Sept. 28, 2013
(DeLand, Fla.) - The USD Toreros (1-0 PFL, 2-2), gunning for their third straight PFL title, took a big step in the right direction with today's 59-0 road win over league newcomer Stetson (0-1 PFL, 1-3). On the strength of 400 yards of total offense in the first half the Toreros jumped out to a 35-0 intermission lead and never looked back. USD would go on to finish with 624 yards of offense and its 59 points was the team's most since earning a 62-23 win over Jacksonville in 2007. Kenn James and Joe Ferguson carried the bulk of the load on the ground. James finished with 146 yards on 13 carries and found the endzone twice (24 & 34 yards), while Ferguson chipped in with 91 yards on just 6 carries with two scores (37 & 40 yards).
"It feels good to win our PFL opener," said head coach Dale Lindsey. "Our kids had a good week of practices and that carried over through the game today. I was really pleased with the running game, especially Kenn James and Joe Ferguson."
Mason Mills finished the day with 18-of-20 passing for 269 yards and 2 scores, becoming the program's career leader in passing attempts (1,078). He passed by Josh Johnson who left USD with 1,065 attempts and 724 completions from 2004-07. Mills, who was replaced by Kyle Miller midway through the third period, needed 22 completions today to pass Johnson in that department - he finished with 18 and now sits at 721. His main targets were Reggie Bell (5 for 96 yards), Sam Hoekstra (4-56) and Brandon White (3 for 29, 2 TDs).
Ferguson got USD on the scoreboard first with his 37-yard burst in the second minute of the game. Junior WR Brandon White hauled in a 2-yard pass from Mills with 4:34 left that gave USD a 14-0 cushion after 15 minutes of play. In the second quarter Ferguson added a 40-yard TD, and was followed by a Kenn James 24 yard TD run and White's second TD reception, a 15-yarder.
It was all USD in the second half as the Toreros received a 1-yard TD from Montell Allen, Kenn James added his second rushing TD (34 yards) and David Last converted a 22-yard field goal. Early in the 4th period Tyler Tony rushed in from 6 yards out for the game's final score. After recovering a Stetson fumble with just under 7 minutes to go, the Toreros ran out the clock despite reaching the Stetson 1-yard line.
The Torero defense held Stetson to 161 yards of offense, including just 10 yards on the ground. It was a complete team effort on the defensive side of the ball with four players finishing with 4 tackles each - Troy McClelland, Michael Ruffino, Zach Devaney and Steve Gargiulo. Yogi Hale and Robbie Beathard each chipped in with an interception.
The Toreros return home next Saturday to take on the Mercer Bears in a 1pm contest at Walter J. Zable Field at Torero Stadium. Mercer improved to 4-0 overall and 1-0 in the PFL with today's 31-17 win over Drake.