Photo credit: @SanJoseStateFB
By Ana Kieu
The San Jose State football team had hoped to win two games in a row on Friday night against the Air Force Falcons at Falcon Stadium in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Did it happen? Nope.
SJSU got the party started with a body blow. DeJon Packer punched it in from 1-yard out and the Spartans scored a touchdown on the opening drive for a 7-0 lead at 10:50 of the first quarter. Matt Mercurio kicked in the extra point.
But Air Force rained on SJSU’s parade and pretty much never looked back. Timothy Jackson scored on a 7-yard run to tie the game 7-7 with 4:57 left in the first. Jake Koehnke kicked in the extra point.
The game was tied 7-7 after the first.
Despite Bailey Gaither making a noteworthy catch on the sidelines and DeJon Packer having as many touchdowns so far this season (3) as in his first two seasons combined, Air Force poured in the points in the second quarter with 14. Donald Hammond III threw a pass to Geraud Sanders for a 64-yard touchdown with 8:43 left in the second. Taven Birdow plunged in from 1-yard out for the touchdown with 5:30 left in the second. Jake Koehnke kicked in both of the extra points.
SJSU cut their deficit to 11, thanks to Matt Mercurio’s 25-yard field goal with 48 seconds left in the second. After that, Air Force drove to the 4-yard line, but Jesse Osuna recovered a fumble and it was the Spartans’ football.
The Spartans trailed 21-10 at halftime.
Air Force, however, was ruthless in the third quarter. The Falcons opened the second half with a touchdown. Christian Mallard ran for a 3-yard touchdown for his first score of the season at 12:05 of the third quarter. Mallard then rushed for his second score, a 7-yard touchdown, at 10:10 of the third. The Falcons also held the Spartans on the 1-yard line and took over on downs. Jake Koehnke’s first kick was blocked, but his second kick was a success for the extra point.
The Spartans trailed 34-10 after three.
Once again, Air Force started things off in the fourth quarter. Taven Birdow ran for a 3-yard touchdown for a 41-10 lead with 7:48 left in the fourth. Jake Koehnke kicked in the extra point.
SJSU heated up late in the fourth, but it was too little, too late. Props to the Spartans for showing no quit though.
Nick Nash threw a pass to Andre Crump for a 30-yard touchdown to pull within 24 with 3:51 left in the fourth. The Spartans then got a 4th down stop on their own 22-yard line and it was their ball. Nash wrapped up the scoring with a pass to Derrick Deese Jr. for a 6-yard touchdown to pull within 17 with just 52 seconds left in regulation. Matt Mercurio kicked in both of the extra points.
The Spartans (2-2) lost to the Falcons (3-1) by a final score of 41-24.
The Spartans return home to host the New Mexico Lobos on Friday, October 4 at 7:00 p.m. The game will be broadcasted on CBS Sports.