The Wildcats scored on their first possession of the game on a 39-yard rush by Erik Walker. The ‘Cats went for a two-point conversion and Kela Marciel found Cordero Dixon for the conversion and the ‘Cats led 8-0. They would never trail the rest of the game.
Just four minutes later D. J. Bush intercepted a SFA pass and returned it 70 yards for a touchdown. After another two-point conversion the Wildcats led 16-0 with 9:35 to play in the first quarter. The return was the third longest interception return in WSU history.
After a SFA touchdown the ‘Cats continued their memorable plays when Bo Bolen returned a kickoff 100-yards for a touchdown. He became the sixth player in WSU history to return a kickoff 100 yards. The Wildcats held a 23-7 lead after the first quarter. Weber State had just 29 points in the first quarter in all of the 2012 season.
The ‘Cats held a 23-10 lead at halftime before a long third quarter that saw lots of action. SFA cut the lead to 23-17 just 25 seconds into the quarter but WSU responded with a 27 yard touchdown from Jordan Adamczyk to Erik Walker.
Aaron Thomas had a 34-yard touchdown run for the Lumberjacks to cut the lead to 30-24 with 11:37 to play in the quarter. A Bolen one-yard touchdown run gave the ‘Cats a 12-point lead at 36-24. Bolen closed out the quarter with a 19-yard run and the ‘Cats led 43-27 after three quarters.
Stephen F. Austin cut the lead to three points at 43-40 after a Gus Johnson touchdown. Freshman Zach Smith gave the Wildcats a cushion with a 57-yard touchdown run with 10:25 to play to give the ‘Cats the 50-40 victory.
“I’m so proud of our team for how they stuck to our game plan and came out and executed,” said WSU head coach Jody Sears. “They bought into our plan and trusted each other and made the plays they needed to. They worked extremely hard in the offseason and it paid off tonight.”
It marked WSU’s first season-opening win since 2008. The 50 points scored is the most by WSU in regulation also since 2008.
Both teams ran 88 plays in the game with the Lumberjacks putting up 564 yards , compared to 484 for Weber State. WSU had 315 yards on the ground and 169 passing.
Smith had eight carries for 88 yards and one touchdown while Bolen, playing in his first game in two years after and LDS Church mission, finished with 20 carries for 85 yards and two touchdowns. Josh Booker had 17 carries for 77 yards.
Senior Jordan Adamczyk finished the game 14-29 for 118 yards and one touchdown. True freshman Austin Chipoletti was 2-3 for 51 yards passing.
Erik Walker led the receiving corps with seven catches for a career-high 127 yards and one touchdown. On the defensive side Anthony Morales led the ‘Cats with nine tackles, including 1.5 tackles for loss. Robbie Diamond added eight tackles for the ‘Cats.
Weber State will now hit the road for three straight games, beginning next Saturday at Utah. The game with the Utes will begin at noon at Rice-Eccles Stadium and will be televised on the Pac-12 networks.