San Diego, Calif. -- The USD football team (6-1, 5-0 PFL) dealt the visiting Valparaiso Crusaders (3-5, 2-3 PFL) a 49-10 loss today before 2,222 fans at Torero Stadium. The win was USD's fifth straight conference win and sets up a key PFL showdown next Saturday at Marist College (4-0 PFL, 4-3). The USD defense, ranked #1 in the nation in scoring defense, limited the Crusaders to 10 points and 258 total yards of offense. Offensively, QB Anthony Lawrence tossed a personal-best 5 touchdowns and finished with 301 passing yards.
In the first half Valparaiso got on the scoreboard first with a 31-yard field goal from Dimitrios Latsonas with 7:32 left in the first quarter. On their next drive the Toreros strung together a 6-play, 48-yard drive that was culminated by a 6-yard touchdown run from senior Jonah Hodges. USD's Jamal Agnew returned a Valpo punt 63 yards for a touchdown at the 2:08 mark as USD closed out the quarter with a 14-3 lead. In the second quarter Anthony Lawrence tossed two touchdowns to Justin Priest (12 yards) and Jacob Arnell (5 yards) for the 28-3 halftime advantage.
In the second half the Torero defense continued their dominant play, and Lawrence tossed two more touchdowns for a commanding 42-3 advantage heading into the final quarter. Lawrence connected with Brian Riley for a 17-yard score at the 11:24 mark, and then closed out a 7-play, 66-yard drive with a 20-yard toss to back Jereke Armstrong.
For the game Lawrence completed 22-of-32 passes for 301 yards and five scores. The five touchdown passes is one more than his previous personal-best he had set on four different occasions including last week. His favorite targets were Brian Riley (6 for 85 yards, 2 TDs) and TE Ross Dwelley (4 for 72 yards). Defensively the Toreros turned in another solid team effort, and were paced by LB Nic Henson (6 stops), NB Max Michaels (6 tackles), safety Jack Michael (5 stops) and DE Jonathan Petersen (4 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, 2 QB hurries). Valparaiso was paced by QB Jimmy Seewald (14-26 for 200 yards and 1 TD).
Next week's contest at Marist College is slated to kickoff at 10:00 a.m. (Pacific) at Tenney Stadium (5,000 capacity). Earlier today Marist earned a 31-10 win over Davidson College in PFL action.
Cornerback Jamal Agnew
On the first special teams touchdown of the season:
"It's been a long time coming. I almost had one at Cal Poly but was tackled by the kicker so I had to be sure that didn't happen again. I have to shout out my pressure unit for opening holes, I didn't do it by myself."
Head Coach Dale Lindsey
On the win:
"I'm happy that we won. I'm very pleased with our special teams showing up with a kickoff return and a fourth down catch to set up another touchdown."
Quarterback Anthony Lawrence
On being undefeated in the PFL this season:
"Our whole goal is 8-0 and we're 5-0 so the goal is still intact. Our defense is clicking and our offense is clicking so I'm really excited for the rest of the conference."
On the offensive line:
"They're incredible! They're a young group of guys but we're all very close friends so it makes it fun and they make my job a lot easier."
On his record-breaking game:
"The coaches are putting together a great game plan every week so I just go out there and do what they tell me which makes it easy. And the tight ends and receivers are making plays."
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