aztecs were also flagged for an ineligible player downfield.
On a third-and-10 completion to tight end Kahale Warring they got the first down. Then, a handoff to Washington on second-and-26 went for 30 yards.
Washington completed the nine-play drive with a 5-yard touchdown run giving SDSU a 7-0 lead with 5:42 left in the first quarter.
The Aztecs made it 10-0 two minutes into the second quarter when John Baron II kicked a monstrous 52-yard field goal.
Sacramento State was not phased.
The Hornets made it interesting right after Baron’s field goal with a 14-play drive that consumed half of the second quarter. Running back Bryant Perkinson made the 1-yard touchdown run to cut the lead to three points.
With this game, Chapman did record his 24th career victory as a starter, becoming SDSU’s all-time winningest quarterback but it was bittersweet.
After Chapman had thrown an incomplete pass to wide receiver Tim Wilson, Sacramento State defensive end David Perales was flagged 15 yards and charged with a personal foul on a hit below the waist. It was a late hit.
Chapman was on his back in pain with fists hitting the ground. He removed his helmet and covered his face.
He sustained a knee injury. Fans wait to find out whether it is a sprain or worse. SDCCU Stadium fell silent as Chapman lay on the turf with 4:47 left in the second quarter as the Aztecs led 10-7.
This forced others to step up.
Juwan Washington and Ryan Agnew were up for the challenge.
Ryan Agnew, 6-foot junior backup Aztecs quarterback from Southlake, Texas, warmed up and stepped it up. Agnew has limited play as backup to Chapman over two seasons, completing 6 of 9 passes attempted for 76 yards.
On his first play Agnew took the snap, and threw a 13-yard completion to wide receiver Ethan Dedeaux. Moments later Agnew ran 14 yards for a first down, furthering a drive that led to John “money in the bank” Baron II’s second field goal and a 13-7 halftime lead.
At halftime, an SDSU official diagnosed Chapman with a left knee sprain.
Agnew has a good running ability. SDSU designed a few quarterback runs for him last season that were tested in a game against Nevada.
In this game, Agnew took command throwing the ball, and connecting on 11 of 17 passes in the game for 159 yards.
He also had two long completions called back because of penalties. He was intercepted twice, although one should have been caught by its target.
Sacramento State forced SDSU’s first turnover of the season as a pass Warring tipped was intercepted leading to a 14-13 outcome seven minutes into the third quarter after quarterback Kevin Thomson reached Perkinson for a 64-yard touchdown pass.
SDSU rallied midway through the fourth quarter including a 14-yard run by Washington that put him past 100 yards. A vital fourth-and-9 play at the Hornets’ 38-yard line was converted when Dedeaux completed a dive catch.
On third-and-goal from the 4-yard line, Washington took the handoff and juked two players before scoring with 4:05 left in the game.
The Aztecs went for two, and Agnew hit tight end Parker Houston for the two-point conversion making it 21-14.
SDSU’s defense caused Sacramento State to turn the ball over on downs, thanks to Kyahva Tezino’s fourth-down sack of Thomson. Two plays later, Washington scored again on a 20-yard run.
Two 4- and 20-yard touchdown runs in the game’s final five minutes sealed victory for the Aztecs (1-1).
Aztecs coach Rocky Long noted FCS teams can be very competitive with FBS opponents, noting Eastern Michigan (SDSU’s opponent on Sept. 22) upset Purdue 20-19 Saturday with a winning field goal as time expired.
Juwan Washington rushed 36 times for 156 yards and three touchdowns.
The Aztecs face off against Arizona State next week. The Sun Devils were a 16-13 winner over No. 15 Michigan State. The Aztecs will be without Christian Chapman. Agnew is up for the challenge, and the entire Aztecs squad will not relent as their commanding teammate is sidelined.
The Aztec Nation congratulates San Diego State on the home-opening win.