Football loses close game to Eastern Washington

Charles Bowker

Senior Cordero Dixon attempts to knock down a North Dakota player with the ball during the game.  (Ariana Berkemeier / The Signpost)
Senior Cordero Dixon attempts to knock down a North Dakota player with the ball during the game. (Ariana Berkemeier / The Signpost)

Despite a monumental effort by the offense, the Wildcats lost a close game to the eagles of Eastern Washington University 14-13 on a cold, wet Saturday in Cheney.

“We did a lot of good things today and beat them up and down the field but they beat us on the scoreboard, which is what matters,” said WSU head coach Jay Hill in a statement after the game. “We had some opportunities to take the lead and came away with nothing. This one hurts and it’s a game we very well could have won. For us to take the next step we have to find ways to pull games like this out.”

The team was dominant on offense, recording 412 total yards on offense while holding the eagles, a team that has been averaging 547 yards per game, to only 189 total offensive yards. The Wildcats were able to rush for 172 yards and pass for 240, in comparison to the 68 yards of rushing and 121 yards of passsing for the eagles. The team also had a total of 85 plays on the day and maintained possession of the ball for 69 percent of the time.

The team started off the game fast by driving the ball 87 yards down the field on their first possession. They capped the drive off with a six yard touchdown run, by Chad Leckington, during a fake field goal attempt. The team kept up the positive action and later in the first quarter and increased the lead with a 44 yard field goal, by senior Josh Kealamakia, giving the Wildcats a 10-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.

In the second quarter, Eastern Washington was able to capitalize off of a turnover by junior quarterback Jadrian Clark. The eagles scored on a 40 yard touchdown pass from Jordan West to Cooper Kupp to narrow the the lead to 10-7. The Wildcats marched back down the field and capped off a 6:52 drive with a 24 yard field goal by Kealamakia to put them up 13-7 at the half.

In the third, the Eagles took the lead with another pass from West to Kupp, this time for four yards, to make the score 14-13. Neither team would find the end zone for the rest of the game.

In the game, Jadrian clark was 19-33 in passing attempts with 240 yards and one interception, the only turnover of the game. Cameron Livingston led the receivers with eight catches for 94 yards and Eric Wilkes led the rushing game with 20 carries for 58 yards.

The team is now 4-5 (3-3 in conference play) and will move on to play its final two games at home. They next play Nov. 7 against UC Davis. The game starts at noon at Stewart Stadium.