Photo credit: @SanJoseStateFB
By Ana Kieu
SAN JOSE, Calif. — San Jose State football left West Point, N.Y. with a win over the Army Black Knights. Fast forward to Saturday night, where the Spartans returned home to the South Bay to host the then #21 Boise State Broncos. The Broncos represented the Mountain Division in the 2018 Mountain West Championship Game in which they lost to the Fresno State Bulldogs.
The Spartans hosted Dick Tomey Night in honor of the late head coach Dick Tomey (1938-2019). Tomey was diagnosed with lung cancer in January 2019 and died from complications in May 2019. Tomey coached at San Jose State from 2005-09 and finished his tenure with a 25-35 record at SJSU.
San Jose State got on the board first, thanks to DeJon Packer. Packer ran for a 1-yard touchdown for an early 7-0 lead at 10:58. The Spartans followed up with a Josh Love 4-yard touchdown. Yes, Love ran for his own touchdown. Boise State, however, cut the lead in half with 15 seconds left. The Broncos came up with a huge stop on the third down, the Spartans punted for 49 yards and Avery Williams returned it for a 66-yard touchdown. The Spartans led 14-7 at the end of the first quarter.
San Jose State and Boise State exchanged scores in the second quarter. Matt Mercurio hit a 35-yard field goal to put the Spartans ahead 17-7 at 12:01. George Holani ran for a 1-yard touchdown to bring the Broncos within three with 7:58 left. Josh Love threw a pass to Isaiah Hamilton for a 16-yard touchdown and a 10-point lead with 1:13 left. Eric Sachse hit a 30-yard field goal to bring the Broncos within seven with 24 seconds left. The Spartans took a 24-17 lead to the locker room at the halftime break.
The exhilarating action ensued in the third quarter. San Jose State made the first score, once again. Matt Mercurio hit a 35-yard field goal to put the Spartans up by 10 at 10:27. Boise State scored two touchdowns to take a 31-27 lead. George Holani ran for a 6-yard touchdown to bring the Broncos within three with 9:13 left. Chase Cord ran for a 8-yard touchdown to put the Broncos ahead by four with 3:28 left. DeJon Packer ran for a 3-yard touchdown to put the Spartans up by three with 53 seconds left. The Spartans led 34-31 after three.
The fourth quarter was a thriller, but unfortunately, it was close, but it was “close, but no cigar” for the Spartans. George Holani ran for a 6-yard touchdown — his fourth rushing touchdown of the game — to put the Broncos ahead 38-34 at 11:31. Andrew Van Buren ran for a 32-yard touchdown to put the Broncos up by 11 with 6:24 left. Josh Love threw a pass to Bailey Gaither for a 9-yard touchdown and the Spartans’ two-point conversion was good, which brought them within three with 3:56 left.
However, the 3:56 turned out to be meaningless after Benton Wickersham intercepted a Josh Love pass with 1:25 left to seal the deal for the Broncos. The Spartans were competitive, but fell short in a 52-42 loss.
San Jose State fell to 4-5, 1-4 Mountain West. Boise State improved to 7-1, 4-0 Mountain West.
The Spartans head to Aloha Stadium to face the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors on Saturday, November 9 at 8:00 p.m. PST.