It wasn’t quite a 93 year streak like the original Aztec empire of Mexico, but for 52 years the mighty San Diego State Aztecs reigned over the poor farmers of Logan, Utah. The only pig skin that these poor farmers were good at was slaughtering the hogs to make bacon. Even when the Aggies made the move to the Mountain West and defeated the mighty potato farmers of Boise in 2015, San Diego State was there to defeat them the following week.
However, all streaks must come to an end. As the Conquistadores allied with Hernán Cortés to overthrow the Aztec empire in 1521, 2019 was the year that the Aggie Allies finally won the basketball, football, and “I Believe” chant battles over Aztecs. Here is how the battle was won:
1. Gary Andersen – The Aggie Hernán Cortés: Coach Andersen started a valiant attack that consisted of a much improved defense and same fast paced Aggie offense. He will always give credit to his soldiers but if it weren’t for his play calls, the Aggies wouldn’t have built a 23-3 lead that they would need to stave off a valiant Aztec attack. The magic that Gary used to break losing streaks to Utah and BYU in his first battle with the Aggie Army was rekindled. The defense that couldn’t stop Wake Forest from scoring managed to hold the Aztecs to 3 points in the first 45 minutes. The turnover battle was one as the Aggie farmers managed to intercept the pigskin and return to their home base for a touchdown.
Yes, the Aztec army did make a valiant comeback in the waning minutes and for a while, it looked like the Aggie Army would suffer yet another heartbreaking loss. As great of a leader as Gary Andersen is, his army has come up short against the big Empires such as Auburn and Wisconsin in the waning minutes. However, his defense buckled down and did just enough to get the win.
The Offensive Conquistador: Jaylen Warren
The Spanish word “Conquistar” means “to conquer” in English. The honor certainly must go to the only soldier to score an offensive touchdown. The number one runner for the army, Jaylen Warren, rushed a total of 74 yards against a stout Aztec defensive front. The Aggies had a Great Wall of their own on the offensive front as they pushed the Aztec soldiers back far enough to allow Warren to all but win the war with an 11 yard touchdown run. He was quick to give credit to his line in this tweet.
Honorable Mention: Jordan Love, Siosi Mariner, Savon Scarver
The Defensive Conquistador: Shaquez Bond
It can be hard to defend Fort Aggie when facing the Aztecs as they love to attack on offense. Just like modern battles, it’s always nice to have someone who can intercept missiles and that’s exactly what Shaquez Bond did. The 195 pound junior out of Decatur, Illinois made a play in the right place at the right time. He intercepted a missile by the Aztec army in the opening minutes of battle to give the Aggies their first score of the game and a 7-3 lead. It set the tone for the battle.
Honorable Mention: David Woodward, DJ Williams, Jacoby Wildman
Special Teams Conquistador: Dominik Eberle
Dominik Eberle was great as he made 3 shorter field goals. His only blemish of the game was a longer missed field goal from 43 yards that gave the Aztecs one last chance to win the game. However, the defense held strong in the final minute of battle and kept him from being made the scapegoat. It wasn’t a perfect game but it sure was good enough.
Honorable Mention: Aaron Dalton (punters are people too)
Final Takeaway: In the end it’s simple. The Utah State Aggies wanted the game more than the Aztecs and showed that from the start with their playmaking. They still need to improve in some areas but, barring a serious collapse, USU will easily defeat Colorado State on homecoming.
If the Aggies let them hang then this year the luck might swing in the favor of the Rams. They won’t always have an illegal touching penalty to save them so the Conquistadores that hail from Logan Utah will need to conquer their foes from start to finish to attain total domination over the Western Mountains.