Aggies Fall at Eastern Washington But Remain in First Place
CHENEY, Wash. – Redshirt freshman biochemistry and molecular biology Ulonzo Gilliam extended a Big Sky program record by scoring his 13th touchdown of the season in Saturday’s league road game at No. 5 Eastern Washington, and that scoring drive took place after junior communication major Max O’Rourke opened the afternoon with a 30-yard field goal.
After the Eagles battled back to take a 21-10 lead, sophomore sociology major Tehran Thomas scampered 69 yards untouched to pull the Aggies within four at the break, thanks to his career-long rush.
Junior managerial economics major Matt Blair connected on a career-long 51-yard field goal, with 25 seconds remaining in the third quarter, but it was EWU’s second-half scoring, which included touchdowns on back-to-back drives prior to Blair’s kick, that helped it pull away from No. 4 UC Davis and record a 59-20 victory.
“Give them credit, that was a good defense. They are good up front, they are good (stopping) the run, they are not going to give you much and they will pressure your quarterback. They were able to mix up coverages a bit, and that kept us off rhythm,” said head coach Dan Hawkins.
Blair’s boot is the second field goal of 50 or more yards recorded by an Aggie during the team’s Big Sky era, one yard shy of matching Brady Stuart’s record, which took place at Weber State on Nov. 7, 2015
With its result from Cheney, UC Davis will enter next Saturday’s 12 p.m. home Causeway Classic at 8-2 overall and 6-1 against Big Sky teams. Eastern Washington will also enter next week’s regular season finale with matching records.
Even though the loss was the Aggies’ first during league play, they still remain in first place alongside Eastern Washington and Weber State since each team suffered one league loss.
All three are in control of their own championship destiny next week when the Aggies host Sacramento State (12 p.m.) in the annual Causeway Classic, Eastern Washington heads to Portland State (7:05 p.m.) and Weber State travels to Idaho State (1:30 p.m. PT). Teams that win (from that group of three) will split this year’s conference crown, regardless of what happens in the other games.
“We just need to keep playing, it is all about the process,” added Hawkins. “I told them last night, whether we win or lose (at EWU), we need to just keep playing.”