While the rest of his UC Davis teammates milled about the field following Saturday's 28-0 shutout of Cal State Northridge, Aggie defensive lineman Tim Lajcik explained to a friend that he wouldn't be available for any post-game celebrations. Lajcik said he already had a date for the evening. With the weight room.
"I have to lift," said Lajcik, a three-year starter who played at Thousand Oaks High. "Especially with a big game next week. I have nothing to save myself for."
Lajcik, a 6-1, 225-pound senior who is also a All-American wrestler in the heavyweight division, has recovered from a knee injury he suffered last season. He had four tackles and two sacks against CSUN and spearheaded an Aggie defense that limited the Matadors to just 87 yards in total offense.
Lajcik was sheepish when a reporter asked him if the victory over Northridge held extra significance for a Valley-area product.
"Well, I got recruited by Northridge out of high school," he said. "I don't know if it was intended on their part, but when I told them I had decided to go to Davis, they told me 'Good luck even playing on the special teams up there.' "
Fool's polled: There isn't an undefeated football team left in Division II. And, apparently, there aren't many teams worth voting into the Top 20, either.
Cal State Northridge, which had not been ranked all season, broke into the poll a week ago after a 7-6 victory over Santa Clara in which they were outgained, 266-69. The Matadors, ranked 17th, then lost to unranked UC Davis, 28-0, Saturday. But they didn't fall from the rankings.
Northridge, which plays third-ranked Portland State on Saturday, is ranked No. 19 this week; Davis moved all the way up to No. 14.
"By leaving us in there, that gives us a chance," CSUN Coach Bob Burt said. "If we beat No. 3, then zappo, we're back up there. I think 8-3 and a championship might get us in the playoffs, depending on what other people do."
Should the Matadors defeat Portland State and Cal State Sacramento in their last two Western Football Conference games, they would share the WFC title with Portland State.
Fann returns: Tailback Albert Fann, held out of Northridge's game against UC Davis last Saturday because of a deep thigh bruise, will play Saturday when the Matadors take on third-ranked Portland State.
Fann injured his thigh in the second half of Northridge's game against Santa Clara two weeks ago. Without him in the lineup at Davis last week, the Matadors were held to 31 rushing yards on 41 carries. That total included eight quarterback sacks for minus-59 yards.
Fann's inactivity has cost him the WFC rushing lead. Curtis Delgardo of Portland State is the new leader. He is averaging 92.2 yards a game. Fann, a freshman, averages 90.8 yards a game. He is still among national leaders in kickoff returns, however, with 16 returns for 468 yards and a touchdown. That's an average of 29.3.
Azusa blues: Saturday's game marks the 15th football meeting between Cal Lutheran and Azusa Pacific. The Kingsmen lead the series, 12-2, but the teams have split the last four meetings. CLU quarterback Tom Bonds has excelled against Azusa. In three games, the senior has completed 66 of 115 for 974 yards and 8 touchdowns. In the past two games, Bonds completed 46 of 76 passes for 776 yards and 8 touchdowns. He threw for five touchdowns last year.
Azusa Pacific (2-7) lost running back Christian Okoye--now a rookie with the Kansas City Chiefs--to graduation and has suffered since. Azusa was beaten by Menlo College, 51-17, last Saturday.
Hurtin' time: CLU running back Tracy Downs is questionable for the game because of a knee injury. Linebacker Terry Rowe, who sprained both ankles in the Kingsmen's 16-15 loss to UC Santa Barbara, is listed as doubtful. During the last-minute drive by UC Santa Barbara that ended on a Gaucho field goal with five seconds left, three Kingsmen starting defenders were forced to watch from the sideline. Rowe and defensive lineman Russell Patterson were out with injuries and linebacker Torii Lehr had been ejected earlier in the fourth quarter.
Air Force: The Santa Barbara combination of quarterback Paul Wright and wide receiver Sean Russell did its share of damage against the Kingsmen. Wright completed 22 passes for 261 yards, 8 of which went to Russell for 115 yards and a touchdown. In that final UCSB drive, Russell caught two passes for 32 yards. Said CLU defensive back Mark Taggatz: "The ball was always thrown to the outside of the receiver and I never had a chance to get it."