Both Weber State University and Southern Utah University finished 9–2 overall and 7–1 in Big Sky Conference play in 2017. In addition to their records, the teams are evenly matched position-wise.
Quarterback: Senior Stefan Cantwell enjoyed a standout campaign, as the senior threw 18 touchdown passes against only five interceptions while also amassing 2,255 yards. Cantwell also threw three touchdowns in the first-round victory over the Leathernecks.
Senior signal caller Patrick Tyler excelled for Southern Utah, finishing second in the conference with a 65 percent pass completion rate. Tyler threw for 20 touchdowns and 2,669 yards, including three scores against the Wildcats.
Receiver: The ‘Cats’ leading receiver was senior tight end Andrew Vollert, who caught 44 passes for 557 total yards. Senior Drew Batchelor led WSU in touchdown catches with five in the regular season and another two in the playoff game against Western Illinois.
Freshman Landen Measem carried the Thunderbirds, catching a total of 50 passes for 596 total yards. Senior Logan Parker led the team with five touchdown catches, two of which came in Ogden in the team’s last matchup.
Running Back: Junior Treshawn Garrett was consistent for WSU in 2017, rushing for 685 yards and six touchdowns.
For SUU, sophomore Jay Green led the conference in touchdowns, running the ball into the end zone 13 times. Fellow sophomore James Felila led the Thunderbirds in rushing yards with 743, while amassing eight touchdowns of his own.
Defensive Line: Sophomore defensive end Jonah Williams has 4.5 sacks on the season, the most of any defensive lineman on the Wildcats’ roster. Williams also has one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.
For Southern Utah, senior lineman Taylor Pili leads the team with 4.5 sacks, also recovering two fumbles.
Linebackers: Weber State junior LeGrand Toia leads the team in tackles with 61 and sacks with five on the season. Sophomore linebacker Auston Tesch also leads the team with five quarterback hits.
Senior Michael Needham led the Thunderbirds with 89 tackles and also recovered a fumble. Fellow senior Taylor Nelson led the team with four fumble recoveries, which tied for the Big Sky lead.
Defensive back: Junior Jordan Preator led the way on the other side of the ball for the ’Cats, as he collected four interceptions in the regular season. He is tied for the team lead with senior cornerback Xequille Harry, who brought in four interceptions on the season, including one against Western Illinois.
Senior Jermaine Doubs led the way for the Thunderbirds, intercepting a team-high four passes.
Special Teams: As the main punt returner, Harry returned a punt 84 yards for a score on Sept. 23 against UC Davis, the first such occurrence for WSU in seven years.
On kickoffs, redshirt freshman Rashid Shaheed was in charge of returning kicks. He ran two kickoffs back for touchdowns, including a 100-yard return against the Thunderbirds in their last matchup.
Southern Utah did not score a special teams touchdown during the regular season, but sophomore Isaiah Diego-Williams led the team with 193 kickoff return yards.
Kicker: Freshman Trey Tuttle was consistent for WSU, delivering on 16 of 19 field goal attempts. Freshman Manny Berz connected on 12 of 16 attempts for the Thunderbirds.