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SUU showdown ends in a shutout

The Weber State Wildcats bid their farewell to long-time Big Sky Conference and in-state rivals, the Southern Utah Thunderbirds, in a 62–0 Beehive Bowl blowout on Nov. 13 in Cedar City.

Wildcat teammates celebrating together.
Wildcat teammates celebrate together. Photo credit: WSU Athletics

SUU is leaving the Big Sky after ten years and are making their way to the Western Athletic Conference. The Thunderbirds leave on an 11-game losing streak against conference opponents.

Weber State started the first quarter with two touchdowns. For the first, Creyton Cooper found Hayden Meacham in the end zone on a 3-yard pass, and Kyle Thompson’s attempt for the extra point was good, pushing the ‘Cats to 7–0 with 7:27 in the first quarter.

On the Thunderbirds’ following drive, Winston Reid was called for targeting and was ejected from the game.

Bronson Barron threw for the second touchdown after finding Rashid Shaheed on a 47-yard pass, and alongside Thompson’s kick for the extra point, the Wildcats led 14–0 with 1:09 left in the first quarter.

Rashid Shaheed runs into the endzone.
Rashid Shaheed runs into the end zone. Photo credit: WSU Athletics

Shaheed was called for unsportsmanlike contact on his touchdown and the Wildcats received a 15-yard penalty on the following kickoff.

Weber State’s following drive started with 55 seconds remaining in the first quarter, and it carried them into the second quarter, where they saw their third touchdown of the game.

Dontae McMillan rushed for 2 yards into the end zone and the Wildcats expanded their lead to 21–0 after Thompson’s extra point with 13:17 left.

On 2nd and 10 for the Thunderbirds and following a bad snap, the ball was fumbled in the end zone, and Eddie Heckard recovered it for a Wildcat touchdown. The ‘Cats rose to 28–0 with 8:45 left in the half.

Braxton Gunther tackles an SUU player.
Braxton Gunther tackles an SUU player. Photo credit: WSU Athletics

The Thunderbirds’ following drive didn’t last long after quarterback Justin Miller’s pass was intercepted by Jared Schiess on first-and-10 on the SUU 25-yard line.

Cooper was sent out for the ‘Cats to rush for a touchdown, but before they made it to the end zone, SUU’s Aubrey Nellems was called for targeting and ejected from the game.

Sione Lapuaho, a defensive lineman and SUU transfer to Weber State, rushed for a 1-yard touchdown, and the ‘Cats led 35–0 with 7:47 remaining in the half.

Just a little over 90 seconds later, Barron found Shaheed on an 8-yard pass for a touchdown and pushed the ‘Cats to 42–0.

Weber State’s final drive of the first half went on for eight plays before Thompson was sent out for a 48-yard field goal that closed the half at 45–0 for Weber State.

Rashid Shaheed tries to brake a tackle from an SUU player.
Rashid Shaheed tries to brake a tackle from an SUU player. Photo credit: WSU Athletics

The Thunderbirds were able to slow down the ‘Cats in the third period and allowed Weber State only one touchdown.

Barron found Meacham for a 4-yard pass after a six-play drive for 64 yards, pushing the ‘Cats to 52–0.

Thompson started the fourth quarter with a 36-yard field goal to put the ‘Cats at 55–0.

Preston Smith attempts to run the ball after an interception.
Preston Smith attempts to run the ball after an interception. Photo credit: WSU Athletics

Weber State’s final drive of the game started with 9:13 remaining in the game and the ‘Cats went on a 12-play drive for 59 yards for Damon Bankston to rush for a six-yard touchdown.

Riley Moore was sent out for the extra point and pushed the ‘Cats to the final score of the game, 62–0.

“The offense took advantage of so many of the opportunities that the defense gave us early,” head coach Jay Hill said. “I can’t say enough about this team and the effort, and the coaches did a phenomenal job this week of trying to rally the troops in a hard situation.”

The ‘Cats head into next week hosting the University of Northern Colorado Bears on Nov. 20. Weber State currently sits at 5–5 overall and 4–3 in conference.

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Emily Miller
Emily Miller, Copy editor

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