For the Weber State University football team, chances of making the playoffs are all but over. The Wildcats fell to the University of Montana on Saturday on the road, losing 45-10.
Head Coach Ron McBride said the Grizzlies outplayed WSU and the Wildcats were unable to stop UM’s offense.
“They really kicked us around and we weren’t able to answer what they did,” McBride said. “Our defense didn’t respond, and we couldn’t convert offensively when we needed to. Montana was very well prepared, and you have to give them all the credit.”
Before kickoff, things were already looking bad for WSU. Quarterback Mike Hoke didn’t play due to a separated shoulder from earlier in the week. While Hoke dressed for the game, he wasn’t able to play, and Jordan Adamczyk got his first start for the Wildcats.
Adamczyk started out well, linking together a few early passes on WSU’s first drive of the game, but faltered as the game went on. He said the team struggled offensively and were hurt by errors.
“We just weren’t able to perform on offense and didn’t execute when we needed to,” Adamczyk said.
UM scored on their second possession of the game and never looked back. Dominating most of the play during the first half, the Grizzlies jumped out to a 38-3 lead at halftime. Grizzly quarterback Jordan Johnson had a huge first half, throwing for 248 yards and completing 20 of 28 first-half passes. Johnson threw five touchdowns in the first two quarters alone.
For the Wildcats, the only points of the first half came from Sean McClain, who opened up the scoring with a field goal halfway through the first quarter.
The second half started where the first half left off — with the Grizzlies scoring. Johnson rolled left to avoid pressure from the WSU defense. He found Jabin Sambrano in the corner of the end zone for Sambrano’s fourth touchdown of the day.
Time and time again, the Wildcats were hurt by penalties when they attempted to build momentum. Multiple times, Barrinton Collins had long kick returns called back due to blocking penalties.
Halfway through the third quarter, play was stopped when Xavian Johnson was injured following a hard hit to his head. Johnson was unable to leave the field under his own power and had to be carted off; he received a standing ovation from the UM crowd as he was taken off the field.
Late in the third quarter, the Wildcats tried to mount a drive, but were unable to get anything going. Adamczyk struggled to link up with his receivers during much of the game; he was 18 for 40 and threw for 196 yards in the game. He also had two passes intercepted.
One highlight for the Wildcats came at the start of the fourth quarter. WSU blocked a Grizzly punt and took over on the UM 18-yard line. The high note was short-lived, as Adamczyk threw an interception on WSU’s second play of the drive. UM wasn’t able to move the ball, and was forced to punt again, which was also blocked by WSU. Once again, the Wildcats were unable to score, despite their good field position.
WSU linebacker Nick Webb said the Grizzlies played a solid game, and that the Wildcat defense was unable to stop their high-powered offense.
“Montana’s executed their offense to perfection,” Webb said. “We struggled against them defensively and couldn’t make stops.”
With less than a minute left in the game, WSU finally scored a touchdown. C.J. Tuckett ran the ball in from the three-yard line for their first touchdown of the game. The final score was 45-10.
The Wildcats will now return home, where they will take on league leader Montana State University on Saturday, Nov. 5.