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Long Beach Gets a Flying Start Against the Big Sky

September 13, 1987|DICK WAGNER | Times Staff Writer

Cal State Long Beach picked on a team from the Big Sky Conference for the second straight week Saturday night.

And as a result of a 30-7 victory over Weber State, the 49ers are off to their best start in 10 years.

The 49ers (2-0) established their dominance before a Veterans Stadium crowd of 6,109 in Long Beach by sacking quarterback Jeff Carlson eight times in the first half. They added three more sacks in the second half.

"The defense and special teams were outstanding," said Long Beach Coach Larry Reisbig, whose schedule gets tougher with games the next two weeks at Cal State Fullerton and Michigan.

Stacey Alexander broke the game open with a 56-yard punt return for a touchdown early in the third quarter to make the score 17-0.

"I almost got tackled but I really didn't feel it," Alexander said. "I was just running for my life."

The 49er offense also had a good night.

Quarterback Jeff Graham completed 21 of 29 passes for 232 yards and two touchdowns, and Tyrone McCullouch caught 7 passes for 82 yards.

The 49ers took a 7-0 lead when Graham hit Derek Washington on a 23-yard slant-in pass with 8:06 left in the first quarter.

The Long Beach running attack, which was impressive last week against Montana State, was shut down (five yards) by the Wildcats in the first half.

But Graham hit Washington on passes of 22 and 13 yards during a second-quarter drive that led to a 29-yard field goal by David VanSteenkiste.

Trailing, 10-0, Weber State got to the Long Beach two-yard-line but on third and goal, Lane McMarthy broke through on a safety blitz to force an 18-yard loss.

Alexander almost made it two in a row, but his 65-yard touchdown on another punt return was called back by a clipping penalty.

But the 49ers drove from their own 36 to the Weber State four before settling for a 21-yard field goal by VanSteenkiste to make it 20-0.

The Wildcats were held scoreless until Sean Sanders' five-yard touchdown run culminated an 86-yard drive and cut the lead to 20-7 with 12:17 to play in the game.

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