Sep 7, 2013
(San Diego, Calif.) - The USD Toreros improved to 1-1 on the season with tonight's hard-fought 38-35 victory over the visiting Western New Mexico Mustangs (0-1). It was USD's third straight win over the Mustangs in the past three seasons, and USD improved their home field winning streak to 13 straight. Senior quarterback Mason Mills threw for 313 yards and 3 touchdowns, and senior running back Joe Ferguson rushed for 156 yards and found the end zone twice.
In the first quarter the Toreros jumped out to an early 10-0 lead behind a Ferguson 55-yard touchdown run and David Last 36-yard field goal. The Mustangs answered with their own big play as quarterback Mitch Glassmann connected with receiver Ronnell Pompey for a 72-yard score to pull to within 10-7. Not to be outdone, Mills connected with receiver Sam Hoekstra for a 66-yard pass play that culminated a quick 4-play, 69-yard drive to end the first quarter scoring at 17-7.
WNMU got the better of USD in the second quarter outscoring the Toreros 13-7. Cleavon Barnes found the end zone from 3-yards out to make the score 17-13. From there the Toreros controlled the clock and ended a 12-play, 72-yard drive with a 3-yard touchdown pass from Mills to Brandon White with just 1:47 left in the half. The Mustangs rallied just before the half as Glassmann connected with Larry Young for a 13-yard score with 14 ticks left as USD held a 24-20 intermission lead.
In the third period the Mustangs took a 27-24 lead when Glassmann tossed his third touchdown of the game, this time a 25-yarder to Donald Byrd at the 7:23 mark. Again the Toreros were able to string together a long drive, this time with Ferguson hauling in a 4-yard pass from Mills that closed out a 12-play, 83-yard drive over 5 ½ minutes.
Late in the 4th period redshirt freshman Bug Rivera gave the Toreros a 38-27 cushion as he bolted up the left side from 31-yards out that culminated a 7-play, 74-yard drive with just 2:24 to go. A key play in that series came on a 3rd and 5 situation with Mills scrambling and finding Ferguson who made some nifty moves and finished off the play with a 16-yard gain and important first down. Kenn James (9 yards) and Ferguson (13 yards) added key rushes before Rivera found the end zone.
Glassmann directed the Mustangs on one more scoring drive as he connected with Byrd for another touchdown, this time from 4-yards out with 50 seconds to go. WNMU's onside kick was unsuccessful as senior tight end Matt Guillaume pounced on the ball before taking a hard hit. For the game Glassmann completed 20-32 passes for 351 yards and 4 touchdowns. His favorite targets were Ronnell Pompey (8-193, 1 TD) and Donald Byrd (6-103, 2 TDs).
For the game USD amassed 583 yards of total offense (270 rush, 313 pass). Mills completed 15-of-27 passes for 313 yards and 3 touchdowns. Ferguson rushed 15 times for his 156 yards and 1 score, while also hauling in 3 passes for 15 yards and 1 TD. A trio of receivers also turned in solid games - Brandon White (5-49, 1 TD), Sam Hoekstra (4-144, 1 TD) and Reggie Bell (3-105). With his two punt returns for 24 yards, Hoekstra becomes the school's career leader in returns with 65, passing by Gavin Ng (64, 2000-2003).
Defensively for the Toreros Zach Devaney had a team-high 9 tackles to go with 1 sack. He was followed by freshman cornerback Jamal Agnew (8 tackles, 2 break-ups), safety Robbie Beathard (7 tackles), linebacker Troy McClelland (5 stops, 1 sack), safety Matt Miller (5 stops), tackle Clint Johnson (5 stops, 1 sack), end Steve Garguilo (5 tackles) and linebacker Michael Ruffino (5 stops).
The Toreros have a bye next week before turning on September 21st to host Harvard in a 12 noon contest.