Former Burroughs High offensive lineman Jesse Chamberlain recovered a fumble by his own quarterback, Nick Nash, late in the fourth quarter that kept San Jose State University moving offensively in a 28-17 upset of San Diego State in a Mountain West football contest at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson.
Chamberlain played left guard in Friday night’s contest.
The Spartans improved to 3-0, their best start since 1982. They were the underdog against the Aztecs (2-1), who were impressive in their first two games, getting three touchdowns from Chamberlain’s Burroughs teammate Chance Bell.
Former Burbank High offensive lineman Scott Breslin also featured for San Jose State on special teams.
Chamberlain recalled the key play with just over three minutes to play.
“I turned back around and saw that Nick Nash and the ball were on the ground,” Chamberlain said. “I dropped down and grabbed Nick and the ball while the San Diego State defender was trying to rip it out of my hands. It all happened so fast.”
The game is the first in more than two decades to feature more than two players from local schools in college football’s highest division.
“It was just awesome to see our players kept playing and kept fighting through it. There’s all kinds of things that made that game,” San Jose State Coach Brent Brennan said.
The game had an interesting start as San Jose State quarterback Nick Starkel was injured on the first series of the game and did not return. He was replaced by Nash, who completed 16 of 25 passes for 169 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.
After San Diego State opened the scoring in the first quarter with a field goal by Matt Araiza, the Aztecs went up 10-0 as quarterback Carson Baker faked a handoff to Chance Bell, only to keep it himself and run in a 1-yard touchdown.
But after a slow start, San Jose State started to gain in confidence offensively.
Nash hooked up with tight end Derrick Deese Jr. on a 4-yard pass with 40 seconds left in the first half to help cut the deficit to 10-7 following a successful extra point from Matt Mercurio.
The Spartans took a 14-10 lead going into the fourth quarter as Nash hooked up with Bailey Gaither on a 3-yard touchdown with 2:30 left in the third.
San Diego State’s Greg Bell, who is no relation to Chance Bell, scored on a 5-yard run with 15:00 minutes to play, giving the Aztecs a 17-14 advantage.
A 3-yard touchdown run by San Jose State’s Tyler Nevens 11:44 to play put San Jose State back in front.
Nash capped the scoring by scoring on a 14-yard run with 1:37 to play.
Chance Bell finished with seven carries for 18 yards for San Diego State.
“I thought we had a good week of preparation. I thought we were ready to play. We didn’t play our best football and had some penalties that hurt us. We just didn’t play as well as we need to,” San Diego State coach Brady Hoke said.
Brennan spoke highly of both Chamberlain and Breslin leading up to the game.
“They’re both doing great. Jesse is playing a lot of football for us,” Brennan said. “Scott is in a backup role, but he’s pushing to get into the mix. They are both outstanding young men. They are 3.0 wall members. Those are two really quality people. I’m so happy they are a part of our program. Jesse has been with us from the start and Scott joined us a year ago. They are great people, they come from good families. I think they are having a really good experience here, not just the football side. I’m excited about the football they’re playing.”