Montana State University has traditionally been a difficult match-up for the Weber State University football team, as the Bobcats have beaten the Wildcats in five straight games and haven’t lost in Ogden since 1996.
The Wildcats turned the tables on Oct. 15, as they went on to a dominant 45-27 victory. This win advances the Wildcats to 4-2 overall and 3-0 in Big Sky play.
Weber State won the coin toss and elected to kick off, giving 18-year-old freshman Chris Murray his first career start at quarterback for Montana State.
Murray went 0-3 passing on the first drive, as the Wildcats defense forced the punt.
Senior quarterback Jadrian Clark led a dominant first possession, completing 5-5 passes for 51 yards and capping off the drive with an 18-yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Cameron Livingston.
Murray fumbled the ball on the second drive of the game, giving the Wildcats advantageous field position.
Clark was able to capitalize on the turnover by throwing his second touchdown pass of the first quarter to senior running back Cory Thomson.
On the ensuing kickoff, freshman safety Kevin Smith forced a fumble on the Bobcats return man — recovered by Wildcat freshman Kawika Tupuola.
Clark proceeded to throw his third touchdown pass of the game, giving the Wildcats a 21-0 lead.
At the end of the first quarter, the Wildcats led Montana State 21-7.
“That was a crazy start to the game,” head coach Jay Hill said. “I can’t say enough about how the offense started — they were efficient in the first half and had a balance of passing and rushing.”
Senior Emmanuel Pooler suffered an early ankle injury, forcing him out of the game.
Senior running back Haini Moimoi would take over, scoring two rushing touchdowns during the second quarter.
Moimoi finished the game with a career high 85 yards on 20 carries.
“This is the biggest game I’ve been in,” Moimoi said. “It felt great.”
Led by Clark, the Wildcats were holding a commanding 42-14 lead heading into the half.
In the first half of last week’s match-up with Portland State University, Clark was 5-13 for 10 yards in the first half. To end the first half against Montana State, Clark was 18-21 passing for 198 yards and four touchdowns. He also added 39 rushing yards.
Clark would finish 26-34 for 266 yards and 4 touchdowns — his highest touchdown total of the year.
In six offensive possessions in the first half, the Wildcats scored six touchdowns —42 plays to score 42 points.
The game slowed down in the second half as the Wildcats would only score on a Taylor Hintze field goal. The damage was already done, and the Wildcats went on to win 45-27.
“Our best football has yet to be played,” Hill said. “It was close in that first half, but we’ve still got a lot left in us.”
The Wildcats have now won four straight games for the first time since 2008.
They look to extend their winning streak on Oct. 22, in Cedar City against Southern Utah (3-2).