Aztecs Win Ugly 19-13 in Double Overtime Thriller At San Jose State

Aztecs Win Ugly 19-13 in Double Overtime Thriller At San Jose State

Mountain West Football

Aztecs Win Ugly 19-13 in Double Overtime Thriller At San Jose State

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Aztecs Win Ugly 19-13 in Double Overtime Thriller At San Jose State


San Diego State grinds out the win against the Spartans to go 6-0.


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Last year’s Mountain West Conference champions gave the #24 Aztecs a fiercely contested battle, despite their loss.

San Jose, CA- The Aztecs left San Jose Friday with a gritty, nasty, hard-fought win against a stunningly strong defensive performance by the Spartans with a final score of 19-13 in in a four-hour long contest that went into double overtime.

The first quarter was an indicator that San Diego State led by quarterback Jordan Brookshire would struggle in both passing and rushing, then was further punctuated with an Aztecs fumble. The hard start was eclipsed only by the repetitious penalties given to the Spartans.  At the end of the first quarter, the score was 0-0, as both teams’ defenses effectively did their jobs.

The second quarter saw even more ridiculous penalties- a face mask call against an offensive linemen to name one- before the first points of the game were registered when the Aztecs barely managed to reach the very edge of field goal range.

Enter special teams juggernaut kicker Matt Araiza, who at 11:16 in the second quarter completed a monster 53-yard career record field goal while reminding everybody in attendance he might be the best kicker in NCAA football.

The Spartans responded in suit shortly after with a field goal of their own, by way of kicker Matt Mercurio, bringing the score to 3-3.

With just 54 seconds left in the second half, Araiza made his second field goal, and the Aztecs entered halftime with a 6-3 lead.

Things really heated up in the third quarter.  On the very first play in the third quarter, a foul was called, against the Aztecs before B.J Busby completed a pair of passes for back-to-back first downs.  On the drive, Chance Bell was absolutely flattened on a run by Derek Odom. The Aztecs then opted to go for another mega field goal- this time for 55 yards.

Enter Matt Araiza again.  He had the distance, however the ball went just right and outside of the field goal.  The culprit: laces facing the kicker- a costly mistake.

San Jose State drove down the field, and both teams registered penalty after penalty. After back-to-back possessions, the Aztecs had to punt.

Matt Araiza then bombed his punt practically from the end zone for 86 yards putting the ball at the 3 yard line, to San Jose State’s surprise.

SJSU’s quarterback Nick Nash on possession drove for several first downs, and managed to fumble and recover the ball.  As the third quarter ended and the fourth began, at the 14:54 mark, kicker Matt Mercurio completed a 48 yard field goal for the Spartans tying the game at 6-6.

After kicking off to the Aztecs the Spartans aggressively tried to strip the ball from kickoff receiver Jordan Byrd, and things got very chippy.

SJSU defense effectively contained the Aztecs offense, but the Spartans kept collecting penalties.

Jordan Brookshire repeatedly missed the mark with his passing, and it was clear he was having an off night.

Meanwhile in the fourth quarter, San Jose State defense became absolutely stifling- so much so that the Aztecs were averaging just 2.7 yards per carry well into the final quarter.

The Aztecs finally took out Jordan Brookshire and brought in Lucas Johnson at quarterback with just over ten minutes left in the game.  Right away, Spartans’ Jay Keonard sacked Johnson on the 1 yard line and the Aztecs punted.

After the Aztecs regained possession Johnson went down again another sack.  Araiza then punted 53 yards, placing the ball at the 4 yard line. SJSU’s Nash advanced the ball down the field. With 20 seconds to go, the Spartans looked for Matt Mercurio to nail a 52-yard field goal for the win.

Having two time out’s left, Brady Hoke iced Mercurio twice before his attempt, which was both right and short.  Mercurio is talented, but he does not have the distance of Matt Araiza.

By turnover on downs, the Aztecs regained possession, and ran out the clock.  The score at the end of the fourth quarter was 6-6 and the game went into overtime.

SDSU started with the ball at 25 yard line.  Greg Bell managed a 6 yard drive. Bell picked up 3 more yards. Lucas Johnson ran for the first down. Johnson then threw to Jesse Matthews for touchdown, the first in the game, and Araiza secured the extra point.

On San Jose State’s first overtime possession they started off with a 5 yard penalty for illegal substitution.  Nash connected to Derreck Dees in an impossible throw. Next,  Nash made a trick jump pass to a lineman, that was stopped by SDSU. He connected to Braddock who was held to a one yard completion just short of the goal line.

After a time out, the Spartans next power rushed for touchdown, and subsequently made their extra point. This was the first rush for touchdown allowed by SDSU this season.

During second overtime, the Spartans started with possession.  On third and long, SDSU’s Trenton Thompson intercepted the ball, and San Jose State was suddenly at a serious disadvantage.

With the Aztecs’ 2nd overtime possession, Johnson faked a handoff and floated the ball into the end zone to Jesse Matthews again for his second overtime touchdown catch, sealing the game for San Diego State.

The Aztecs won 19-13, crushing the hopes and dreams of San Jose State, who for a moment looked to slingshot with the big momentum of a statement win against a ranked, undefeated opponent.

Sorry folks: it wasn’t meant to be.

This was a hard fought game, and San Jose State came within a heartbeat of winning.  Despite their record, the Spartans are a program on the rise- even if the Aztecs escaped with the thrill of victory.

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