Nov. 17, 2012
(Davidson, NC) - The USD Toreros (7-3; 6-1 PFL) kept their PFL title hopes alive for a second consecutive season with a hard-fought 17-10 road victory over the Davidson Wildcats (2-9; 2-6 PFL). The win was USD's fifth straight victory. The Toreros will get that title chance on December 1st when they play a make-up game against Marist College (4-6; 3-4 PFL) in Poughkeepsie, New York. USD will be chasing both Butler (7-1 PFL mark; 8-3 overall record), and the Drake Bulldogs (8-3; 7-1 PFL), who knocked off Jacksonville Dolphins today, 32-29.
Junior running back Joe Ferguson (Santa Rosa, CA) had a big game as he stepped in for Dallas Kessman who sat out due to illness. Ferguson rushed 28 times for 170 yards and 2 touchdowns, including the game-winner from 13 yards out with 4:02 to go in the game that broke a 10-all tie. His 11-yard touchdown run early in the 3rd quarter had given the Toreros their first lead of the game at 10-7.
"In any good season, you're going to have one of those games where you have to find a way to win," San Diego coach Ron Caragher said. "We didn't do very well in the red zone, and it wasn't pretty, but we battled back and we found a way to win."
Quarterback Mason Mills continued his strong play as he completed 17-of-24 passes for 257 yards. His favorite target on the day was redshirt sophomore Reggie Bell who hauled in 7 receptions for 168 yards.
Davidson held a 7-0 lead at the end of the first quarter when running back Colby Everett culminated a 13-play, 85-yard scoring drive with a 1-yard touchdown burst. Early in the second quarter USD's Ernie Collins lined up for a 29-yard field goal and had it blocked by Andrew Hart. Wildcat Zach Clark scooped it up and raced 60 yards before Torero holder Robbie Beyer tracked him down at the USD 26-yard line to prevent a score. That proved critical as the Torero defense then came in and held Davidson on four straight plays, including a 4th-and-14 attempt from the 30-yard line. Dustin Geyer provided a sack on their first play, and Steve Gargiulo and Zach Devaney caught RB Colby Everett in the backfield for a 6-yard loss.
With 8:03 left in the first half Collins connected from 22-yards out for his 14th made field goal of the season. That was his 14th make on the season and ties the USD single season mark set by Dave Bergmann during the 1989 campaign. The third period began on a good note for the Toreros as Sam Hoekstra
took the opening kickoff and returned it 83 yards to the Davidson 17-yard line. Two plays later Ferguson notched his first of two touchdown rushes from 11 yards out for a 10-7 Torero lead.
Neither team scored again until the final 6 minutes of the contest. Davidson's Robert Schick converted a 25-yard field goal with 5:49 to go that knotted the score at 10-all. That set up USD's winning drive. Ferguson had rushes of 5 and 12 yards, then Mason Mills connected with WR Reggie Bell for a 35-yard completion and first down. From there Ferguson found the endzone on his next carry from 13 yards out.
The Torero defense held Davidson in check again, stopping them on just five plays from scrimmage, including an unsuccessful 4th-and-6 attempt with just over 2 ½ minutes to go. Two straight Ferguson rushes of 4 and 9 yards allowed the Toreros to run out the clock from there.
Davidson QB Jonathan Carkhuff completed 23-of-37 passes for 250 yards. Danny Martinez hauled in 6 receptions for 48 yards, followed by Lanny Funsten with 5 catches for 84 yards.
The Torero defense was paced by Zach Dunaj (10 tackles), Robbie Beathard (8 tackles, 1 interception), Joey York (7 tackles), Fred Obi (7 tackles), Matt Miller (6 stops) and Zach Devaney (6 tackles). Ryan Costa joined Beathard with an interception in the third quarter.