SFU loses to Cougars but linebacker Jordan Herdman a top tackler
The Simon Fraser University Clan football team were able to hold conference-leading Azusa Pacific University Cougars in check for much of the football game Saturday, Nov. 8 before it slipped away late in the fourth quarter. Simon Fraser ultimately lost 21-6 to the No. 23-ranked Cougars.
Azusa Pacific senior running back Terrell Watson, who rushed for 128 yards and two touchdowns to break his own conference records for rushing yards and rushing touchdowns in a season, broke through the Clan line on a third-down run up the middle for 55 yards and a touchdown that sealed the 21-6 victory with 4:45 to play.
“We didn’t do enough good things,” explains Clan head coach Jacques Chapdelaine. “The guys played hard and I thought we contained their offence pretty well. Unfortunately their running back (Watson) took the game over at the end and closed it out.”
Simon Fraser was trailing 14-0 midway through the third quarter when Clan defensive lineman Kristian Lawrence recorded a sack to make it third-and-twenty-four. Azusa Pacific registered only 10 yards on their next two plays resulting in a turnover on downs.
That was when the Clan offence came alive. Quarterback Ryan Stanford began to find a rhythm, completing nine of 10 passes for 61 yards, ending a drive with a nine-yard touchdown strike to wide receiver Phil D’Entremont. The Clan missed the point after attempt but trailed only 14-6.
After kicking-off, the Cougars fumbled on their next drive. Defensive back Matt Isherwood recovered the ball at the SFU 35-yardline. But SFU couldn’t capitalize or generate any momentum from that play. The Clan offence failed to move the ball on either or its next two drives, with Stanford throwing six straight incompletions.
That was as close as the Clan got, as Watson scored his second touchdown of the game, which put the Cougars up 21-6.
“For our guys it's about learning how to win games,” says Chapdelaine. “Every game we are learning we can be very good but it has to stick and carry over from game to game. For so many years this team has been struggling and now we are so close. We just have to put everything together and make it work.”
Clan linebacker Jordan Herdman finished with 19 tackles giving him 148 for the season. Herdman is only two tackles behind NCAA Division II leader Jared Koster of New Mexico Highlands, who has 150 after games today. They are the top two tacklers in all of college football.
"Jordan certainly played very well again today, and his performance is a reflection of how hard he works and how hard the guys around him are working,” says Chapdelaine. “Together they have created an environment where he can be successful.”
The first quarter featured a swarming Clan defence that held the Cougars scoreless, highlighted by the play of defensive end Keenan North and linebacker Herdman.
APU capitalized on an interception to go up 7-0 early in the second quarter.
Down by seven, the Clan offence proceeded to march downfield on their ensuing drive, going 68 yards on 11 plays. However, the Cougars blocked the Clan’s field goal attempt keeping the score 7-0. It was the Clan’s second trip into the redzone that resulted in no points.
With a minute left in the first half, Stanford threw his second interception of the game, resulting in another Cougars’ touchdown four plays later, giving the visitors a 14-0 halftime lead.
Running back Stephen Spagnuolo had his third straight game with over 100 all-purpose yards, as he finished with 70 yards rushing and 76 yards receiving. Stanford finished the game 26 of 45 for 224 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. The Clan finished with 285 yards of total offence compared to 402 yards by the Cougars.
“We should be disappointed after a game like this because we had our chances but we can't be discouraged,” says Chapdelaine. “We have to rebound. Once we started controlling the line of scrimmage we were much better. We just have to keep working hard and believe in ourselves.”
The SFU Clan will wrap up the season with their senior game next weekend against the Central Washington Wildcats at 1:00 p.m. at Swangard Stadium. For ticket information please email firstname.lastname@example.org.