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Matadors' Attention Shifts to Dunn Deal

November 03, 1998|FERNANDO DOMINGUEZ

One tough customer gone, another one soon to arrive.

After limiting Weber State's heralded Morgan Welch to 61 yards rushing on Saturday, Cal State Northridge's defense will spend considerable practice time this week working on ways to stop Portland State running back Charles Dunn.

"[Dunn] might be the best running back in the conference," Northridge Coach Ron Ponciano said.

Dunn, a sophomore from Pasadena Muir High, ranks third in the Big Sky Conference in rushing at 151.5 yards per game. He carried 41 times for 250 yards and three touchdowns in Portland State's 25-13 victory over Northridge last season.

He's quick, shifty and fortunate to run behind a talented offensive line.

"That offensive line is second to none in the conference," Ponciano said. "This is a lot bigger challenge than Weber State."

The Vikings (5-3, 4-2 in the conference play) average 6 feet 3 and 297 pounds at the line, anchored by 6-4, 325-pound left guard Bobby Singh, an All-Big Sky pick last year. The unit is allowing one sack per game.

Northridge (5-3, 4-2) limited Weber State to 112 yards rushing in a 26-10 victory. Welch entered the game averaging 163.8 yards rushing, but the Matadors stuffed him so much he was benched most of the second half.

The Matadors, in a three-way tie with Portland State and Montana for second place in the Big Sky, must defeat the Vikings to keep their Division I-AA playoff hopes alive.

"Whoever has the fewest turnovers will win the game," Ponciano said.

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