Former local prep standout helps Utah St. win Poinsettia Bowl
SAN DIEGO (CNS) – Former Mt Carmel High School and Grossmont College
standout Joey DeMartino rushed for 143 yards and a touchdown leading Utah State
to a 21-14 victory over Northern Illinois in the Poinsettia Bowl Thursday night at
DeMartino's one-yard run and Darell Garretson's two-point conversion
pass to Bruce Natson gave the Aggies a 21-7 lead with four minutes, 14 seconds
Jordan Lynch threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to Juwan Brescacin on a
fourth-and-10 play with 1:44 left for Northern Illinois (12-2).
Utah State (9-5) recovered the Huskies onside kick and ran out the clock.
In a mistake-filled game that included three interceptions, a lost
fumble and three missed field goals, the Aggies took a 3-0 lead on Nick Diaz's
31-yard field goal with 6:56 left in the first quarter.
Diaz's 39-yard field goal 51 seconds into the second quarter increased
Utah State's lead to 6-0, four plays after DeMartino's 58-yard run, the longest
in the Poinsettia Bowl's nine-year history.
Lynch ran one yard for a touchdown 8:17 before halftime, culminating a
15-play, 78-yard drive where Lynch completed four of five passes for 43 yards
and ran four times for 15 yards.
The Aggies regained the lead on Garretson's five-yard touchdown pass to
Brandon Swindall with 11:57 left in the third quarter.
DeMartino was selected as the offensive MVP and Utah State linebacker
Jake Doughty the defensive MVP for making eight tackles, including 1.5 for
losses, and forcing a fumble.
Northern Illinois outgained Utah State, 315 yards to 289, and led in
first downs, 19-17.
Lynch, who finished third in voting for the Heisman Trophy, completed 20
of 35 passes for 216 yards and a touchdown. He had one pass intercepted and
was sacked twice.
Garretson completed 17 of 28 passes for 121 yards and a touchdown. He
had two passes intercepted and was sacked twice.
The announced attendance of 23,408 was the lowest in Poinsettia Bowl
history. The previous low was 24,607 for the 2011 game between Louisiana Tech
and Texas Christian.
The game's record attendance came in 2010 when San Diego State's 35-14
victory over Navy drew an announced crowd of 48,049.
This was the first Poinsettia Bowl played after Christmas. The change
was caused by a limited amount of available dates, according to Mark Neville,
the Poinsettia Bowl's associate executive director. The latest previous
Poinsettia Bowl was on Dec. 23 in 2008, 2009 and 2010. The earliest was on Dec.
The game is expected to return to before Christmas next year and remain
there, Neville said.