ISU Football Rally Comes Up Just Short
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STORY BY STEVE SCHAACK-ISU SPORTS INFORMATION
POCATELLO, Idaho- Despite a valiant comeback the Idaho State football team lost to Portland State 38-31 on Saturday afternoon at Holt Arena. The Bengals (3-7, 1-6) had the ball in the final two minutes of the game with a chance to tie the score but the Viking defense stopped ISU to seal the win.
Portland State had 539 yards of total offense and Idaho State finished 434 yards. Justin Arias was 22-42 with four touchdowns and one interception and had 315 passing yards and 20 rushing yards.
Freshman Chad Hansen had a career-game with four receptions for 138 yards and one touchdown. Luke Austin had seven receptions for 88 yards and three touchdowns. Xavier Finney carried the ball 14 times for 64 yards.
P.J. Gremaud and Tanner Davis had a career-high 13 tackles and Cody Sorensen had a career-high 11 tackles. Mitch Beckstead added 10 tackles. Austin Graves had seven tackles with 2.5 being for a loss.
Portland State took an early 7-0 lead but ISU countered with an 80-yard touchdown pass to Hansen to tie the game with 8:58 remaining in the quarter.
The Vikings then scored the next three touchdowns to take a 28-7 lead with 13:17 left in the first half.
ISU rallied when Austin scored two straight touchdowns, one on a 43-yard pass from Arias with 12:16 left in the half and another with 4:55 remaining to cut the PSU lead to 28-21. The Bengals trailed 28-21 at halftime.
The Vikings were held to 10 points in the second half and led 31-28 with 6:28 left in the third quarter after Austin's third touchdown with 6:28 left.
Portland State went up 38-28 late in the third but ISU only managed a field goal in the fourth quarter.
Saturday was the final home game for 11 seniors as Luke Austin, Austin Baker, Jon Davidson, Kimo Makaula, James Bergren, Brendon Garcia, Trevor Spence, Tanner Davis, Jake Pele, Cameron Richmond and Cameron Gupton were honored before the start of the game.
Idaho State returns to the field on Saturday, Nov. 16 when it plays at BYU. Kickoff is at 1 p.m. at Lavell Edwards Stadium and the game will be broadcasted on BYUTV.
- Today's game captains were Justin Arias, Cameron Richmond, Trevor Spence and Jake Pele.
- Chad Hansen's 80-yard touchdown reception was the 10th longest pass play in Idaho State history.
- Luke Austin is now in eighth place for career receiving yards with 2,089. Brett Fowler currently sits in seventh with 2,179. Austin is in eighth place in career receptions with 151 and needs two to move into seventh and seven to move into sixth place. Austin now has 20 touchdowns, ranking him fifth for most career receiving touchdowns.
- Justin Aria's 315 passing yards ranks him fourth on the ISU single-season list for passing yards with 3,354. He now has 289 completions, ranking him third and his 497 passing attempts ranks third on the single-season Top 10.
- Brendon Garcia moved into second place for most extra points in a career with 87 and his 41-yard field goal gave him 39 for his career. He needs three to become the all-time leader for field goals made.
Post Game Quotes
"It was a 60 point difference from last year. Any of you who were with us last year at Portland saw us get thrashed 77-10 and to come back in the very end with a chance to win the game on our final possession would have to realize what a tremendous journey it has been by a football team that was in disarray that weekend and stayed that way for the rest of the season. I like our character. I like where we are at.
Portland State knocked us off the ball early, drove it up our mustache and made us like it in the first half. We responded in the second half by playing much better defensively. Throughout the day offensively we ended up being our own worst enemy at times. Their pass rush really wasn't a factor but their coverage was good late, as it had to be."
On the defense
"We were reeling early. Our defenses inability to get off the field made everybody sit back in the seats. The fans that were coming to the game came to enjoy the spectacle and there was no spectacle. The spectacle was how many points Portland State was going to score. We reversed that trend defensively, slowly on stop at a time and one effort at a time."
On the improvement
"I am relieved that in 365 days we were going to find the purpose and character on game day to handle everything else that wasn't game day. This was a demonstration that we were solid from play one and did things much better. It was a pretty complete effort by us and a good learning experience by us, especially on offense when only a couple of seniors get a shot to play."
On the seniors
"On offense, Cam and Luke have been exciting guys to watch and they have been thorough and very darn efficient. We mixed some guys around on defense. Tanner played every rep in the secondary. We mixed some other seniors around the defensive front and they had a chance to play. It is a great class and there are so many great things they are doing. I feel bad for them that they dug themselves in a whole and they couldn't climb out although they tried very hard.
On Brendon Garcia
"Is their not a poster child from 2012 to 2013 than Brendon Garcia. He went from being about as maligned as you can be and still retain your job to a guy who is maybe the best field goal kicker in the Big Sky Conference right now. I am proud that he had the mental toughness and tenacity to stay with it to have an outstanding senior season."