San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

Katz carries the Aztecs to victory

Peter Kluch, Assistant Photo Editor

On Saturday, the San Diego State football team returned home to Aztec Warrior Stadium to take on the University of Hawai’i Warriors. Coming off two consecutive losses in the last two weeks, SDSU entered the contest in search of a much-needed victory against a struggling 1-4 Hawai’i team. Behind the play of senior quarterback Ryan Katz, the Aztecs jumped to an early lead and never looked back as they paraded to a 52-14 victory to even their conference record at 1-1.

The Aztecs opened the scoring early as Katz scurried into the end zone from 27 yards out on a quarterback draw play. Katz’s mobility played an essential role throughout Saturday’s matchup. Hawai’i fumbled the ensuing kickoff and the Aztecs recovered. As a result, SDSU delivered another score, this time from sophomore running back Adam Muema, who powered his way in from one yard out to extend the Aztecs’ lead to 14-0.

The early scoring continued in the second quarter, as Katz found the end zone yet again, this time from 34 yards out to give the Aztecs an early 21-point lead.

“Both of those (touchdowns) are designed,” Katz said. “(It was) just different things we saw throughout the weeks and what their defense did.

It’s just a good way to attack their defense.”

Hawai’i got on the scoreboard halfway through the second quarter, as junior quarterback Sean Schroeder found sophomore wide receiver Trevor Davis for a 1-yard touchdown pass to cut the deficit to 21-7.

However, the Warriors’ early efforts to get back in the game proved insufficient, as the Aztecs proceeded to put points on the scoreboard. Katz found senior wide receiver Brice Butler for a 36-yard touchdown pass with roughly six minutes left in the second quarter. Then with just 24 seconds left in the first half, Katz crossed the goal line again for a 9-yard touchdown run, his third rushing touchdown of the half. The touchdown gave the Aztecs a 35-7 halftime lead.

Hawai’i opened the second half with a 3-yard touchdown run by freshman running back Will Gregory to cut the deficit to 35-14. But the touchdown proved to be the end of Hawai’i’s scoring for the day, as the Aztec defense remained strong throughout the second half.

The SDSU offense continued to fire on all cylinders for the Aztec offense, as senior kicker Chance Marden got into the action with a 35-yard field goal to increase the lead to 38-14 entering the fourth quarter.

As if the 24-point lead wasn’t enough, SDSU added 14 more points in the fourth quarter. Muema provided the play of the night, taking a short pass from Katz and carrying several Hawai’i defenders into the end zone with the help of his offensive line for a 31-yard touchdown.

“It was a screen pass,” senior offensive lineman Nik Embernate said regarding how well the team worked together to make the play successful.

“We all got out, made our blocks and then Adam’s running down, and he’s not going down. We all think ‘let’s just push him in the end zone, get that work horse in the end zone because he deserves it.’”

The play signified what the coaches had been telling the offensive line during practice.

“Our coaches preach finish, finishing blocks and stuff like that. It would be selfish of us to just stand back there and watch him work by himself,” Embernate said.

Redshirt freshman running back Chase Price added a 2-yard touchdown run to end the game 52-14 in favor of SDSU.

Katz finished with five total touchdowns, two passing and three rushing. He also had 190 yards passing and zero interceptions. Muema finished with 77 yards rushing and one touchdown on 20 carries and added a receiving touchdown.

Sophomore linebacker Jake Fely and senior cornerback Leon McFadden each had six tackles for an Aztec defense that forced three fumbles and only allowed 14 points.

“It was huge,” Katz said about the win. “More than anything, this week in practice, guys were kind of on edge. Coming off of two tough losses, we just wanted to get out there and give it our all and get this win this week. So we’re happy to do that.”

The Aztecs improved to 3-3 on the season and 1-1 in conference play. SDSU will take on Colorado State at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday at Aztec Warrior Stadium for homecoming.

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San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913
Katz carries the Aztecs to victory