'Jacks Fall In Shootout In Opener At Weber St.
Aug 31, 2013
OGDEN, Utah – Despite totaling 564 yards of total offense and forcing three turnovers, the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks were unable to slow down a dynamic Weber St. offense and fell 50-40 in the season opener at Stewart Stadium Saturday evening.
Senior quarterback Brady Attaway finished the evening completing 37-of-62 passes for 450 yards, four touchdowns but three interceptions. Mike Brooks (nine receptions, 166 yards, two touchdowns) and DJ Ward (nine receptions, 132 yards, one touchdown) both eclipsed the 100-yard mark and junior running back Gus Johnson ran for 110 yards on 24 carries and a touchdown.
Weber St. (1-0) did much of their damage on the ground, gaining 315 yards on 55 rushes and four total rushing touchdowns.
The Wildcats executed their opening drive to near perfection by going 85 yards on six plays in just 1:39, capped off by a 39-yard rushing touchdown on a reverse by wide receiver Erik Walker. Weber St. then converted the two-point conversion on a pass to Cordero Dixon to make it 8-0.
After both teams exchanged punts, the Weber St. defense caused the first turnover of the game at the 9:35 mark of the opening quarter on an interception by DJ Bush, who returned it 70 yards for a score. Just as on their first touchdown, the Wildcats elected to go for two and were successful pushing the lead to 16-0.
The ‘Jacks would respond at the 5:17 mark of the opening quarter when Attaway atoned for his previous turnovers with a 36-yard touchdown strike to Ward to cut the SFA deficit to 16-7.
However, just minutes later Weber St. erased all the momentum with a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Bo Bolen, extending the Wildcats lead to 23-7.
After both teams combined for 30 points in the opening quarter, both squads went nearly the entire 15 minutes of the second quarter without scoring before SFA cashed in on a Donald Bryant interception deep in Weber St. territory with a 27-yard field goal by Jordan Wiggs.
After cutting the deficit to 23-10 right before halftime, the ‘Jacks came out in the second half with a statement, scoring on just two plays. Attaway first hit Brooks for 61 yards and then on the very next play found Brooks again for a 14-yard touchdown to make the score 23-17.
However, it took Weber St. just under one minute to get those points back when Walker scored his second touchdown of the game, this time on a 27-yard fade pass from Jordan Adamczyk to push the lead to 30-17.
Attaway and the offense remained on fire though, and the senior quarterback connected with Aaron Thomas on a 34-yard touchdown strike to cap off a five play, 75 yard drive to creep within 30-24. Like much of the night though, the Wildcats had an answer, putting together another scoring drive that ended with a one-yard touchdown by Bob Bolen.
Bolen added another short yardage touchdown towards the end of the third quarter, scoring from one yard out to make the score 43-27 in favor of Weber St. The Wildcats amassed 213 yards rushing through three quarters on 43 attempts.
Needing a big comeback to start the fourth quarter, SFA went to the air and once again. Attaway found Brooks for his second touchdown of the game, a 21-yard strike to cut the deficit to 43-34 for Attaway’s fourth touchdown pass of the night.
Following the Brooks touchdown, the SFA defense came up with a big defensive stop, setting the ‘Jacks up for another scoring opportunity. Just five plays and 33 seconds later, Johnson rumbled into the end zone to make it a 43-40 Wildcats lead. However, Zach Smith scored from 57 yards away for the Wildcats on the third play of Weber’s next drive to push the lead back to 10 points at 50-40.
SFA committed a couple turnovers late in the game that ended their comeback hopes, both of which were interceptions. The Lumberjacks will next be back in action next Saturday, Sept. 7 when they travel to Texas Tech for a 6 p.m. kickoff. That contest will be televised on Fox Sports Southwest.