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Weber State ends season with 32-7 victory

OGDEN, Utah (ABC 4 Sports) - The Wildcats end a 10-game losing streak by beating Idaho State at home, 32-7.
OGDEN, Utah (ABC 4 Sports) - The Weber State football team ended the season on a high note with a 32-7 win over Idaho State on a windy day at Stewart Stadium. The win gives the ‘Cats two bookend wins as they opened the season with a win, lost their next 10, and then ended the year with a victory.

The game was played with strong wind swirling around Stewart Stadium. The Wildcats got on the board first with a nine-yard run by Josh Booker on their first possession of the game. Idaho State came back with a touchdown by Xavier Finney to make it 7-7.

Late in the first quarter D.J. Bush intercepted a Bengal pass and returned it 26-yards for a touchdown to give the ‘Cats a 13-7 lead after the first quarter. Bo Bolen added a touchdown in the second quarter and the ‘Cats led 13-7 at halftime.

Each team threw just one pass in the third quarter and neither team scored. The Wildcats added a 17-yard touchdown reception by Erik Walker in the start of the fourth quarter then added another Booker touchdown in the final minutes to seal the win.

The turnover battle went in Weber State’s favor as the Bengals committed five turnovers, two interceptions and three fumbles, while the ‘Cats had just two fumbles.

“The turnover margin is always important and it was again today,” said WSU head coach Jody Sears. “When you hang on to the ball you put yourself in a good position. With the conditions out there we had to run the ball and we were able to do that. I’m so proud of our team and especially our 11 seniors. We just kept fighting.”

Several Wildcats had strong individual performances, led by several seniors. WSU honored 11 Wildcat seniors who were playing their final games as Wildcats. Senior Josh Booker led the Wildcat rushing attack with a career-high 139 yards and two touchdowns. Bo Bolen added 106 yards and one touchdown on the ground for Weber State. Booker finishes his career ninth in school history in career rushing yards and Bolen currently ranks 11th.

Freshman quarterback Austin Chipoletti only threw the ball 10 times, finishing the day 4-10 for 34 yards and one touchdown. Shaydon Kehano had two catches, Erik Walker had one for a touchdown and Gamal Fowler had one reception.
On defense senior Anthony Morales led the Wildcats with 14 tackles in his final game. He finishes his career with 342 career tackles, the fifth most in WSU history.

Senior punter Tony Epperson had an incredible day for Weber State. He recorded eight punts for 397 for an average of 49.6 yards per punt. He also set a school record and had the top two punts in school history. Late in the first quarter he launched an 86-yard punt, setting a new Weber State school record. In the third quarter he followed that up with an 84-yard punt. Those two punts are the two longest punts in school history. He ends the season with the 101 punts, the most in FCS single-season history.

“The wind was crazy out there and the ball was going everywhere but I was able to get some pretty good ones off,” Epperson said. “The wind was taking the ball but it’s pretty crazy to have the two longest punts in school history. It was awesome for us seniors and the coaches and players to go out with a win. It’s a great positive for the program going into the offseason.”

The Wildcats had 283 yards rushing, the second most of the season, and had a season-low 34 yards passing. Idaho State totaled 211 yards of offense.

The win is the 11th straight over Big Sky rival Idaho State and the 14th straight over the Bengals in Ogden.

The Wildcats end their season 2-10 overall and 1-7 in Big Sky play. ISU finishes its year 3-9 and 1-7 in conference play.
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