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Weber State wins against Idaho

Weber State University wide receiver, Haze Hadley (5) running down the field with the football as a University of Idaho player runs after him.

On Nov. 11, Weber State University’s football team came home and won 31–29 in an upset victory against the No. 4-ranked University of Idaho.

Before the kickoff, the Wildcats recognized the team’s 11 seniors in their final home game of the season, and the seniors showcased their skills with multiple standout performances with their team.

The Vandals secured a 10–0 lead early in the second quarter. The Wildcats did not hesitate to counter with two rushing touchdowns by senior running back Kris Jackson in the same quarter, allowing Weber State to take a 14–13 lead at halftime.

“We played a good game on offense, defense, special teams,” Jackson said. “Whenever one team was lacking, another team was there to build them up. If the defense scored on, the offense would go down and score right back. So, I think that was the difference between now and every other game we’ve had this season.”

The lead was extended to 21–13 in the early stages of the second half when quarterback Richie Munoz connected with wide receiver Jacob Sharp for a 3-yard touchdown. The Vandals followed and tied the game at 21–21 with 6:03 left in the third quarter.

Deep into the third quarter, senior wide receiver Haze Hadley returned a Vandal punt return, positioning the Wildcats at the Idaho 12-yard line. Just three plays later, running back Adrian Cormier powered through with a 13-yard touchdown run, elevating the Wildcats to a 28–21 lead.

“I think defensively, the turnovers help, then giving our offense the ball, a sudden change, and having them go score just boost the momentum, and that helps the whole team,” senior linebacker Winston Reid said. “Defensively, we gotta win our one-on-ones; that’s how our defense is set up, just everyone doing their job. It’s a team.”

In the closing minutes, kicker Kyle Thompson notched a 24-yard field goal, granting the Wildcats a 10-point advantage with 2:24 left on the clock. Although the Vandals managed to score another touchdown and a 2-point conversion, the Wildcats secured their win by recovering the onside kick.

“This was the best feeling in the world,” Jackson said. “The last time playing on this field, last time coming out of that locker room and for us to do it the right way — it meant everything to me.”

Reid posted a career-high of 17 tackles with seven solo and 10 assisted tackles. These 17 tackles are the most in a game by a Wildcat in nine years. Reid is tied for third in Weber State history in career solo tackles with 165.

Jackson had 84 rushing yards and two touchdowns. This season, he has seven rushing touchdowns and moved to sixth in career rushing touchdowns with 28.

The Vandals posted an impressive 418 yards of total offense, while the Wildcats lagged with 291 yards. The Vandals demonstrated strength in their passing, amassing 346 yards through the air, but their ground game fell short with just 72 rushing yards. The Wildcats’ defense played a pivotal role, forcing two fumbles from the Vandals and notching three sacks along with eight tackles for loss.

“First and foremost, I am very proud of our guys who obviously came out to play for our 11 seniors, who have devoted a lot to this program and have had a lot of success,” head coach Mickey Mental said. “To come out with a win against a very good team like Idaho today is big time. So, credit goes to my coaching staff and the players.”

The Wildcats are now 5–5 overall on the season and 3–4 in the Big Sky. On Nov. 18, Weber State will go against California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, California. Kickoff is at 6 p.m.

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Jacoba Jones
Jacoba Jones, Sports reporter

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