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vs. MONTANA STATE

Despite Tough Loss, Matadors Win Fans

October 25, 1998|FERNANDO DOMINGUEZ | TIMES STAFF WRITER

NORTHRIDGE — Perhaps it was homecoming or perhaps people are realizing the Cal State Northridge football team is in a championship hunt, but North Campus Stadium had not seen such a turnout in years.

The 6,124 who watched Northridge's 32-26 loss to Montana State in a Big Sky Conference game Saturday represented the largest crowd at the stadium since 6,217 showed up for a game against Cal Poly San Luis Obispo six years ago to the day.

"The students came out today and people are understanding this is a good football team," said Paul Bubb, Northridge's athletic director.

Bubb hopes the support lasts. Northridge is identifying on-campus locations where a new football stadium could be built in the near future, so public support for the team is essential.

"The community support has been good this year," Bubb said. "Their enthusiasm continues to build."

Northridge drew 5,237 for its previous home game, against Montana on Oct. 10.

The largest crowd at North Campus Stadium, which has a 7,500 capacity, was 7,127 for a game against Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in November, 1990.

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Julio Alcala, a junior center who missed the game at Cal State Sacramento on Sept. 17 because of his mother's death the day before, returned Saturday.

"The guys have been there for me a lot," Alcala said. "It's nice to know you have a family away from home."

Consuelo Alcala was 45 when she died of leukemia in San Diego. Julio went home a few days before her death.

"I got a chance to talk to her earlier in the week," Alcala said, tears in his eyes. "She was in a coma. She kind of opened her eyes before she took her last breath and she saw [the family] was there."

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Running back Jaumal Bradley, a junior transfer from Mt. San Antonio College, had his most productive game at Northridge with 79 yards in 13 carries.

Bradley has been getting more playing time lately and turning in outstanding runs, including a 24-yard burst in the third quarter.

But true to form, Bradley was more concerned with Marcus Brady's frame of mind after the redshirt freshman quarterback had three passes intercepted by Montana State.

"[Brady] has a lot of games to play here at Northridge," Bradley said. "I don't want him to get discouraged."

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Senior Manny Marquez tied a Northridge record with four field goals.

Marquez made kicks from 23, 30, 31 and 45 yards, giving him 10 field goals this season and 30 in his career.

Abo Velasco is Northridge's all-time leader with 34 from 1987-90.

The 45-yard field goal was the second longest for Marquez at Northridge. He made a 49-yard kick at New Mexico State last year.

John Dohle kicked four field goals for the Matadors against Cal Poly Pomona in 1977 and Mike Doan did it twice, against Cal State Hayward in 1985 and against Portland State in 1986.

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Aaron Arnold's streak of four consecutive games with a touchdown reception came to an end. The junior wide receiver caught two passes for 35 yards.

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