Sac State/UC Davis football notes: Hornets' new kicker excels in scrimmage

Published: Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 2C
Last Modified: Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013 - 10:13 am

A late scholarship signee who wasn't even on Sacramento State's initial preseason roster made the biggest splash at Saturday's Green and Gold scrimmage at Hornet Stadium.

Kicker Jesse Aguilar of Anaheim made field goals of 52, 47 and 28 yards. He missed a 54-yarder that had distance but went wide left because of a poor snap.

"Everybody likes the kicker," Sac State coach Marshall Sperbeck said. "Jesse has had a good camp, and it paid off (in the scrimmage). He had a good showing."

Aguilar played last season at Fullerton College, where he earned first-team California Community College Football Coaches Association All-America honors.

At Fullerton, Aguilar made 13 field goals and all 52 extra-point kicks. He had six field goals of 40 yards or longer, including a 53-yarder, the longest by a community college kicker in California last season.

Sperbeck hopes Aguilar can duplicate Saturday's efforts during the season.

"With kickers, you're only as good as your last kick, so he's got to keep working at it," Sperbeck said. "We've got to keep getting better with our operation time and protection. There's a lot that goes into it for him to have success."

Last year's kicker, Edgar Castaneda, whose last-second field goal beat Colorado, is no longer enrolled at the school.

Other highlights from the Hornets' scrimmage:

• Quarterback Garrett Safron was 9 for 15 for 127 yards and a touchdown, and DeAndre Carter caught five passes for 80 yards, including an over-the-shoulder, 15-yard touchdown pass from Safron.

• Among the defensive highlights: Dexter Alcala's 20-yard return for a touchdown off an errant snap; Robert Beale's 85-yard return of a blocked point-after attempt by Todd Davis; and Robbie Kendall's interception and two pass breakups.

"There were some good moments on both sides of the ball and some things we need to work on," Sperbeck said. "But that's what scrimmages are. You take the good and be excited about it and take the bad and try to improve upon it."

Sac State will hold its final scrimmage at 9 a.m. today.

Aggies' ground attack?

One of the intriguing story lines at UC Davis is how often the Aggies will run, rarely their strength or identity through the years.

But first-year coach Ron Gould spent 16 seasons as an assistant at Cal grooming future NFL running backs, including Marshawn Lynch, Shane Vereen and Justin Forsett.

Gould hasn't tipped his hand at who will be his leading ballcarriers this season, but he likes how several of his younger backs are developing.

"The tailbacks – Manu (Luuga), Gabe (Manzanares) and Justin (Williams) – are doing a great job and coming on," Gould said.

Williams, of El Camino of Oceanside, and Luuga, of Long Beach Poly, are freshmen, while Manzanares is a transfer from City College of San Francisco.

Gould also is impressed with Kenny Brookins, a redshirt freshman from Parker of Chula Vista.

"(Brookins is) having a really good camp," Gould said. "It's like night and day from spring to now. He's done a great job of getting into shape, and he's learning what it is to compete."

Colton Silveria, a junior from the Redding area, returns after running for a team-high 590 yards in 2012. Also back is junior fullback Dalton Turay, a preseason All-Big Sky Conference selectee, who rushed for a team-high seven touchdowns last season.

Shriners visit – UC Davis players mingled with Shriners Hospital for Children patients and their families in Sacramento on Thursday night, highlighted by several players busting out their best "Gangnam Style."

"You can see some of the players are having more fun than the kids," Gould said.

Added senior lineman Jimmy Kunkel: "This means a lot to us … to be grateful for what we have. Not everyone gets to be a college football player."

Meet the Aggies – The Aggies will hold a fanfest Saturday at Aggie Stadium, where fans can attend practice from 10:15 a.m. to 12:20 p.m. Afterward, fans will be allowed onto the field for a meet-and-greet with coaches and players that includes autographs and pictures.

Call The Bee's Bill Paterson, (916) 326-5506.

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