It was time for Portland State, a Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) school, to face its first, but not last big challenge of the season against the Cal Bears, welcoming them to Memorial Stadium. This game was a true test for the Golden Bears who came away with a hard fought 37-30 victory.
Normally when playing a smaller school on your home turf, it should be time for big stats and Sports Center Top 10 plays. Only today that was only true for one. Cal wide receiver Maurice Harris had a one- handed touchdown grab that made the ESPN Top Plays list in South end zone to give new life to the Bears in the second quarter to help give his team its first lead of game at 24-20.
Portland State needed only two plays for the Vikings QB Kieran McDonagh to connect on an 81-yard touchdown pass to Kasey Closs that put the Bear fans in shock. The defense followed suit and were on their heels that allowed large running lanes for DJ Adams & Shaq Richard (Serra HS) to have them let loose.
The Vikings’ running game amassed 266 yards on 39 carries for 6.3 yard average and 3 TDs.
The Bears took a different approach to the game while trying to enforce its will. Freshman Jared Goff (Marin Catholic) took the controls with the Air Attack. In high school, Goff’s arm took his team to the Cal State Bowl as an 11th grader. Portland State kept Goff on the run all day trying to slow down the Air Attack with Nick Alexander applying pressure.
Five team sacks later, Goff was still able to put up 485 yards to help secure and maintain a victory for his team. After the game, Alexander said that Goff was able to release the ball before the defense could get to him.
“We had him (Goff), but he kept getting the ball off just before the sack,” Alexander said.
The Pac-12 network picked a great game with excitement and a thrilling finish to showcase its league and some of local Los Angeles talent on both teams. Serra High School had two alums playing in the game on opposing teams, fighting for quick bragging rights that went to Cal’s safety Jason Gibson, whose Bears beat Portland St. and running back Shaq Richard.
Next week the Golden Bears (1-1) welcome the Ohio State Buckeyes (2-0), Portland St (1-1) host Humboldt State (0-1).