Last season San Francisco State had to forfeit all of its games because it used ineligible players. This season the Gators are doing everything by the book.
Saturday night, Cal State Northridge slammed the book shut on their heads, routing the Gators, 41-17, behind three touchdown passes by Chris Parker and two other scores by running back Mike Kane, who inched closer to another book--the record book.
Kane, a junior, finished with 99 yards in 20 carries, leaving him only 20 yards away from becoming CSUN’s all-time leading rusher.
Parker completed 22 of 48 passes for 350 yards and the three touchdowns in his second brilliant performance in a row.
The Matador defense was riddled for 387 yards (29 of 56 passes) by former Burroughs High (Burbank) star Rich Strasser, but allowed only three points in the second half when it put the game away.
San Francisco State threatened to tie the score on its second possession of the second half after quarterback Rich Strasser and wide receiver Ron Teitel, former teammates at Burroughs High of Burbank, combined on a 55-yard pass. Teitel was run down and knocked out of bounds at the 10-yard line by Reggie Wauls. But the Gators managed only five yards in three plays and it appeared the drive was wasted when Pat Cerruti blocked a 22-yard field goal attempt by Scott Leet.
But a penalty against CSUN for having too many players on the field gave Leet another chance and he then drilled a 20-yard field goal 4:16 into the third quarter to cut the deficit to 21-17.
Northridge got those three points back on its next possession when Mike Doan kicked a 23-yard field goal with 6:06 left in the quarter to make the score 24-17. The drive was keyed by a 22-yard run by Kane.
CSUN then turned the game into a rout with a 46-yard drive that started with a 35-yard pass from Parker to Kenny Garrett, who fended off two tacklers before being hauled down at the San Francisco State 11. A four-yard catch by Garrett put the ball at the seven yard line, and Charles Collins then dropped a pass in the end zone but the Gators were called for pass interference on the play, giving CSUN a first down at the two yard line. Kane then slammed the ball into the end zone with 3:01 left in the quarter for his second touchdown of the game and sixth of the season and the PAT gave the Matadors a 31-17 lead.
A 38-yard field goal by Mike Doan in the final minute closed out the scoring
San Francisco State drove to the Matadors’ 23 on its next possession, but on third down senior cornerback Simon Goss intercepted a Strasser pass at the four-yard line and returned it 56 yards to the Gators’ 40. On the fourth play, Parker drilled a 27-yard touchdown pass to Nick Uruburu, a sophomore from San Pedro who made the catch in the end zone with a defender’s arms wrapped around him. It was Parker’s ninth touchdown pass of the season and the PAT made the score 38-17 with 13:47 left in the game.
A 44-yard pass from Parker to a streaking Chris Moore for an apparent touchdown, which would have given Parker back-to-back four-touchdown games, three minutes later was called back because of a CSUN holding penalty.
San Francisco State had jumped out to a quick lead just 4:26 into the game when Strasser hit Jones with a 64-yard touchdown strike down the middle. The touchdown came one play after an errant pass by Strasser soared over the head of his intended receiver and into--and out of--the arms of cornerback Jonathan Bradshaw.
Leet’s PAT was blocked, and the Gators led, 6-0.
After a four-possession series in which Parker threw three incomplete passes, San Francisco State began a drive but was forced to punt when Strasser was sacked for a two-yard loss and then misfired on a third-down pass.
CSUN got the ball at its 12 and began an 88-yard march on the strength of Parker’s arm. He hit Kane with a swing pass that Kane turned into a 24-yard gain by crashing over three defenders. Parker came back three plays later with a 21-yard pass to Uruburu and 30 seconds later launched a bomb down the middle that junior wide receiver Vince Chambers hauled in after soaring over two defenders. He landed at the four-yard line, and Kane then punched it into the end zone with a pair of two-yard runs.
The touchdown came with 2:42 left in the first quarter, and the PAT gave CSUN a 7-6 lead.
Parker’s hot streak continued on CSUN’s next possession. He moved the team to the San Francisco State 40 with a 16-yard pass to Chambers and then, with only three seconds left in the quarter, uncorked a 40-yard pass that running back Eric Davis caught at the 10-yard line. Davis made a good move to the outside and rambled into the end zone along the right sideline with no time left on the clock for the touchdown, and Mike Doan’s second PAT gave CSUN a 14-6 lead.
The Gators came right back, however, tying the score, 14-14, five minutes into the second quarter when Strasser hit former Burroughs High teammate Ron Teitel with a 13-yard touchdown pass in the end zone. Strasser then passed to Orin Childs for the two-point conversion.
That San Francisco State drive was kept alive by three CSUN penalties totaling 30 yards. The most damaging, a 15-yard personal foul on Simon Goss for a late hit on Jaime Hill following a short pass reception from Strasser, gave the Gators a first down at the CSUN 17-yard line.
Northridge boosted its lead to 21-14 with 2:14 left in the half on a four-yard touchdown pass from Parker to Davis, who dove and snared the ball in the end zone. That touchdown was set up by a 24-yard run by Kane on the first play of the drive and a 28-yard pass from Parker to Richard Brown, who made a spectacular catch over two defenders.
San Francisco State had a chance to tie the score in the closing seconds of the half when it got a first down at the CSUN two yard line after a short drive and a pass interference penalty against Bradshaw near the goal line. But the CSUN defense shut down the Gators on three plays and, on a fake field goal play, Strasser was hammered out of bounds at the one yard line by Darrell McIntyre as the half ended.
San Francisco State piled up 237 passing yards in the first half to 199 for CSUN.