[Vandal] Vandals Survive Scare

robiegruss at aol.com robiegruss at aol.com
Sun Oct 10 08:14:10 PDT 2021

>From The Lewiston TribuneLewiston, IdahoSunday, October 10, 2021
Vandals Survive Scare
Idaho holds on to beat Portland State on homecoming
Bt Stepha Wiebe
MOSCOW — In the first half Saturday, the Vandals had Idaho football fans wondering if a blowout was brewing in the Kibbie Dome. In the second half, they had them white-knuckling their seats and holding their breath.
It was a little closer than it should’ve been, but as Idaho coach Paul Petrino said, “Bottom line is we found a way to win, and that’s the most important thing.”
With the clock at 0:00, Portland State quarterback Davis Alexander heaved a Hail Mary pass to the end zone where it was deflected to the turf by Idaho’s Tyrese Dedmon and Marcus Harris.
The Vandals, playing at home for the first time in 35 days, edged the Vikings 42-35 on homecoming.
“Big win, gets us to 1-1 (in the Big Sky),” Petrino said. “... It’s huge. I think anytime you play at home, you gotta win at home.”
The Vandals survived a Hail Mary play that should never have been, 21 Vikings’ points in the fourth quarter and 588 yards of PSU offense.
But the Vandals made big plays when they needed them most.
Idaho built a 35-7 lead in the first half only for PSU to steadily chip away. The Vikings had all the momentum when Idaho found a spark from its senior quarterback in the fourth quarter.
Facing a third-and-12 from the Idaho 31-yard line, Mike Beaudry scrambled for a 25-yard gain before sliding down in Portland State territory. Two plays later, he hit Terez Traynor for a 32-yard over-the-shoulder reception down the sideline.
The big run and pass plays by Beaudry set up a 3-yard touchdown run by Roshaun Johnson for Idaho’s first points since the second quarter and a 42-28 lead.
It was a momentum-slicing touchdown, and it ended up being the difference in the game after PSU scored once more later in the quarter.
“That’s huge, that’s leading us to victory,” Petrino said. “That’s him stepping up and finding a way to get it done. I thought that was a huge play.”
In a game where Beaudry had a big run, running quarterback Zach Borisch had a bigger pass.
Borisch — Idaho’s leading rusher this season out of the wildcat formation — threw his first pass of the season for a 46-yard touchdown to Dalton Cash on play action. The sophomore also had a team-high 83 rushing yards, including a 46-yard rumble that set up his 2-yard score on Idaho’s opening drive.
Beaudry finished 10-of-15 passing for 162 yards and a touchdown. The two quarterbacks switched seamlessly in and out of the lineup throughout the game.
“We just feed off each other and help each other,” Borisch said of his fellow quarterback. “I couldn’t be more lucky to have him there. … Once somebody needs to pick up the slack, the other one picks up the slack.”
After PSU tied the game at 7 on an Alexander touchdown pass to Beau Kelly, Idaho scored the next 28 points.
Big, 250-pound sophomore running back Aundre Carter barrelled over a defender and rumbled 41 yards for a score.
After that, Idaho’s leading receiver, Traynor nabbed his first touchdown as a Vandal. The sophomore finished with five catches for 114 yards.
It was looking like it was going to be a comfortable, feel-good homecoming for the Vandals.
But an unlikely sequence just before halftime signaled what was to come.
Roughing the passer and offsides penalties gave PSU an untimed down right before intermission, and Alexander took advantage with an 11-yard touchdown strike to Kelly. Just like that, it was 35-14 Idaho on the bonus play.
The Vandals similarly had a major miscue in the final minute of the game. With Beaudry banged up, Idaho chose to run the ball instead of kneel it with 26 seconds left since Borisch hadn’t practiced the victory formation, Petrino said. But Borisch fumbled on the play and the Vikings had some life.
They got to midfield with enough time to try for the failed Hail Mary play on the final play.“It wasn’t very smart,” Petrino said. “We gotta make sure we practice the Victory-O.”
As Petrino said, a win is a win and he’s glad his team found a way to get it done on homecoming.
“To see some of the greats, you see Sherriden May, Alann Allen, you see some of the great former players around — it’s awesome,” the coach said. “You see all the alumni and former students around — (Seahawks quarterback) Jake Luton even came to our game today.
“You want to go out and play good in front of those people, so I thought it was very important for us to play well and we came away with a win.”
Stars Of The Game
Idaho quarterback ZACH BORISCH ran the ball 16 times for 83 yards and a touchdown, and completed his only pass for a 46-yard score to DALTON CASH. Running back Aundre Carter tallied 68 rushing yards and a pair of scores despite sitting out the second half with an injury. For the Vikings, DAVIS ALEXANDER passed for 424 yards and four touchdowns and running back MALIK WALKER racked up 132 yards.
Key Plays
With all the momentum on Portland State’s side after the Vikings cut Idaho’s 28-point lead to just seven, Idaho faced a third-and-12 situation midway through the fourth quarter. Idaho quarterback Mike Beaudry couldn’t find a receiver, so the 248-pounder did it himself, scrambling 25 yards into PSU territory. The clutch third-down run set up a Vandal touchdown run by Roshaun Johnson later in the drive for Idaho’s first points since the second quarter.
Up Next
The Vandals travel 70 miles northwest to face Eastern Washington at 11:30 a.m. Saturday in Cheney, Wash.
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