60 years of Causeway

The traditional gift for a 60th anniversary is a diamond. If you’re a Hornet fan, you’d probably rather have a chunk of concrete.

This November marks the 60th regular-season meeting of the Sac State Hornets and the UC Davis Aggies—the only opponent that has been on the Hornets’ schedule every season since they began fielding a football team in 1953.

While the winner of the longstanding rivalry will get bragging rights for the coming year, the victor will also take home the Causeway Classic trophy which is fashioned from a piece of the Yolo Causeway.

Amaze your fellow Hornets with these fun facts about the Causeway Classic:

• The inaugural Hornet-Aggie game in 1953 was also Sac State’s first Homecoming Game of the first football season.

• The annual meeting has only been known as Causeway Classic since 1983—in the 1970s, coach Ray Clemons referred to the matchup as the “internal Sacramento Valley championship.”

• The Causeway Classic title comes from the Yolo Causeway which separates the city of Davis from Sacramento. But one State Hornet sports reporter claimed it was named, “’Cause CSUS wants to win, ’cause UC Davis wants to win, and ’cause the winner will be able to brag for the next 12 months.”

• For years, the winning squad gained custody of the Causeway Carriage, a full-size 19th-century Victorian carriage. The carriage still makes appearances at Sac State Homecoming celebrations and Causeway Classics.

• Prior to the 1990 game, injured Sac State quarterback Bobby Fresques received phone calls from San Francisco 49ers Joe Montana, Ronnie Lott and Steve Young. A motivated Hornet squad posted its fourth-straight Causeway victory.

• Caltrans provided the material for the Causeway Classic trophy, taking a concrete core sample from one of the pillars that holds up the Yolo Causeway.

• In 2009, Sac State honored Hornet coaching legend Bob Mattos, by wearing the name “Mattos” on the back of every jersey. The game ended with the “Mattos March,” an 89-yard scoring drive that resulted in a 31-28 Hornets victory.

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