September 11th, 2019 12:00am
We knew week one was going to be tough for the GNAC with all four teams playing quality opponents on the road. Our suspicions came to fruition over the weekend as all four teams took season-opening losses, and all of them coming by more than one score… most which can best be described as blowouts and that is putting it lightly.
Western Oregon 20 @ Angelo State 45
Last season the week one matchup came down to the final minute before Angelo State came away with the victory. The drama was unable to be replicated as The Rams jumped out to a 38-7 lead after three quarters cruising to a 45-20 win.
The Western Oregon offense was able to move the ball effectively throughout the game, gaining almost 400 yards on the day. But overall they were not able to turn that success into points until the game was out of reach in the fourth quarter.
The Wolves offensive line struggled against the front seven of Angelo state, giving six sacks on the night. Despite the sacks, Payne Sullins hung in there throwing for 202 yards and a touchdown.
Omari Land was the offensive star for the Wolves, rushing for 82 yards (3.9 yards per carry) and scoring two WOU touchdowns. Unfortunately, these solid offensive performances were not nearly enough to overcome The Rams 244 yards on the ground and 3 Touchdowns in the air by Payne Sullins.
Western Oregon will return home this weekend, but the schedule will only get tougher as they welcome 12th ranked Texas A&M Commerce to McArthur Field on Saturday afternoon.
Simon Fraser 7 @ Portland State (FCS) 70
I don’t think any of us came into the game with any hopes of a miracle. A team that has struggled to find the win column against a Division I opponent is never a matchup you will get excited about. Unfortunately, the game came as advertised, and I think even Vegas oddsmakers will tell you that Portland State covered the spread with ease with a 70-7 victory.
One stat that could some up the game more than anything, Total Rushing. Portland State 300 yards to Simon Fraser’s -65. In case you were curious that is an average of 6.4 yards per carry to a whopping -2.2.
We will have to see what the Clan looks like against division II competition when they travel to Angelo State this weekend.
Azusa Pacific 16 @ West Texas A&M 35
Do not let the final score mislead you; this game played as advertised until the last seven minutes of the game. Azusa Pacific played a great game on defense holding Texas A&M to just 7 points until late in the 3rd quarter.
After a West Texas Touchdown cut the Aztec’s lead to just two points late in the third quarter, the flood gates opened for the Buffaloes offense. They would go on to end the game with four unanswered Touchdowns. A 16-7 lead late in the third quarter quickly turned into a 35-16 defeat.
The Aztecs turned in a strong game through the air with Tyrone Williams Jr’s 253-yard performance.
But they were outmatched on the ground. The team as a unit rushed for just 0.8 yards a carry, gaining only 41 yards on the ground to West Texas A&M’s 200.
The Aztecs non-conference road trip will continue this weekend when they visit Missouri S&T looking to get back on the right.
Central Washington 31 @ Idaho (FCS) 41
In what might have been the biggest silver lining loss of the week, Central Washington University took the University of Idaho down to the wire before falling 41-31 to the Vandals.
After falling behind early, The Wildcats came back to take the lead in the second quarter in what would eventually be a tie game at half time. After the Vandals pulled ahead by 10 in the fourth quarter, Central got within 3 points, but that would be as close as they would get in their comeback bid.
Coach Chris Fisk kept his starting quarterback under wraps until game time in what turned out to be Canon Racanelli. The redshirt freshman showed some signs of promise but completed just 13 of his 31 passing attempts. What stood out was the CWU batch of trick plays. The Wildcats completed two passes from Wide Receivers that went for a combined 99 yards and two touchdowns.
Central had success on the ground with Michael Roots 115-yard performance.
The Wildcats will get their first taste of Division II opponents when they open up their home schedule this weekend. Central will need a big boost from the home crowd as they welcome the #2 ranked Ferris State University.