Kicking Aggs and taking names

Damon Bankston and Hayden Meacham running down the field with their teammates.

Dominating on both ends of the field, Weber State University’s football team beat Utah State University for the first time since 1978, winning 35–7 on Sept. 10.

Coming into the game, Utah State head coach Blake Anderson made a comment that this was Weber State’s equivalent of a Super Bowl.

“We definitely took offense to that,” Weber State wide receiver Ty MacPherson said. “We came out. We played hard. We did everything we could to win this game, and now it’s on to the next one.”

Utah State started the game strong with a 25-yard run from running back Calvin Tyler Jr. However, the Wildcats were able to force a punt on the Aggies’ next set of downs.

Weber State’s first possession wasn’t much more effective. Despite advancing from their own 10-yard line to the Aggies’ 27, quarterback Bronson Barron threw his first interception of the game to set Utah State up on their own 8-yard line.

After another four-down possession from the Aggies, Weber State was able to get the ball back from a punt. Starting from midfield, the Wildcats put the ball in the hands of Damon Bankston, who ran for 25 yards on his first possession. With another Bankston run and a few yards off of penalties, the Wildcats were able to make a field goal, giving Weber State a 3–0 lead.

Receiving the kick off, Utah State wide receiver Terrell Vaughn scored the first points of his career, running the ball back 100 yards to put the Aggies ahead for their only lead of the game, 7–3.

Down by four points, Barron connected with MacPherson deep down the field for a 62-yard gain. A 17-yard run from Josh Davis put Weber State’s first touchdown on the board.

The Aggies’ offense wasn’t able to retaliate. With the ball on their own 28, Logan Bonner threw his first interception of the game to cornerback Jalon Rock, who returned it to the 8-yard line and set the Wildcats up for another field goal, giving them a 13–7 lead going into halftime.

Starting the third quarter with the ball, the Wildcat’s possession was short-lived as Barron was picked off by Utah State safety Hunter Reynolds for his third interception of the game.

Giving the ball back to Weber State after four downs, Utah State put the Wildcats at the 14-yard line with a punt. Barron stepped on the field ready to make up for the interception made earlier, racking up yards on the ground and connecting with Jacob Sharp on a 20-yard pass.

On third and goal on Utah State’s 9-yard line, Barron connected with MacPherson in the end zone to put Weber State up 19–7. The Wildcats then faked a field goal, where punter Jack Burgess ran it in for the two-point conversion.

“I love the offense,” Barron said. “Although we are going fast, it simplifies things for me.”

Down 21–7, the Aggies’ deficit increased when Desmond Williams picked off Bonner and ran to the end zone, putting the Wildcats up 28–7. Despite an 11-play drive after, Utah State was held scoreless, giving the ball back to Weber State due to a turnover on downs.

After a scoreless possession from each side, the Wildcats were able to get into the end zone again as Barron connected with MacPherson on an 18-yard pass. With just under seven minutes to go in the fourth, the Wildcats were up 35–7.

Barron finished the game with 202 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions with Macpherson catching both scoring passes. Davis ran 94 yards and scored one touchdown with Bankston running 53 yards.

Weber State’s defense held Banner to 120 yards and three interceptions. Tyler Jr. finished the game as the Aggies leading rusher with 64 yards.

“I saw all kinds of players in the meeting room preparing,” Wildcat coach Jay Hill said about getting ready to play Utah State. “This is a tough offense to stop, and we had DB’s in the office every day this week. They just played absolutely outstanding.”

Weber State will take on Utah Tech University at Stewart Stadium at 6 p.m. on Sept. 17.