Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Devils' Gonzalez Leads Pac-12 in All-Time Points, Scores Big In Win Over Roadrunners

Mike Stockman
Phoenix Area Sports

Zane Gonzales has 424 career points, Leads Pac-12 All Time.
San Antonio, Texas (September 16, 2016) Arizona State University Sun Devils overcame University of Texas at San Antonio's Roadrunners behind the leg of senior kicker Zane Gonzalez (Deer Park, TX) who scored 14 points of the 32-28 victory at the Alamodome, San Antonio, TX on Friday, September 16, 2016.

Zane Gonzalez, the Pac-12 All Time Leader in points, was two for two from 54 yards in the first half for the Devils. He finished the game with four field goals (distances of 54, 54, 45, and 26) and two extra points. This is the sixth time in his college career to make four field goals in a game.

For the Roadrunners, junior quarterback Dalton Sturm, from Goliad, Texas, led the offense with one rushing touchdown and three passing touchdowns. Sturm had 82 yards rushing, his longest was a 34 yard scamper for a touchdown in the beginning of the third quarter. He threw for 229 yards, completed 19 of 37, with three touchdown passes. His first touchdown pass was a 10 yard pass to JaBryce Taylor in the first quarter. At the end of the first quarter, he connected with Jalen Rhodes for 11 yard touchdown. His last touchdown pass came mid-way through the third quarter, after Devils' dropped a punt, which gave the Roadrunners perfect field position at the 24 yard line. On the next play, Sturm hits Shaq Williams for the 24 yard TD that put them ahead 28-12, but it wasn't enough to outscore the Devils. 

The Devils would put up 20 unanswered points: a field goal at the end of the third quarter, a 45 yard touchdown pass from Manny Wilkins to Frederick Gammage III, and a late fourth quarter, two yard bone crushing run up the middle by Kalen Ballage, giving the Devils the go-ahead score of 32-28.

When asked how the mood was in the locker room after such a close loss, Roadrunners' Coach Frank Wilson stated "Heartbreaking, disappointed. Pointed out to the guys that we're not quite there yet. We're making leaps and bounds by the day. Great teams know how to finish. We're a work in progress. We're not a great team yet, but certainly we're heading in the right direction."

The Devils' Coach Todd Graham, from Mesquite, TX, now has a 37-19 record as head coach in his fifth season. He is 86-48 overall in his 11 seasons as a head coach. After the victory, Graham stated "“Just really proud of our guys. Proud of the leadership. Again, it doesn’t matter. All that matters is that you win and we figured out a way to do it. I was gratified as I’ve been to win that game because that game was really, really difficult. It showed a lot a heart to come back.”

The Roadrunners travel to Norfolk, VA to play Old Dominion on Saturday, September 24, 2016 at 2:30 p.m ET. The game will be available on TV: KMYS-CW 35 & RADIO: TICKET 760.

The Devils host the California Golden Bears (2-1) on Saturday, September 24, 2016 at Sun Devil Stadium.  Game time is TBD.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Ballage's Eight Touchdowns Ties NCAA Record and Leads Devils to 68-55 Victory Over Red Raiders

Mike Stockman
Phoenix Area Sports

Happy 70th birthday to ASU's Sparky.
TEMPE, AZ (September 10, 2016) The Arizona State University Sun Devils' Kalen Ballage made history Saturday night, September 10, 2016 in the 68-55 win over Texas Tech Red Raiders at a newly renovated Sun Devil Stadium.

Pac-12 record books will reflect that on this date, the previous record of six of touchdowns in a single game, held by Dick Dunn of Cal in 1922 and Anthony Davis of USC in 1972, was broken by the Devils' 6-2, 227 lb. junior running back Kalen Ballage  from Peyton, Colorado. Ballage had 13 rushes that totaled 137 yards and seven touchdowns,two receptions, one being a 39 yard touchdown pass, for a total of eight touchdowns, tying the NCAA's All-Time Record.

Both teams' coaching staffs were prepared for an evening of high-scoring, hard-hitting, down-to-the-last minute football. The Devils, coming off a victory where they started slow but finished strong, came out of the locker room where they left off last week. The Red Raiders, who won last week 69-17, throwing 633 yards and five touchdown passes behind the arm of Patrick Mahomes II, also came with last week's momentum.  

ASU Student section makes an impact in victory causing a safety.
The 44,511 fans, bearing 101 degree evening temperatures, cheered and shook the stadium while both schools produced a total of 165 plays for a total of 1,267 yards. Twenty of the plays were scoring plays - eight of which were Ballage's.

For the Red Raiders, Mahomes II threw for 540 yards, five touchdowns, and two interceptions. Cameron Batson led the receiving with 148 yards receiving, and one touchdown. Justin Stockton rushed for 20 yards and one touchdown, and had 95 yards in receptions with one touchdown. Jonathan Giles, Derrick Willies, Demarcus Felton, and Dylan Cantrell each had touchdowns. Clayton Hatfield was 7 for 8 on extra points, wrapping up the total of 55 points. 

Jordyn Brooks led the Red Raiders defense with 10 solo tackles. Malik Jenkins, Thierry Nguema, and Luke Stice each recorded seven tackles. 

The Devils' red-shirt sophomore quarterback Manny Wilkins threw for 351 yards, two touchdowns, and rushed 55 yards on 10 carries. N. Keal Harry had 72 yards in receptions and scored one receiving touchdown. Zane Gonzalez was 8-8 on extra point attempts and connected on a 43 yard field goal, giving the Devils a final score of 68.

The Devils' defense had two sacks - DJ Calhoun and Koron Crump each had one, a safety, and two interceptions by De'Chavon "Gump" Hayes, clinching the victory. The Devils' punter Matt Haack had three 50+ yard punts inside the five yard line. One of the punts led to the safety, assisted by noise from the student section just a few yards away. 

After the game, ASU's Coach Todd Graham stated “We told our guys that we were going to somehow, someway win this game and we did. I think we surprised some people but we definitely did not surprise ourselves. We made a lot of mental errors that made the score closer than it should have been but we dominated offensively. We had a bad roughing penalty that hurt us but we made some key defensive stops when we had to. I am really proud of our guys because that was a heck of a football team. They were the number one offense in the country last year and the top passing offense this year and I thought our guys did a great job figuring out a way to get the win.”.

The Red Raiders (1-1) hope to bounce back when they host Louisiana Tech on Saturday night, September 17, at 6pm. This game will be covered on TV:FSN.

The Devils (2-0) travel to UTSA for a Friday night game on September 16, 2016 at 6:30pm. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Sun Devils Win 2016 Season Opener Against Lumberjacks

Mike Stockman
Phoenix Area Sports

ASU Kicker Zane Gonzalez tied for 19th all-time NCAA in career field goals.
TEMPE, ARIZONA (September 3, 2016) The Arizona State University Sun Devils started the 2016 football season with a 44-13 win over the Northern Arizona University Lumberjacks at Sun Devil Stadium, on Saturday evening, September 3, 2016.

For the first three quarters, the Lumberjacks led in total offense but trailed to the Devils 13-6. After three quarters, The Lumberjacks had 50 plays that totaled 316 yards to the Devils' 58 plays totaling 279.
The game finished with the Devils gaining 456 total yards to the Lumberjacks' 425.

After a slow and quiet start, Devils' red-shirt sophomore Manny Wilkins sparked the crowd with several runs late in the second quarter, leaping over defender on a 20 yard scramble, and then darting for another first down.

With five seconds left in the third quarter, ASU's junior running back Demario Richard bursts through the middle of the line for a two yard touchdown, making the score 20-6. From that point forward, the Devils played as expected, finishing the game with 456 total yards offense to the Lumberjacks 425.

For the Devils, junior kicker Zane Gonzalez scored 12 points, three field goals and three extra points. His 33 yard field goal at the end of the second quarter tied him for all-time NCAA career field goals with 74.  By the end of the game, he succeeded on two more attempts from 53 in the third quarter, and from 45 in the fourth quarter.
ASU QB Manny Wilkins led the Devils with 112 yards rushing

The Devils' Wilkins led the offense with 112 yards rushing and one rushing touchdown.  Other running backs contributing touchdowns included Demario Richard who had a two yard touchdown, Kalen Ballage scored on a 30 yard run, and N'Keal Harry had one run for a 34 yard touchdown.

The first field goal by Lumberjacks' Griffin Roehler of 25 yards, came early in the second quarter, making the score 7-3. He would later connect for another field goal in the third from 23 yards.

The Lumberjacks, ranked #18 in the STATS FCS, and led by reigning FCS STATS Freshman Player of the Year Case Cookus, racked up 369 yards passing with one touchdown to Elijah Marks that went for 87 yards early in the fourth quarter.

After the game, ASU's Coach Todd Graham stated "we were very simple, it's probably the least amount of pressure we have used in a game." He also mentioned "we were struggling.. I think the thing we gotta do is get our rhythm. It's always a good start when you're 1-0."

The Lumberjacks travel to Western Illinois for a game Saturday, September 10.

The Devils host the Texas Tech Red Raiders on Saturday, September 10 at Sun Devil Stadium. Game time is 7pm and will be covered on FoxSports1.