Aggies bowl over WSU football

(Source: DeLayne Ripplinger)
Weber State University quarterback Austin Chipoletti drops back to pass in a game against Utah State University. The game was Chipoletti’s first start, a 70-6 loss to the Aggies.

Spencer Unga returns fumble for a touchdown

The Weber State University football team traveled to Logan, Utah, on Saturday evening to face Utah State University. The Wildcats were outgunned from the beginning and lost the game 70-6 on a rainy night.

The Wildcats fell behind quickly after their first punt of the game. The Aggies ensued to take the ball 60 yards in little more than two minutes, punching the ball in on a five-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Chuckie Keeton to tight end D.J. Tialevia. That put the Aggies ahead 7-0.

“(Keeton) looks Heisman-worthy to me,” said WSU head coach Jody Sears. “He’s a good player on a good football team.”

The Aggie defense put pressure on freshman Austin Chipoletti, in his first career college game, early and often. The Aggies forced the Wildcats into four straight three-and-outs to start the game. The Aggie offense didn’t cool down either, scoring on its first four drives of the game, running the score up to 28-0 with 14 minutes left in the second quarter.

“This has always been a dream of mine since I was a little kid,” Chipoletti said. “It was neat running out in front of 35,000 people. But you always picture it a little different, the finish of it.”

The second quarter went a lot like the first, as the Aggies were dominant on both sides of the ball. The Wildcats were held to just one first down in the first half, with all their drives ending in punts. For the second-straight week, WSU entered the half down 49-0.

The Wildcat offense gained just 30 yards in the first half, most of them on its final drive. USU’s linemen were seemingly unblockable, as they stopped several plays in the backfield for negative gains.

USU’s offense gained 372 total yards in the first half. Keeton finished the half 19-25 for 249 yards and five touchdowns. Many Aggie completions went to receivers who were wide open. The Wildcat defense forced just one fourth down against the Aggies. It came on the final play of the half.

“I am a little disappointed, because there was some bad football out there,” Sears said. “There were some things mistake-wise that we did on both sides of the ball that were disappointing. We need to get some stuff corrected. It’s a tough pill to swallow, but you got to swallow it and move on.”

The Wildcats continued to struggle on both sides of the ball in the second half. On three of their first four drives, the Aggies punched the ball into the end zone.

The Wildcats put together a drive in the middle of the third quarter, getting multiple first downs, but the drive stalled as the ball slipped out of running back Josh Booker’s hands. It was the second fumble of the game for the Wildcats, as the rain was causing problems with ball control. The Aggies ended the third quarter with a 70-0 lead.

The Aggies were held to no points following the fumble as the Wildcats made a goal-line stand to cause a turnover on downs. The Wildcat defense stiffened up in the fourth quarter, holding the Aggies to zero points.

(Source: DeLayne Ripplinger)
Weber State University linebacker Spencer Unga returns a fumble in a game against Utah State University. The fumble return were the only points scored by the Wildcats.

The Wildcats got on the board in the final minute of the game, recovering a fumble from quarterback Jeff Manning and returning the ball 38 yards for the touchdown. The final score was 70-6.

“Obviously, we struggled in all three phases,” said senior linebacker Anthony Morales. “We couldn’t get out on third down on defense. The offense couldn’t put together a drive. There were a lot of errors on special teams. There’s not really much to say except that we got to come back this week and watch the film and learn from the mistakes.”

With the team’s second loss of more than 60 points, Chipoletti admitted the games were tough to swallow.

“I want to think of myself as a winner,” he said. “These games hurt you after something like this. You got to come back and regroup. This is where we want to be one day. We want to become one of those teams today. We just got to regroup and focus on McNeese.”

The Wildcats will travel to Louisiana next Saturday to face McNeese State University in the last game of their three-game road stand.

Anthony Morales post game interview

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Austin Chipoletti post game interview

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Head coach Jody Sears post game interview

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