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Weber State celebrates after getting a touchdown during the playoff game on Saturday. (Ariana Berkemeier / The Signpost)

The Wildcats have reached new heights. The win by the Weber State University football team in their second-round playoff matchup against Southern Utah University was win 11 for WSU, a school record. On Dec. 8, Weber State will face on of their biggest tasks in school history.

The ‘Cats will fly 2,057 miles to Harrisonburg, Virginia, to take on top-ranked James Madison at 5 p.m. MST. The Dukes have won 24 consecutive games, including the 2016 FCS championship.

James Madison has outscored their opponents 421–108, which averages to a 35–8 victory per game. The Dukes defeated Stony Brook in the quarterfinals after receiving a first-round bye. This will be the first matchup between Weber State and James Madison.

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Quarterback Stefan Cantwell runs the ball to score a touchdown during the game. (Ariana Berkemeier / The Signpost) runs the ball to score a touchdown during the game. (Ariana Berkemeier / The Signpost) runs the ball to score a touchdown during the game. (Ariana Berkemeier / The Signpost)

Despite the national success of James Madison, they are stacked up relatively closely to the Wildcats.

Quarterback: Senior Stefan Cantwell enjoyed a standout campaign for the Wildcats, throwing 23 touchdown passes against only six interceptions while also amassing 2,740 yards.

Senior signal caller Bryan Schor threw 23 touchdowns against 11 interceptions with 2,512 for James Madison.

Receiver: The ’Cats leading receiver was senior tight end Andrew Vollert, who caught 56 passes for 726 total yards. Senior Drew Batchelor led WSU in touchdown catches with five in the regular season and another three in the postseason against Western Illinois and Southern Utah.

Redshirt senior Terrence Alls led James Madison in receptions, picking up a total of 43 for 535 yards in only eight games. A trio of Dukes tied for the team lead in receiving touchdowns, as junior David Eldrige, senior Ishmael Hyman and freshman tight end Clayton Cheatham all picked up four.

Running Back: Junior Treshawn Garrett was consistent for WSU in 2017, rushing for 698 yards and six touchdowns. Cantwell followed Garrett on the stat sheet with 550 yards and a team-high seven rushing touchdowns.

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JMU junior Trai Sharp stayed sharp, gaining 692 yards and four touchdowns. Junior Marcus Marshall and Schor both rushed for six touchdowns on the season.

Defensive Line: Senior defensive lineman Cardon Malan has 7.5 sacks on the season, the most of any player on the Wildcats roster. Malan picked up three sacks in the Wildcats win over SUU.

For the Dukes, senior lineman Andrew Ankrah leads the team with 7.5 sacks, while forcing and recovering two fumbles as well.

Linebackers: Weber State junior LeGrand Toia leads the team in tackles with 73 while also getting in for five sacks on the season. Sophomore linebacker Auston Tesch leads the team with five quarterback hits.

Senior Kyre Hawkins led James Madison with 85 tackles and has eight pass breakups on the season.

Defensive back: Junior Jordan Preator and senior Xequille Harry paced the WSU defense, with each one picking up four interceptions on the season. Senior cornerback Taron Johnson has three interceptions on the season and is tied for the team lead with eight pass breakups.

Senior safety Jordan Brown picked off seven passes for the Dukes, leading the team. Junior cornerback Rashad Robinson also excelled, collecting six interceptions.

Special Teams: On kickoffs, redshirt freshman Rashid Shaheed was in charge, running two kickoffs back for touchdowns. Punt return duties have been split between Harry, freshman David Ames and sophomore Colby Child.

For James Madison, senior John Miller and freshman D’Angelo Amos each returned punts for touchdowns.

Kicker: Freshman Trey Tuttle was consistent for WSU, delivering on 16 of 19 field goal attempts.

The Dukes split kicking duties, with junior Tyler Gray making nine of his 11 attempts and freshman Ethan Ratke has converted eight of his 10 tries.

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