Bengal Football RUNS to Big Sky Victory

Luke Austin catches a pass against Northern Colorado
Luke Austin catches a pass against Northern Colorado
Reported by: Matt Gittins
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Updated: 10/12/2013 10:50 pm


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STORY BY STEVE SCHAACK-ISU SPORTS INFORMATION

POCATELLO, Idaho- The Idaho State football team is off to its best start since 2005 after a 40-26 victory over Northern Colorado on Saturday afternoon at Holt Arena. The Bengals are 3-3 and 1-2 in Big Sky Conference play and the previous best start was 4-2 in 2005.

Idaho State tallied 532 yards, the fourth most yards in a game since 2004, and Justin Arias completed 28 passes on 41 attempts for 375 yards and a career-high four touchdowns. Xavier Finney rushed for 146 yards, the most since  Josh Barnett rushed for 173 yards at Northern Colorado in 2006. Luke Austin had a career-high 173-yards receiving and scored a career-high three touchdowns on eight receptions. As a team, ISU had 157 yards rushing, the third most since 2009 and the offense did not turn the ball over.

Northern Colorado had 419 yards. Pat Carter and Trevor Spence each had eight tackles. Tanner Davis had an interception and the Bengal defense had five sacks.

Idaho State led the entire game as it jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead on its opening possession when Austin caught his first touchdown pass on a seven-yard pass from Arias less than two minutes into the game.

The lead was extended to 14-0 when Finney rushed for a two-yard touchdown with 12:45 remaining until halftime. After a Northern Colorado touchdown, the Bengals went back up on top 21-7 when Austin caught a 15-yard pass from Arias with 8:20 left in the second quarter. ISU led 27-16 at halftime thanks to a Chand Hansen touchdown with 28 seconds remaining till the break.

The Bengals maintained the double-digit lead the entire second-half as Brendon Garcia connected on field goals of 34 and 45 and Austin scored his third touchdown on a 74-yard bomb from Arias with 1:48 left in the third quarter.

Idaho State returns to the road as it plays at Northern Arizona next Saturday, Oct. 19 at 5:05 p.m. (MST).

Game Notes
- 3-3 is the best start since 2005. That team started 4-2.
- Three wins is the most by a Bengal team since 2007.
- Idaho State snapped a 17-game Big Sky Conference losing streak and a 21-game losing streak against Division I

school.
- Justin Arias has a career-high four touchdown passes and threw for 375 yards.
- Luke Austin had a career-high 173 receiving yards and a career-high three touchdowns.
- 157 rushing yards is the third most in a game by a Bengal team since the 2009.
- Xavier Finney's 146 rushing yards is the most by a Bengal since Josh Barnett rushed for 173 yards at Northern Colorado in 2006.
- Thomas Vazorka had his first career start at left guard.
- Pat Carter had a career-high eight tackles.

Mike Kramer Post Game Quotes
On the offense
I am proud of X. I am proud of our offensive line and our wide outs who blocked for him. I am proud of Justin who made the right reads and I am proud of Don Bailey. He saw our need to run the ball was going to be evident from day one and finally we are able to play against a team who plays nickel and dime and we were able to run the ball. We started two true freshmen on the offensive line but the warrior was Jim Bagley at left tackle. He has played right tackle for us and he is a three-year starter. He really played outstanding.

Overall play
We didn't hurt ourselves. The field goal at the end was the difference because it gave us a three-score difference. We did a lot of really neat things. They still had 419 yards of total offense and they were able to get 20 first downs. Offensively, I like our rhythm. I like our run game rhythm and I like our pass game rhythm. One of the things that happens in a one-back offense is that our quarterback has to play spotless and the kid was 28-41 for 375 with four touchdowns and no interceptions. We avoided the big issue.

One defense
We were pretty disciplined with the way we played defensively overall.  For us to play well through out the early part of the ball game was something we have been striving for as a coaching staff. We continue to get excellent play at our two safeties with Tanner and Cody. We gave up a few too many yards in the second-half.

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