[Vandal] Idaho Tandem Brewing Up Something Special

robiegruss at aol.com robiegruss at aol.com
Mon Oct 11 10:25:59 PDT 2021

>From The Lewiston TribuneLewiston, IdahoMonday, October 11, 2021
Idaho Tandem Brewing Up Something Special
By Stephan Wiebe
MOSCOW — Although he’s listed on the depth chart as a quarterback, Zach Borisch hadn’t attempted a pass in four games heading into Idaho’s football showdown Saturday against Portland State.
Borisch’s roommate and best friend, Dalton Cash, still is listed on the Idaho roster as a defensive end and hadn’t recorded a reception on the season, either.
So when Borisch faked a handoff to running back Elisha Cummings and spun around like he was going to run upfield — something he’d done dozens of times up to that point this season — it was no surprise he saw Cash breaking free behind the Vikings secondary.
Borisch tucked the ball for a second to sell the play before setting his feet and firing to his wide open teammate. Cash caught the ball in stride and waltzed in the end zone for a 46-yard touchdown.
The score put the Vandals up by 21 points in the second quarter in their eventual 42-35 homecoming victory.
Roommate to roommate, best friend to best friend and unlikely passer to unlikely receiver — the play couldn’t have gone more perfectly for Borisch and Cash.
“I was just so, so excited for him,” Borisch said. “I just love Dalton to death, so that was super great to get that and obviously score points for the team for us to gain more of a lead.”
Idaho coach Paul Petrino was so sure the play would work, he told Borisch during the week of practice “if you want to get your buddy a touchdown, he’s going to be wide open running down the field.”
Petrino’s crystal ball was right on the money. Coming short of naming the specific play, he told a reporter in his weekly press conference that they’d been saving some things in their back pockets.
“Our guys worked really hard on the plan, they understood the plan,” Petrino said after the game. “It was great to see the execution. You’d asked me (at) the beginning of the week when am I going to do some of those things. I did a couple of them today.”
In a 35-point first half, trick plays weren’t the only thing clicking for the Vandal offense.
Idaho continually lined up in tight formations, often with two or three tight ends, and ran the ball right at the Vikings for 236 yards.Borisch said that at one point, Idaho fullback/tight end Logan Kendall even told the Vikings what play was coming.
“They were like, ‘they’re running the same play, they’re running the same play,’ and Logan goes, ‘Yeah, and you guys can’t stop it,” Borisch said. “He’s a confident guy — that’s a guy you want to be behind all the time.”
The offensive success didn’t continue at the same rate into the second half, which Petrino credited to maybe getting away from some of the things that were working.
But Idaho built enough of a lead to just hold on after scoring its final touchdown with 7:50 to go in the fourth quarter.
For Borisch, who also had 83 rushing yards and a rushing score, throwing his long-awaited touchdown pass wasn’t the most unique way he was used against Portland State.
The night before the game, he learned he’d also be lining up in kickoff returns as a blocker — something he never even did in high school because his coach didn’t want his quarterback getting hurt.
Petrino has said he was saving some of Borisch’s arsenal for Big Sky play and he unleashed some of it against the Vikings.
Maybe this week, he’ll be the one catching the touchdown pass or making a tackle on special teams. Wherever he’s needed, he says he’ll be ready.
“I’m happy that he’s using me and that he wants me to help in the Big Sky play ’cause I’ll do anything this team wants me to (do to) help win,” Borisch said. “If it’s lining up in the slot, lining up in kickoff, kickoff return — whatever it takes to win, I’ll do. It’s what I care about and I want to help the team in any way I can.”

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