Aztecs Come Up Short Against Utah State 23-17

San Diego State was defeated by Utah State 23-17 on Saturday night at SDCCU stadium. For the Aztecs, it was a classic case of too little, too late.

The Aztecs had multiple streaks snapped tonight. They had a 13 game winning streak in the month of September snapped as well as a 10 game winning streak against the Aggies snapped. 

The Aztecs only scored three points in the first half and trailed by 17 at halftime.

However, a late game spark brought the Aztecs within striking distance. After struggling for most of the game, senior quarterback Ryan Agnew threw two touchdowns in the fourth quarter and cut the Aggies’ lead to six with just over five minutes remaining. He would finish with 281 yards and two touchdowns. 

One of his fourth quarter touchdowns was an across-the-body throw to sophomore Kobe Smith for 25 yards.

Quarterback Ryan Agnew attempting a pass.
(Photo: Justin Neeley)

“That was a miracle at that point.” Agnew said, “[I] Dropped back and they played like a prevent defense so nothing was really open. I tried to buy enough time, try and find the open guy and Kobe [Smith] made a play.”

The Aggies had an opportunity at a 42-yard field goal with 1:18 left in the game, but kicker Dominik Eberle missed the kick, which kept the margin at six points instead of nine. 

On the Aztecs final drive of the game, the offense failed to find the endzone and turned the ball over on downs.

“We had a play drawn up to get one across the middle,” Agnew said, “Wish I stayed in there a little longer [the pocket] and tried to deliver the throw, got to give the receivers a chance.”

SDSU led this one early with a slim 3-0 lead, but a crucial first quarter interception put the Aztecs behind the eight ball. Agnew was picked off by Shaq Bond who returned it for a touchdown.

The turnover was not the only thing that hurt the Aztecs. The team had six penalties for 61 yards, including an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. SDSU eclipsed their average penalties and penalty yards in the first half.

SDSU running back Jordan Byrd.
(Photo: Justin Neeley)

“Obviously the special team’s penalties always started us in bad field position,” Rocky Long said, “I haven’t seen them on film to see if they were legit or not, but we’ll find out. I think the only real bad penalty was we got a personal foul penalty and that’s ridiculous.”

The Aggies have racked up 1,330 yards in their first two games but were held to 375 total yards against the Aztecs.

“If you told me before the game we were going to hold them to 16 points on defense I’d tell you we were going to win,” Long said.

However, Long quickly critiqued his defense after the praise. When asked about how his defense played, Long did not hold back.

“Not good enough,” Long said. “It’s never good enough if you lose. We gave up some yards, but we made them kick field goals and I think they scored one touchdown on offense.”

The Aztecs were without contribution from senior running back Juwan Washington, who hasn’t played since week 1. He continues to suit up, but remains on the sidelines during games.

Asked if anything good came out of tonight Long didn’t mince words.

“Well, there’s no real positives because we lost,” he said. “I still believe our team can be a good football team and maybe we were okay tonight too because Utah State is pretty good, they got an NFL quarterback and that’s a hard thing to contend with.”

The Aztecs will look to gather themselves over their upcoming bye week and prepare for an away game against Colorado State.

Written by: Daniel Farr

Men’s Soccer falls to USD Toreros in a 3-2 defeat

Senior Midfielder Pablo Pelaez kicks the ball against a UC Irvine defender

San Diego State men’s soccer team lost 3-2 in their first game of the season to the University of San Diego on Friday night.

A USD goal in the 67th minute by Miguel Berry proved to be the difference on the SDSU sports deck during “Light the Night,” where the first 500 fans were gifted light-up bracelets. Berry finished with two goals on three shots and led his team to a victory.

Aztec goalkeeper and redshirt sophomore Harrison Skinner was tested often tonight.

“On that third goal I saw their number nine [Berry] coming down the field I thought we had a chance to foul him earlier in the midfield. He went through our defense and he was able to tuck it by me.”

Harrison Skinner

Emotions ran high as the cross-town rivals battled for San Diego bragging rights, multiple yellow cards were handed out throughout the match.

A crowd of over 1,600 people was rewarded with a seesaw match. SDSU jumped out to an early 1-0 lead, due to a free kick by senior midfielder Pablo Pelaez.

“I feel disappointed [and] out of words. We usually do well against USD. It’s a tough one to swallow in front of all these amazing people that came out, but that’s soccer and we’ve got to move on from this and there is a game in two days we get to look forward to.”

Pablo Pelaez

17 minutes later, the Toreros tied the game 1-1 thanks to a Ross Meldrum goal. But only five minutes later, the Aztecs retook the lead thanks to a Tristan Weber score, making it 2-1 in the 64th minute.

In the end, the Aztecs had numerous missed scoring opportunities all throughout the game.

Aztec midfielder Keegan Kelly attempted to set teammates up throughout the night, but they did not return the favor.

“We could’ve gotten a better result, but the guys worked hard; I think we were prepared for this game. At the end of the day, we need to look in the mirror and look at ourselves and see what we need to improve on because this is back to back. We controlled the game and we can’t get the result we want.”

Pablo Pelaez

Due to missed opportunities, the Aztecs gave up two straight goals, which put them too far out of reach during the latter stages of the game.

Head coach Lev Kirshner, who is in his 20th season, pointed to the two goals made by USD’s Barry.

“We didn’t contain him [Berry], the kid picks up a ball at midfield on a dubious no call and he just runs right down the gut of our team. [He ran] 55 yards right down the middle and the second goal basically the same thing, but he only ran 35 yards so we did not just contain that well and getting ourselves isolated too often we made him look very good tonight.”

Lev Kirshner

SDSU men’s soccer team will play again at UNLV tonight at 8:00 pm.

SDSU cheer team at halftime of the SDSU vs USD game on Aug. 30, 2019.
Photo: Daniel Farr/KCR College Radio
Written by: Daniel Farr

San Diego Strike Force Falls to Arizona in 52-14 Loss

The San Diego Strike Force watched an early lead dwindle away against the Arizona Rattlers, eventually losing Monday night 52-14.

The Arizona Rattlers’ running back Rolan Genesy Jr finished with three touchdowns and averaged over six yards per rushing attempt but only ended with 75 yards on 12 carries. San Diego Strike Force’s offensive coordinator Taylor Genuser spoke highly of the opposing offensive coaches.

“[Head] Coach Kevin Guy is one of the best in the business; he does a great job of game planning. That’s a play caller I aspire to be like, and his preparation was better than mine.”

Taylor Genuser

The Strike Force wasn’t able to find much offense against the Rattlers, finishing with 127 passing yards and -18 rushing yards.

“I need to do a better job of mixing up our looks and do a better job of getting the defense out of position and not feeling so comfortable. I am going to put it [the loss] on me, not our players or our effort.”

Taylor Genuser

The Rattlers held a one-point lead after the first quarter and a 10 point lead at the half. It wasn’t until the third quarter, which the game became lopsided. Right after the second half kick off, the Rattlers got on the board via a Gensey Jr. touchdown and a safety. For the Strike Force, the offense gained very little momentum in the second half. The Strike Force’s quarterback Jihad Vercher finished the game with one touchdown and three interceptions while completing 50% of his passes. All of his interceptions came in the second half.

“I need to minimize the mistakes. I let my guys down today as far as my decision making I need to go back to the drawing board and get it right for my guys. We have to play as one. We have to come together, fix our mistakes today, and come out a lot harder against Tucson.”

Jihad Vercher

The Indoor Football League (IFL) began to play in 2009, but 2019 marks the inaugural season for the San Diego Strike Force.

The team plays at the Pechanga Sports Arena. The league has noticeably different rules than the NFL. Some differences include the field only being 50 yards in length, teams are made up of only 21 players, only eight players take the field for each team at a time, and out of bounds is the walls. Any time a player makes contact with the walls or goes over the wall, the play is dead. For the complete list of rules visit here.  The team has six games left, three of them at home.

Coming up for the Strike Force team is an away game against the Tucson Sugar Skulls on May 4. The team will return home May 9 to face the Sugar Skulls once more.

Written by: Daniel Farr