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Northridge Is Run Out of Town : Matadors Can’t Stop New Mexico State, 28-18

TIMES STAFF WRITER

What a difference one good Manns can make.

Denvins Manns, New Mexico State running back, ran every which way almost at will and the Aggies beat Cal State Northridge, 28-18, in a nonconference game Saturday night in front of 13,913 at Aggie Memorial Stadium.

Northridge (1-2) could see Manns coming out of the I-back slot in New Mexico State’s option attack but did little to stop the 5-foot-9 junior, who is well on his way to becoming one of best ballcarriers in Big West Conference history.

Manns carried 31 times for 221 yards and two touchdowns, giving him 2,427 yards in two seasons.

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At least two Matadors, Coach Jim Fenwick and senior linebacker Marc Goodson, weren’t overwhelmed by Manns.

“I don’t think I want to give one individual credit,” Fenwick said. “He’s a good back. . . . They are bigger and stronger and we couldn’t hold them.”

Said Goodson: “He’s good. He ain’t the best I’ve ever faced.”

The Matadors didn’t see Manns last year because an injury sidelined him for the game won by Northridge, 33-0. He definitely showed up this time, helping the Aggies (1-2) win their home opener.

Northridge, despite out-gaining the Aggies, 512 yards to 420, sputtered enough to halt several promising drives. The Matadors, who have lost two in a row, fumbled twice and turned the ball over twice more on interceptions.

Aaron Flowers completed 29 of 45 attempts for 404 yards and one touchdown, becoming Northridge’s career passing leader with 4,697 yards.

Bruce Lemmerman set the record of 4,473 yards in 1965-67.

But the Matadors, who opened the game with seldom-used Geoff Snowden at running back because regulars Jahi Arnold, Norman Clarke and Marcus Harvey were suspended for the first half after violating unspecified team rules, managed only a field goal until the fourth quarter.

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“It’s hard being on the field for so long,” Goodson said. “We were tired. . . . They run the ball so much and you’re in on every play. It takes its toll on your body.”

Manns showed his running ability on New Mexico State’s first possession, carrying on five of seven plays for 57 yards, including a six-yard touchdown with 10:14 to play in the first quarter to give the Aggies a 7-0 lead.

The Matadors got on the board on a 28-yard field goal by Manny Marquez with 3:15 before the half, pulling to within 7-3.

Marquez missed a 49-yard attempt just before the half that would have equaled his career best.

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New Mexico reeled off two more touchdowns and led, 21-3, after three quarters.

Northridge pulled to within 21-10 on Jahi Arnold’s one-yard run five seconds into the fourth quarter but Manns raised the score to 28-10 on a one-yard run with 4:19 remaining.

Flowers connected with Aaron Arnold on a 55-yard touchdown pass play with 33 seconds to play.

Aaron Arnold had seven receptions for 151 yards and Brian Comer had 11 for 131 yards.

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Snowden gained 46 yards in nine carries.

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

Big Sky Scoreboard

Saturday’s football results

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* Montana: 24

* Stephen F. Austin: 10

* Montana State: 24

* Chadron State: 14

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* Weber State: 33

* Southern Utah: 32

* Eastern Washington: 38

* Eastern Oregon: 14

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* Idaho: 43

* Idaho State: 0

* Big Sky Roundup, C14


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