San Jose State unable to seize the Valley Trophy after 31-13 loss to Fresno State

Photo credit: @InsideSpartans

By: Ana Kieu 

San Jose State’s season is a lost cause, but there was one thing on their minds on Saturday and that was to bring the Valley Trophy back to San Jose, Calif. with a win over Fresno State at the Bulldog Stadium in Fresno, Calif. 

The Spartans were hyped for the rivalry game. Both their war huddle and locker room displayed the fact that the team was unable to contain their excitement on facing the Bulldogs in a nationally televised game on ESPNU.

The Spartans’ road jerseys against the Bulldogs were absolutely beauties. The blue and gold font on white were timeless ensembles that won’t go out of style anytime soon.

The first quarter was pretty much slow on both ends of the field. San Jose State, however, forced a fumble that was recovered by Tre White. 

The Spartan defense played lights out, while the Spartan offense struggled in the second quarter. Yet, Asa Fuller kicked in a 32-yard field goal to get the Bulldogs on the board 3-0 with only 3 seconds left in the first half. The Bulldogs carried a mere 3-0 lead to the locker room at the end of the half.

Yes, there was hope for the Spartans, who could’ve bounced back to seize the Valley Trophy, but that wish never came true. 

Sure, Tyler Nevens jumped up and over for the Spartan first down, but that astonishing moment was nothing compared to the Bulldogs’ 2 touchdowns in 4:58 for a 17-0 lead at the end of the third quarter. Jordan Mims ran for a 1-yard touchdown with 5:30 left in the third and Marcus McMaryion threw a 31-yard touchdown pass to KeeSean Johnson with 32 seconds left in the third. Fuller kicked in the extra points for both Bulldogs touchdowns.

The Spartans got a head start early in the fourth quarter. Michael Carrillo threw a 73-yard touchdown pass to Malike Roberson to reduce the Bulldogs’ lead to 17-7 at the 14:47 mark of the fourth.

But the Bulldogs refused to back down. McMaryion threw an 18-yard touchdown pass to Ronnie Rivers and Fuller kicked in the extra point to expand the Bulldogs’ lead to 24-7 at the 11:59 mark of the fourth. 

As if that wasn’t bad enough, Carrillo’s pass was intercepted for a Bulldogs touchdown. Arron Mosby returned the pass for a 95-yard touchdown and Fuller kicked in the extra point to make it 31-7 Bulldogs with 4:08 left in the fourth. 

The Spartans pulled within 18 to cut the Bulldogs’ deficit to 31-13 with 1:24 left in regulation. Carrillo threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Tre Walker and the Spartans went for the 2-point conversion but failed in their attempt.

The Spartans lost to the Bulldogs 31-13. With the loss, San Jose State hasn’t captured the Valley Trophy since Nov. 26, 2016 at Fresno State under former head coach Ron Caragher, who was fired at the end of the 2016 season. 

The Spartans wrap up the 2018 season with a 1-11 record following a slightly better 2-11 season under head coach Brent Brennan.

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