By: Brandon Braich, Peak Associate
SFU continued its road trip last weekend with a visit to Western Oregon University (WOU). The Clan were looking for their first win of the year but were, once again, unable to break their losing streak. However, their defence was left at the border, and the Wolves eventually broke the game open and dismantled the Clan in a 51–14 blowout.
WOU began the contest by establishing the running game, which culminated in a 1-yard touchdown rush by Nico Jackson. Jackson rushed for 59 yards on 12 carries.
SFU looked to respond on their next drive, with quarterback Brandon Niksich completing several passes down the field, moving the Clan deep into the Wolves’ territory. The Wolves’ defence tightened, however, which forced a fourth down at their 25-yard line. Unfortunately, the Clan’s field goal struggles continued when Curtis Anderson blocked the ensuing attempt by David Eisenkraft, keeping the Clan scoreless.
The Clan found themselves in trouble again after a short punt by Kees Metselaar gave the Wolves excellent field position at SFU’s 32-yard line. Quarterback Ty Currie hit Marquis Sampson for a short reception that set up the Wolves with first and goal, leading to another short touchdown by Jackson.
The Wolves added another touchdown late in the quarter, sending the teams to the half with Western Oregon leading 20–0.
The Clan defence gave the team a spark with a quick three and out to start the half, turning the ball over to the SFU offence with time left to mount a comeback.
Niksich came out aggressively, hitting Rysen John for a 9-yard completion to start the drive, before connecting with running back Mason Glover for a 17-yard gain to move the chains. Back-to-back completions to Ethan Beselt moved the Clan back into the Wolves territory and pushed their defence on its heels.
After running back Solomon Hines scampered for another first down, Niksich dropped back, but had his pass deflected into the air, right into the hands of WOU linebacker Jaylin Parnell. The Wolves quickly converted on the turnover when Currie connected with wideout Shaw Jerome for a 47-yard touchdown pass.
The interception reflected Niksich’s overall night as he struggled against the tough Western Oregon defence. Niksich finished the game completing just 16 of 34 passes for 210 yards and an interception. He was also sacked four times.
The Clan struggled on the ground as well, gaining only one and a half yards per carry. Mason Glover led the way with 30 yards on 12 carries.
After the Wolves had built up a 44–0 lead, SFU finally got on the board after a long reception by Gavin Cobb set up a 4-yard rushing touchdown for Hines. An extra point by Eisenkraft cut the lead to 44–7, but the game was already well out of reach.
Senior quarterback Mihai Lapuste relieved Niksich on the final drive and led an impressive ten play scoring drive that ended in a 10-yard strike to John. The touchdown brought the score to 51–14.
With the loss, SFU drops to 0–2 in conference play and 0–5 on the season. Next week, they will look to get on track against Dixie State University when they visit Trailblazer Stadium in St. George, Utah.