Saturday was High School Band Night at Qualcomm Stadium as the San Diego State University Marching Aztecs hosted 17 area prep marching bands and color guard teams. Representation was particularly strong from East County as bands performed at halftime of SDSU's football game against Oregon State.
An estimated 1,200 high school band members were involved in the epic mass band production.
Bands performing from East County high schools included Santana, El Cajon Valley, El Capitan, West Hills, Grossmont, Christian and Mt. Miguel. The Valhalla color guard team also took part in the event.
San Ysidro was the lone South County band program represented.
Other San Diego County high schools involved included Clairemont, Madison, Morse and Valley Center. Temecula Great Oak and Rim of the World keyed the out-of-town participants.
As for the football game?
The host Aztecs arguably played their best game of the season yet once again came out on the short end of the score, losing 34-30 to the Beavers in front of 32,133 fans to fall to 0-3 on the season.
Helix High School graduate Sam Meredith recovered a fumble for SDSU in the late stages of the third quarter that led to a 40-yard field goal by teammate Wes Feer to give the host Aztecs a seemingly comfortable 27-14 lead.
Another fumble recovery, this time by SDSU's Nate Berhe, positioned the Aztecs for a 30-yard field goal by Feer with 5:18 left in the game to stake the hosts to a 30-21 advantage.
But the Beavers, who opened the season with the country's No. 25 ranking, scored the game's final 13 points to hand the Aztecs yet another disappointing setback and, in the process, improve their own record to 3-1 on the season.
It was a combination of costly mistakes late in the game by SDSU and a second-half surge by Oregon State that determined the outcome of the non-conference match-up. If anything, San Diego State's inexperience in situations when trying to hold a lead showed its true colors.
Aztec quarterback Quinn Kaehler passed for 251 yards and two touchdowns but also threw two interceptions. The first, snagged by the Beavers cornerback Steven Nelson with 2:38 remaining in the fourth quarter, resulted in a 16-yard interception return for a game-winning touchdown. The second pick, made by Ryan Murphy, allowed Oregon State to run out the clock.
The Beavers entered the game tied with Cal-Berkeley for the nation's top passing offense. Oregon State signal-caller Sean Mannion completed 38 of 55 attempts for 367 yards and three touchdowns. He was not intercepted in the game.
The Beavers came out on top despite finishing with just 10 rushing yards.
Oregon State coach Mike Riley made a triumphant return to Qualcomm Stadium after coaching the NFL San Diego Chargers for three seasons from 1999-2001.
Riley said his team was “opportunistic at the end.”
In a post-game press conference, SDSU coach Rocky Long said he felt his team “made some progress.”
“(But) any progress we made tonight won't be worth it if we don't continue to do it next week,” he said.
Both teams combined for 186 yards in penalties in a mistake-prone contest.
Adam Muema rushed a career-high 28 times for 71 yards and scored one touchdown. Kaehler, who was making his first career start, fired an 80-yard scoring pass to Colin Lockett and also hit Donnel Pumphrey on a 23-yard scoring play.
Feer finished the game with three field goals; he also split the uprights on a 45-yarder in the second quarter.
Brandin Cooks caught 14 aerials for 141 yards to lead Oregon State; Terron Ward led the Beavers with two touchdowns in the contest.
Meredith, a junior defensive lineman, finished the game with two tackles while Christian High School alum Joel Alesi punted three times for SDSU for a 33.3-yard average.
Spring Valley's Micah Seau (redshirt freshman linebacker) and El Capitan grad Robert Craighead (sophomore tight end) were two other former East County prep standouts who saw game action.
Mater Dei Catholic redshirt freshman offensive lineman Nico Siragusa also got playing time in the game.
Former Oceanside Pirates standout King Holder led the Aztecs with nine tackles while St. Augustine grad Seamus McMorrow averaged 61.4 yards on seven kickoffs.
SDSU dropped to 24-77-1 all-time against members of the Pac-12 Conference, 8-41-1 since 1969.
The Aztecs next play on the road at New Mexico State on Saturday, Sept. 28, before returning home for a rare Friday night game (Oct. 4) against Nevada.
Trent Warren contributed to this story.
SDSU football game against New Mexico State to be televised on Fox Sports San Diego
Aztecs home game against New Mexico on Nov. 2 also to be aired on FSSD
SAN DIEGO – San Diego State and Fox Sports San Diego announced on Monday television arrangements for two Aztec football games this season.
SDSU’s football game on Saturday, Sept. 28, on the road against New Mexico State will be televised on Fox Sports San Diego. The game is being produced by Aggie Vision and will be simulcast on FSSD. Play-by-play will be provided by New Mexico State announcers.
In addition, San Diego State’s Saturday, Nov. 2, home game against Mountain West foe New Mexico will be televised on Fox Sports San Diego, beginning at 5 p.m. PT at Qualcomm Stadium. The game will also be on Root Sports.
With this announcement, all nine of SDSU’s remaining football games will be available nationally, with three on ESPN Networks and four on CBS Sports Network.
Fox Sports San Diego can be found on Cox channel 56 and 1056 (HD), DirecTV channel 694, AT&T U-verse channel 776 and Dish Network channel 150.
San Diego State has won six straight games against New Mexico State, and leads the all-time series, 8-1-1. SDSU’s last meeting with the Aggies resulted in a 41-21 Aztec victory in 2010.
Senior wide receiver Colin Lockett (Diamond Bar, Calif.) and senior kicker Wes Feer (Chino Hills, Calif.) each were named College Football Performance Awards (CFPA) honorable mention selections on Monday. Lockett earned recognition as an all-purpose performer, while Feer was honored as placekicker.
Lockett recorded five receptions for 113 yards, including an 80-yard touchdown, and also returned four kickoffs for 101 yards. Feer made 3-of-3 field goals on Saturday, connecting on kicks of 45, 40 and 30 yards.