Playoff hopes for the Weber State football team have been crushed at the hands of Portland State after a 30–18 loss at Stewart Stadium on Nov. 6.
The Wildcats have not brought a win to Stewart Stadium this season.
“I think the biggest thing for us today is we’re playing at home and in front of a home crowd, we need to have a ton of energy on the sideline,” freshman quarterback Creyton Cooper said. “It just felt like we were kind of dead out there.”
The first score of the game was a 51-yard touchdown run from Cooper late in the first quarter. Kyle Thompson’s kick was good, and the Wildcats led 7–0 with 4:03 remaining in the quarter.
Portland State’s following drive took them into the second quarter but didn’t give the Vikings any scoring opportunities until later on in the half.
The Wildcat offense found themselves on the field for 90 seconds with an unsuccessful drive that started at 14:49 and ended at 13:18.
Mackenzie Morgan was sent out to punt for 43 yards to the PSU 26-yard line for a fair catch.
After going on a 42-yard drive through seven different plays, the Vikings sent their kicker, Gianni Smith, out to attempt a 49-yard field goal that cut Portland State’s deficit to 7–3 with 7:25 remaining in the second quarter.
Smith stayed on the field for kickoff and got the ball to Haze Hadley for a 31-yard return to the WSU 42-yard line.
On their next drive, Dontae McMillan started with rushing for a loss of 1 yard before Bronson Barron was sacked for a loss of 7 yards at the WSU 43-yard line on 2nd-and-11.
Barron was able to complete a 34-yard pass to Rashid Shaheed to the PSU 32-yard line.
Cooper was sent out for a 2-yard gain after rushing to the PSU 30-yard line. At 4th-and-8, Barron was brought back onto the field and passed to Ty MacPherson for seven yards.
The Vikings found their second scoring opportunity of the first half after Malik Walker rushed for a 2-yard touchdown, giving Portland State its first lead of the game, 10–7, with just under a minute remaining in the first half.
After Smith’s kick, Barron started the drive with a 6-yard gain after rushing to the WSU 41-yard line.
After Barron’s play, a late tackle from Portland State’s Parker McKenna was later called for targeting.
McKenna was ejected from the game, and the Wildcats received 15 yards from PSU’s penalty, giving them a 1st down at the PSU 44-yard line. The ‘Cats didn’t get any additional points on the board before the clock got to zero and the first half ended.
Riley Moore started the second half for the ‘Cats with a kickoff to Marquis Spiker, who returned the ball 23 yards to the PSU 29-yard line.
The Vikings found their next scoring opportunity on this drive after their quarterback, Davis Alexander, rushed for a 3-yard touchdown with 9:36 remaining in the third quarter. Alongside their extra point, PSU added another 7 points to the board and led 17–7.
The Wildcats got the ball back with 5:20 left in the third. McMillan started the drive rushing for 4 yards, Barron followed with 5 rushing yards on the following play and Kris Jackson finished the rushing game with 2 yards, getting the ‘Cats to the WSU 40-yard line for a 1st down.
Barron threw a 16-yard pass to Shaheed, and following the play, Justice Pagan was called for unsportsmanlike conduct.
Pagan was not done yet, and on the following play was called for unsportsmanlike conduct again after Barron passed to Damon Bankston for 2 yards.
Pagan’s second call resulted in their ejection from the game.
Thompson was sent out at 2:35 and successfully made a 45-yard field goal, cutting the ‘Cats’ deficit to 17–10 heading into the fourth quarter.
On Portland State’s first drive of the fourth quarter, the Vikings got a touchdown and pushed the lead to 14 points, 24–10. The touchdown came after Alexander connected an 11-yard pass to Darien Chase with 11:57 on the clock.
Weber State responded with a touchdown of their own after Barron connected to Bankston for a 34-yard pass to the WSU 48-yard line, a 14-yard pass to Shaheed at the PSU 38-yard line and then another 18-yard pass to Shaheed to get the ‘Cats to the PSU 20-yard line.
After a few more plays, Barron was in pursuit to pass the ball to Randal Grimes, unsuccessfully, but a penalty was called on the Vikings for passer interference that gave the ‘Cats an additional five yards, bringing them to the PSU 2-yard line.
Cooper was brought out to rush for the 2-yard touchdown and got the ‘Cats to 24–16.
On what looked to be Thompson’s attempt for the extra point, Morgan took the ball after the snap and rushed for the Wildcats’ 2-point conversion, putting Weber State at 24–18 with 7:22 remaining in the game.
The final score of the game came from the Vikings after Walker rushed for 39 yards, pushing PSU to 30–18 with just under two minutes remaining in the game. The Vikings attempted a 2-point conversion but weren’t successful.
“We didn’t execute,” Preston Smith said. “I feel like we had a good game plan in place. Credit to them, they were finding holes and sending guys in the zone. We didn’t execute like we usually do.”
The ‘Cats fell to 4–5 overall and 3–3 in conference and will hit the road next week to take on in-state rivals Southern Utah University on Nov. 13 in Cedar City.