Clan Downs Cougars To Earn Team Of The Week
The Clan received Offensive and Defensive Players of the Week honors.
The Clan received Offensive and Defensive Players of the Week honors.

Monday, October 21, 2019

PORTLAND, Ore. – The Simon Fraser football team game from behind to down Azusa Pacific, 24-17, in Glendora, California, on Saturday. It was the Clan’s first win against a Division II opponent since 2014 and earned the team selection as the GNAC Team of the Week.

The Clan was shut out in the first half but answered with 24 straight points in the second half to secure the comeback. The Simon Fraser offense collected a total of 351 yards, 235 of which came in the passing game. The defense nearly held Azusa Pacific scoreless in the second half, allowing the Cougars a touchdown with just over one minute left in the game.

“I saw a young team that had reached the tipping point in its maturation process,” head coach Thomas Ford said. “They played together for four quarters and never stopped believing. We finally put together two halves of football and never let a deficit affect our focus or execution.”

Freshman quarterback Brandon Niksich completed 22 passes on 32 attempts for 235 yards and three touchdowns. Senior wide receiver Rysen John was named the GNAC Offensive Player of the Week after he caught eight passes for 109 yards and scored all three of the Clan’s touchdowns in the come-from-behind victory. John now has eight touchdowns on the season.

Leading the running game, Solomon Hines carried the ball 11 times for 63 yards while Mason Glover rushed 17 times for 54 yards.

Kicker David Eisenkraft kicked a 29-yard field goal to put Simon Fraser up 24-10. The Clan ate 7 minutes, 3 seconds off the clock on 13 plays in the drive.

Freshman Ian Crocker earned GNAC Defensive Player of the Week honors after he led the Clan defense with eight tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss for 20 yards and two sacks for 18 yards. Kolby Buljevic and Griffin Barrett also added seven tackles each to help limit the Cougars to 208 total offensive yards. The Cougars converted on just two of 13 third-down opportunities.

“Our defense was outstanding,” Ford said. “We set unprecedented marks in terms of total yardage and rush yardage allowed and did a great job of not allowing Azusa Pacific to find a rhythm.”

With the win, Simon Fraser improved to 1-2 in conference play. Up next, the Clan will continue conference play on the road as it heads to Ellensburg to go head-to-head with a hot Central Washington team on Saturday.