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A strong start to Weber State football

The Weber State football team lining up against Central Washington for the fourth and final quarter of the game.

Weber State University’s football team kicked off their 2023 season with a 35–10 victory over Central Washington University at Stewart Stadium.

“I love how the guys responded during the game, and obviously you’re going to go through adversity within a season, and I liked how we handled our first adversity test as a group and as a team,” head coach Mickey Mental said.

On their opening possession in the first quarter, WSU quarterback Kylan Weisser connected with wide receiver Jayleen Record for a 7-yard touchdown pass. A successful extra point by kicker Kyle Thompson put the Wildcats in an early 7–0 lead.

Central Washington responded with a 15-yard rushing touchdown from Tyler Flanagan, leveling the score 7–7. Weber State’s Abraham Williams quickly returned a kickoff 105 yards for a touchdown and gave the Wildcats a 14–7 lead. This marked Williams’ sixth kickoff return of 100+ yards during his tenure at Weber State University.

Central Washington managed to narrow the gap by concluding the first half with a successful field goal, leaving the Wildcats with a one-possession advantage as they headed into halftime, leading 14–10.

“They got after us in the first half, but obviously after the game when you look back at it, we left a lot of yards out on the field, so I felt as an offense that we needed to come out faster,” Weber State running back Damon Bankston said.

The second half started with Weber State in possession, and they capitalized on their first drive, culminating in a short 1-yard rushing touchdown by Kris Jackson. The momentum continued with Bankston’s explosive 66-yard rushing touchdown a few possessions later, extending Weber’s lead to 28–10.

Near the end of the third quarter, Bankston scored another touchdown and secured a four-possession lead of 35–10 for Weber State. The Wildcats dominated the third quarter, accumulating 21 points to solidify their lead.

“The first half wasn’t what we want to show again, but I feel if we build off what we did in the third quarter, then we’ll have a great season,” Bankston said.

Weber State University was able to hold Central Washington from scoring a single time during the second half. After a strong start to the season, Weber will be heading to Cedar Falls, Iowa, to face off against Northern Iowa University on Sept. 9 at 3 p.m.

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Collyn Cowles, Sports editor
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