Scrimmage sets tone for SDSU football season

Madison High School alumnus Kenan Christon rushes past defenders for a long gain during Saturday’s Aztec FanFest. Christon finished the intra-squad scrimmage with 13 carries for 77 yards to lead SDSU ball-carriers.

For fans who attended Saturday’s Aztec FanFest at Snapdragon Stadium, they saw a hard-hitting performance by the San Diego State University defense and an even more impressive performance by the team’s offense.

The SDSU offense scored 52 points in the annual intra-squad scrimmage while the defense tacked on two touchdowns of its own on a fumble return and interception return.

The Aztecs will continue finetuning their game in practices leading up to the team’s Aug. 26 season opener against Ohio University at Snapdragon Stadium (4 p.m. kick-off).

Returners figured heavily in the outcome of Saturday’s scrimmage. Senior quarterback Jaylen Mayden scored four touchdowns (three passing, one rushing) to lead the offense. He passed for 154 yards (14 completions in 26 attempts) with one interception.

Touchdown targets included junior receiver Mekhi Shaw (14 yards), sophomore receiver Phillippe Wesley II (14 yards) and senior tight end Mark Redman (six yards).

Mayden directed the offense to touchdowns on the first two offensive possessions. He set the tone for the evening by connecting with senior receiver Brionne Penny on a 45-yard bomb as part of a five-play opening 72-yard field march that consumed just 2:54 off the clock.

Wesley’s touchdown capped another 72-yard field march for a quick 14-0 lead.

Mayden returned to the scoring column in the fourth quarter with a 13-yard scoring run while connecting with Redman on a short pass into the end zone.

On a pair of goal-to-go situations, junior running back Jaylon Armstead scored on a five-yard run while sophomore quarterback D.J. Ralph (Cathedral Catholic) passed 14 yards to senior tight end Jay Rudolph.

SDSU used two kickers on field goal attempts. Senior Jack Browning (West Hills) split the uprights from 37 and 43 yards while junior Gabriel Plascencia hit from 32 and 34 yards out.

Sophomore defensive lineman Dominic Oliver raced 18 yards into the end zone after recovering a fumble by red-shirt freshman quarterback Kyle Crum in the first quarter; senior cornerback Noah Tumblin (Mira Mesa) scored on a pick-six in the second quarter after returning an intercepted pass 13 yards from red-shirt freshman quarterback Tobin O’Dell.

Junior linebacker Cody Moon led all defenders with 10 tackles, including eight solo stops, while sophomore safety D.J. Bryant tacked on eight tackles. Redshirt safety Josh Hunter (Temecula) and senior safety Cedarious Barfield both collected seven tackles (each with four solo stops).

Junior cornerback Dez Malone and sophomore linebacker Brady Anderson also recorded picks in the contest.

SDSU’s five quarterbacks combined for 297 yards on 32-of-54 passing with four touchdowns and three interceptions. Freshman Baylin Brooks led Aztec receivers with 59 yards on three catches.