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Devon King’s Goal-Line Forced Fumble Lifts UC Davis To Victory At San Diego

SAN DIEGO – UC Davis put together a 14-play, 81-yard drive, culminating in a one-yard rushing touchdown from sophomore Ulonzo Gilliam, Jr. with 3:35 left in the ballgame. But it was sophomore Devon King’s one-on-one defensive stop on the goal line, which forced a San Diego fumble that resulted in a touchback with two seconds remaining, that lifted the No. 4 Aggies a 38-35 win over San Diego on Saturday afternoon at Torero Stadium.

“He has the heart of a lion, there is nobody who will work hard on each play, and do whatever it takes to help the team win more than that guy. It is not surprising that he is the one who made that key stop,” added Hawkins regarding King and his last-second clutch effort.

The non-conference victory advanced UC Davis’ record to 1-1 on the season.

Senior communication major Jake Maier led UC Davis’ passing attack with 359 yards through the air, tossing two touchdowns and two interceptions.

Gilliam paced the Aggies rushing attack by accumulating 135 yards and two touchdowns over the course of the game, averaging 6.4 yards per carry. Sophomore communication major Troy Spencer also added 8 yards on the ground.

Maier’s most prolific target in the ballgame was senior managerial economics major Wes Preece, who caught five passes for 118 yards. Junior human development major Jared Harrell got in on the action in the passing game as well, hauling in eight balls for 88 yards and one touchdown. The Aggies also got 86 yards receiving and one touchdown from sophomore C. Crawford in the contest.

Sophomore Jordan Perryman led UC Davis on the defensive side of the ball, recording four tackles, one interception, and one forced fumble. Junior sociology major James Scharetg added four tackles, 1.0 TFL, and one sack and sophomore human development major Devon King had six tackles and one interception in the win.

UC Davis drew first blood and opened a 7-0 lead on the game’s first drive. Crawford hauled in a four-yard touchdown reception from Maier with 13:53 left in the first quarter to finish a four-play, 75-yard drive. Freshman undeclared major Da’Von Frazier tacked on the extra point.

UC Davis grew the lead to 14-0 after scoring once again. The Aggies capped a seven-play, 90-yard drive when Harrell snagged a six-yard touchdown reception from Maier with 6:16 left in the first quarter. Senior communication major Max O’Rourke converted the extra point attempt.

After San Diego tied it at 14-14, UC Davis responded with a score of its own to retake the lead at 21-14. Crawford hit senior Matt Hyman on a 37-yard touchdown catch with 5:51 left in the second quarter on a one-play drive O’Rourke’s PAT attempt was good.

San Diego tied it at 21-21, but UC Davis responded with a score of its own to jump back in front 28-21. The Aggies finished off an eight-play, 79-yard scoring drive when Gilliam rushed for a four-yard touchdown with 8:22 left in the third quarter. O’Rourke added the extra point.

After San Diego scored to tie it at 28-28, UC Davis responded with a score of its own to jump back ahead 31-28. O’Rourke converted a 28-yard field goal with 14:57 left in the fourth quarter to end a seven-play, 60-yard scoring drive.

“San Diego deserves a lot of credit, they are well-coached and that staff gets everything they can out of those guys. They are a good team, and what the Toreros do schematically causes a lot of problems,” added Hawkins. 

The Toreros put seven on the board to take the lead before UC Davis snatched it back, tacking on seven when Gilliam powered it in from one yard out with 3:35 left in the fourth quarter to close a 14-play, 81-yard drive. O’Rourke made the PAT attempt to give the Aggies the 38-35 lead. Neither team scored again in the game.

Both teams forced three turnovers in Saturday’s contest, with UC Davis turning those takeaways into seven points. UC Davis also had an outstanding day offensively, racking up 539 total yards, 143 on the ground and 396 through the air, while averaging 7.8 yards per play and out-gaining San Diego. The UC Davis offense did a good job keeping drives alive, converting on 54.5 percent of third-down attempts.

Defensively, UC Davis held up fairly well against the San Diego rushing attack, holding the Toreros to 174 yards on the ground. The Aggies defense disrupted the San Diego passing attack on the way to recording two interceptions.

UC Davis’ offense took advantage of its visits to the red zone, scoring 31 points on six red zone appearances