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Quiteh opened the scoring with a 20-yard touchdown run off right tackle in the first quarter and Schroeder connected with McNeese State’s Dionte Spencer on a 15-yard swing pass for a score late in the second quarter to force a tie at halftime.

The American wouldn’t reach the end zone again though, as a 35-yard field goal by Cal’s Vincenzo D’Amato in the fourth quarter was their only points of the second half.

“There were a lot of good football players on that field today, and the more good players you have the more fun it is to coach them,” Vermeil said. “We had one turnover and I think we went through the entire game without an illegal procedure and we had only one holding penalty. I think that shows what kids can do if they focus and really get involved mentally and emotionally.”