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PSU squeezes out win over Cal State Northridge

The Portland State football team defeated Cal State Northridge’s Matadors in strong fashion Saturday afternoon, 50-43.

The non-conference win brings the Viking win streak to three, and their record to 6-4 for the season. Cal State Northridge, which is considering dropping its football program, finished what may be its last game football game at 3-7.

The Vikings came into Saturday’s game after a decisive win over Eastern Washington, where they held the nation’s number one ranked offense to 435 yards.

The Matadors put up 536 total yards against the Viks and came in averaging 460 yards a game. In the end, the Vikings put up 50 points and that almost wasn’t enough. What can happen to a defense that has the potential to stop the high powered offenses like Eastern Washington but falter to Cal State? One answer: quarterback Marcus Brady who ranks as one of the top passers in the nation.

The Vikings first score came when quarterback Juston Wood found Terry Charles for a 30-yard touchdown pass early in the first quarter. Charles contributed to a milestone night with his first career three-touchdown night. Charles needs just one more yard to reach the 3,000-yard mark. Early in the second quarter Charles scored his second touchdown to put the Viks up 14-10. T.C.’s third touchdown in the fourth quarter put him at 26 and ahead of Orshawante Bryant (2000) for Viking career touchdown receptions.

Only one score was the difference between the two teams until late in the first half. Following a huge 45-yard punt return by Amad Robinson, Albert Tuipulotu scored his first touchdown from CSN’s goal line, putting PSU up 28-17. The Vikings led through the rest of the game.

The Matadors hung in throughout the game, in part due to the efforts of Brady. Brady threw for 386 yards with four touchdowns. Brady tied the Tennessee Titans’ Steve McNair for NCAA 1-AA career pass attempts at 1,680. The Matadors quarterback also had two receivers with 115 yards or more.

CSN played a strong run defense holding the Vikings’ Ryan Fuqua to 40 yards in the first half. In the second half the Viks made some adjustments and Fuqua exploded, rushing for 136 yards in the third quarter alone. A nice chunk of it came from an 80 yard touchdown run, which also gave Fuqua PSU’s freshman rushing record of 1,176 previously held by Charles Dunn (2000). Fuqua totals 1,343 yards this season with one game remaining.

“Ryan has had a great five weeks following our offensive line. The adjustments we made in the second half sprung him loose for some big gains,” coach Tim Walsh stated in a recent press release.

Portland State plays its final regular season game this Saturday at PGE Park against Sacramento State. The conference game is a must win for PSU to reach the post season. Last season the Vikings defeated Sacramento State with a 28 point second half comeback. Kickoff is 1:05 p.m.