San Diego, Cal. – David Macchi broke Valpo’s single-season passing record, but San Diego defeated the Crusaders 59-27 in a Pioneer Football League game. A junior from San Jose, Cal., Macchi passed for 427 yards and now has 2,484 this season, eclipsing the record of 2,422 yards set by Scott Lange in 1983.
Macchi threw three touchdown passes, one each to Bryan Hollermeier, Kevin Knutson and Rob Giancola. The two teams combined for 1,132 total yards.
San Diego’s Eric Rasmussen threw a school-record seven touchdown passes, five to Michael Gasperson, also a USD single-game record. Gasperson caught eight passes for 187 yards and Jeff Incerty added four receptions for 118 yards. The Toreros led 35-17 at halftime.
Valpo (0-8, 0-3 PFL) grabbed a 7-0 lead just 28 seconds into the game when Macchi lofted an aerial over the secondary at midfield to Hollermeier, who sprinted into the end zone for a 61-yard score.
Rasmussen and Gasperson responded with three straight touchdown strikes. The Toreros tied the game at 7-7 with 12:48 left in the first quarter when Gasperson hauled in a 34-yard pass from Rasmussen. The duo hooked up again on a 48-yard touchdown reception and again on a 7-yard scoring pass.
Macchi, who completed 22 of 47 passes, connected with Knutson on a 54-yard touchdown aerial to trim USD’s lead to 21-14 with 6:03 left in the first quarter. Valpo’s Adam Hudak booted a 33-yard field goal, one of two on the night.
San Diego (4-3, 2-0 PFL) scored the next 14 points on a Ken Villalobos 6-yard run and Gasperson’s fourth touchdown, a 15-yard pass from Rasmussen.
Hudak cut the deficit to 35-20 with a 29-yard field goal, but USD answered with 14 more points on Dru Smith’s 8-yard touchdown reception and Gasperson’s record-setting score, a 34-yard pass from Rasmussen.
Macchi broke the single-season passing mark by finding Giancola for a 20-yard scoring pass early in the fourth quarter. USD added the final 10 points on Adam Williams’ 21-yard field goal and Iman Nikzad’s 68-yard touchdown run.
Rasmussen completed 18 of 30 passes for 395 yards. The USD defense intercepted four passes. USD outgained the Crusaders 593 to 539. Valpo had 452 passing yards to 431 for USD.The Toreros rushed for 162 yards to Valpo’s 87. Nikzad led USD with 120 yards on nine carries.
Knutson caught four passes for 122 yards, Ryan Barno had six for 98 yards and Giancola added six for 94 yards.
Valpo hosts Butler next Saturday (Nov. 2) on Parents’ Day at 1 p.m.