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Second-Half Charge Not Enough For UC Davis As They Fall To North Dakota

GRAND FORKS, N.D. — North Dakota mounted an eight-play, 36-yard drive, culminating in a 46-yard field goal from sophomore Brady Leach with :57 remaining in the ballgame, as No. 12 UC Davis lost 38-36 in heartbreaking fashion to the Fighting Hawks on Saturday afternoon at the Alerus Center.

The loss brought the Aggies record to 2-4 overall and 0-1 in conference play.

“Give North Dakota credit … they made big plays throughout the first three quarters and kept us off-balanced,” said head coach Dan Hawkins. “That was a good game between two good teams.”

Senior communication major Jake Maier led UC Davis’ passing attack with 357 yards through the air, tossing four touchdowns and three interceptions.

Sophomore Ulonzo Gilliam, Jr. led all Aggies rushers with 64 yards and one touchdown in the contest. Gilliam also added 68 receiving yards. Senior Nick Fehrenbach also added 12 yards on the ground, averaging 12 yards per carry.

Sophomore Carson Crawford pulled in five catches for 88 yards. Senior managerial economics major Wes Preece made his presence felt in the passing game, recording five receptions for 68 yards and three touchdowns.

Senior cognitive science major Eric Flowers showed out for the UC Davis defense, recording 10 tackles and one interception. Freshman Nick Eaton added nine tackles and 1.0 TFL, and junior community and regional development major Erron Duncan had seven tackles and 1.0 TFL in the loss.

North Dakota opened up a 14-0 lead, but UC Davis responded to cut it to a 14-7 deficit. Gilliam ran in a two-yard touchdown with 13:36 remaining in the second quarter to end an eight-play, 75-yard drive.

UC Davis responded after North Dakota increased its lead to 21-7 with a score to make it a 21-14 game. The Aggies ended a 10-play, 90-yard scoring drive when junior Christian Skeptaris pulled in a three-yard touchdown reception from Maier with 7:19 left in the second quarter.

North Dakota scored to go up 28-14, but UC Davis responded and narrowed the gap to 28-21. Maier hit Preece for a 31-yard touchdown reception with 14:06 left in the third quarter to end a three-play, 75-yard drive.

North Dakota scored to expand its lead to 35-21, but UC Davis got on the scoreboard again to cut into the lead and make it a 35-28 deficit. The Aggies capped a 10-play, 75-yard scoring drive when Preece hauled in a 15-yard touchdown reception from Maier with 6:01 left in the third quarter.

UC Davis scored again and took a 36-35 lead in the process. Maier found Preece for a two-yard touchdown reception with 2:06 left in the fourth quarter to cap a 10-play, 80-yard scoring drive. Junior sociology major Khris Vaughn converted a two-point conversion attempt. UC Davis didn’t score again and North Dakota tacked on three more points to finish off the game.

UC Davis’ defense held up fairly well against the run, limiting North Dakota to 187 yards on the ground.

UC Davis took care of business in the red zone, scoring 29 points on four trips inside North Dakota’s 20-yard line.

The Aggies are back in action on Saturday, Oct. 12, when Cal Poly visits UC Davis Health Stadium for this year’s Battle for the Golden Horseshoe.