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On Own Level, CS Fullerton Rises to Top : After Two Blowout Defeats, Titans Win Second Straight, 30-11

September 27, 1987|ROBYN NORWOOD | Times Staff Writer

LOGAN, Utah — Cal State Fullerton has played tougher games here at Utah State's Romney Stadium than it did Saturday.

Until four years ago, the Titans had not won here. The last two times, they won on last-second field goals.

Fullerton, which two weeks ago was 0-2 after lopsided losses to Hawaii and Louisiana State, took a 9-0 first-half lead on three field goals by Stan Lambert and finished with a 30-11 Pacific Coast Athletic Assn. victory over winless Utah State in front of a crowd of 15,786.

The Aggies (0-1, 0-3) were hoping to bounce back from losses to Nebraska and Kentucky much like the Titans (2-0, 2-2) did last week by beating Cal State Long Beach.

Coach Gene Murphy gave much of the credit for the victory to the defense, which held Utah State to a field goal until the Aggies scored a touchdown and two-point conversion with 17 seconds left in the game.

"Our defense played well for the second week in a row," Murphy said. "They were swarming around and making some good hits. We had good containment on the quarterback and some key sacks. Those kind of plays really fire everybody up and add to the momentum."

Utah State Coach Chuck Shelton, obviously disappointed in his team's play, said the Aggie defense at times "looked kind of silly."

Shelton also called his offense "impotent" for not scoring a touchdown late in the first half after driving to the Fullerton 38-yard line, and for settling for a 25-yard field goal in the opening drive of the third quarter after having a first down at the 10.

Was their something Fullerton did that the Aggies didn't expect?

"Beat us," Shelton said.

Lambert, a Long Beach City College transfer who has not missed a field goal in eight attempts this season, made two 46-yarders and one from 40 yards.

"It's the best start I've ever had," Lambert said. "I have a lot of confidence right now. I was hoping for a 50-yard attempt at the end."

Todd White, a fifth-year wide receiver who well remembers the two last-second field goals Fullerton needed to win here before, wasn't comfortable with the 9-3 lead the Titans had early in the third quarter.

"I held for those two field goals, and they were long and shaky," White said. "In the first half, I was a little worried. I thought we should have gotten those balls in the end zone."

White helped alleviate his own worries with two touchdown receptions in the second half, both on passes from Ronnie Barber, who finished with 174 yards passing, completing 11 of 18 passes.

Eric Franklin, who scored the Titans' other touchdown, led the ground attack with 66 yards in 13 carries.

Utah State quarterback Brent Snyder completed 17 of 37 passes for 265 yards.

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