Saturday , September 02, 2017 - 9:41 PM1 comment
OGDEN — With a game at Pac-12 member California next week, it would have been easy for the Weber State Wildcats to be caught looking ahead Saturday night at Stewart Stadium.
That simply did not happen.
The Wildcats built a 48-0 halftime lead over Montana Western, scoring on all eight possessions in the opening half en route to a 76-0 win in their season-opener. The 76 points and margin of victory are both new school records.
“I thought it was a good game,” Weber State coach Jay Hill said. “We did what we were supposed to do.”
The Bulldogs, an NAIA school located in Dillon, Montana, only managed 21 yards of offense in the first half.
The Wildcats, on the other hand, seemed to be in mid-season form, compiling 283 yards in the half, including 163 yards through the air on 10-of-14 passing by senior quarterback Stefan Cantwell.
Weber State opened the scoring on its first possession as junior Treshawn Garrett scored from 3 yards out.
On the Bulldogs’ first play of the ensuing possession, Weber State’s Jordan Preator recorded the first of his two first-half interceptions. He returned this one to the Bulldog 12, setting up a Weber State field goal.
After settling for another field goal on their third possession, the Wildcats added five touchdowns on their final five possessions of the half.
Sophomore Kevin Smith hauled in a 5-had touchdown pass to extend the Wildcats’ lead to 20-0. Smith also scored on runs of 1 and 4 in the second quarter, while sophomore TyJuan Prince hauled in a 49-yard pass and senior Andrew Vollert caught a 14-yard touchdown pass.
Montana Western’s best scoring opportunity came early in the third as it marched 70 yards only to have a field goal blocked.
Weber State responded on its next possession as freshman Rashid Shaheed ran 67 yards to give the Wildcats their ninth score on nine drives.
Still, the Wildcats weren’t done.
Later in the third, redshirt freshman David Jones ran 36 yards through the Bulldog defense for another Wildcat score to stretch the lead to 62-0.
“I wanted to play a clean game,” Hill said. “I didn’t want to have a lot of penalties or third and long situations, and the players did that.”
The Wildcats set a new record with its 76th point coming early in the final quarter. The previous record of 74 was set against Portland State in 1965.
“It’s awesome,” Preator said of the record-setting performance. “Anytime you set a record, you know you are playing good football.”
For the game, Weber State finished with 485 yards of total offense, with 317 of those yards coming on the ground.
The Wildcats had four rushers finish with at least 50 yards, led by Jones, who had 86 yards rushing on 15 carries.
Montana Western committed five turnovers in the loss.
Perhaps the most dramatic moment of the evening came moments before kick as a magnitude 5.3 earthquake centered near Soda Springs, Idaho, was felt in and around Stewart Stadium, including the press box that shook slightly enough to notice what was happening.
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