Bears Have Another Game Go To The Wire
GREELEY, Colo. - The University of Northern Colorado used five big-plays (plays of 20 or more yards) to take the 15th-ranked Weber State football team to the wire at Nottingham Field on Saturday, dropping a 28-20 decision. The Bears move to 2-6 on the year and 1-4 in Big Sky Conference play while the Wildcats are now 5-3 overall and 5-1 in league action.
"I thought our guys played a heck of a game today," said Head Coach Scott Downing. "Weber State showed why they're the 15th-ranked team in the country, why they were in the playoffs last year. I really felt like when we went in at halftime we talked about coming out and playing like we did in the second half. The guys made the adjustments at halftime and played a great second half."
Senior quarterback Bryan Waggener completed four passes for 30 yards or more on the afternoon, going 18-for-29 for 278 yards. Weber State intercepted his final throw of the day as the Bears were driving late in the fourth quarter. With his 278 yards, Waggener surpasses 4,000 career passing yards and brings his total to 4,150 moving into eighth on the career lists at Northern Colorado (3,983, Tony Christensen, 2002-04).
Sophomore wide receiver Patrick Walker had his second-straight career game, catching five passes for 137 yards and one touchdown. He also had one rush for 14 yards for 151 all-purpose yards on the day. Junior running back Andre Harris had 10 carries for 49 rushing yards and one touchdown, all in the first half.
Junior linebacker John Eddy led all players with a career-best 14 tackles, including one sack for a loss of eight yards. He also added a pass break up and was one of four players with double figure tackles. Juniors Korey Askew and Matt King each notched 11 stops, while senior Stephen Michon had 10. Sophomore defensive end Nick Hernon also tallied his fifth sack of the year.
Weber State redshirt freshman Bo Bolen enjoyed a trip home to Colorado, exploding for 207 rushing yards, 43 reception yards and 45 kickoff return yards for a total of 295 all-purpose yards.
Weber State took a 14-0 advantage with 11:56 to go in the second quarter, but Northern Colorado answered with a two-yard scamper by Harris at the 5:09 mark for the 14-7 score. With just 20 ticks remaining in the first half, the Wildcats scored on a six-yard reception by Joe Collins from Cameron Higgins to lead 21-7 at the break.
The third quarter was all Northern Colorado as Waggener hit Walker for 42 yards and a score and senior kicker Michael York made a 37-yard field goal to make the score 21-17. York hit another field goal, this one for 46 yards with 6:28 in the fourth quarter to close within one, but Collins caught another Higgins pass for the 28-20 final.
Northern Colorado has two more home games the next two weeks, hosting South Dakota on Halloween in the final non-conference tilt of the year and then closing out the home schedule with Sacramento State on Nov. 7.