‘Cats savage Grizzlies

Raymond Lucas

In the penultimate home game of the season, the Weber State University Wildcats played host to their longtime rivals, the University of Montana Grizzlies.

The Wildcats came in ranked 23 in the STATS rankings, while Montana entered Stewart Stadium ranked 21 in the FCS. The game was Montana’s first trip to Ogden in five years.

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Xequille Harry, center-left, jumps to intercept a pass he just tipped, an effort that was successful. (Joshua Wineholt / The Signpost)

The Wildcats entered the game leading the Big Sky Conference in scoring defense, total defense, run defense, pass defense and opponent first downs allowed.

In the opening quarter of the game, the Wildcats defense was dominant, shutting out the Grizzlies while the WSU offense provided two scores. The first score came off of a 39-yard field goal from freshman kicker Trey Tuttle.

Head coach Jay Hill said, “Trey Tuttle continues to be a huge positive for our team.”

The offense’s second score was a three-yard touchdown pass by senior quarterback Stefan Cantwell to senior tight end Tui Satuala.

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Weber State vs Montana State getting ready for a play (Sara Parker / The Signpost)

When Montana got into the red zone in the first quarter, senior cornerback Xequille Harry collected his third interception of the year, returning it 64 yards before eventually being brought down.

The first quarter ended with Weber State up 10–0, and by the time the second quarter ended the scoreboard read 31–6 in favor of the Wildcats.

A six-yard touchdown pass from Cantwell to senior wide receiver Drew Batchelor began the scoring in the quarter. On the ensuing kickoff, freshman linebacker Cameron Hansen forced a fumble, which was recovered by senior linebacker Alema Key.

On first down the Wildcats ran a double reverse pass play, resulting in senior tight end Andrew Vollert getting the ball to a wide open Cantwell in the end zone.

The Wildcats’ final touchdown of the half was delivered by junior running back Treshawn Garrett, making the score 31–0.

Before the half ended, Montana scored their first touchdown of the game and wound up missing the extra point, leaving the score at 31–6 in favor of the ’Cats. WSU then drove down the field and Tuttle knocked in his second field goal of the game, a career-long 48-yard kick.

Junior safety Jordan Preator picked up a drive-ending interception to send the game to halftime, with the Wildcats holding the momentum.

The Grizzlies scored the sole third quarter touchdown. Montana had a potential scoring drive stopped by a fumble in the end zone, recovered by sophomore defensive lineman Adam Rodriguez.

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Weber player forty two attempting to intercept throw by Montana quarterback (Sara Parker / The Signpost)

While the Wildcats were looking to secure a win in the fourth quarter, Montana’s offense scored an 81-yard touchdown through the air to trim the Weber State lead down to 14 points.

Later in the quarter, the Grizzles threw a pass directly into Preator’s hands, giving him his second interception of the game. He returned the interception 23 yards to secure the fifth touchdown of the game for the Wildcats.

By the time the game was over, the scoreboard read 41–27 in favor of the Wildcats. Even though the team clinched the win, the WSU offense scored only 10 points in the second half while allowing 21 points.

Cantwell said, “I feel like when you get up that much, you have to keep getting motivated and keep pushing it, but honestly I’m still trying to figure out what happened in the second half.”

The Wildcats forced five turnovers in the game and only allowed Montana’s top-ranked red zone offense to score on two out of their five red zone opportunities.

Now boasting a 6–2 record on the season, the next game for the Wildcats will be in Cheney, Washington, where they will go head-to-head with the Eastern Washington University Eagles.

Preator said, “This upcoming game is equally as big. We have to win to have a chance (at the playoffs).”