WSU rides Tuckett's record day to win in season-finale

Nov 17 2012 - 10:53pm


Weber State running back C.J. Tuckett evades Idaho State defensive back Taison Manu in Pocatello, Idaho, on Saturday. Tuckett rushed for a school record 289 yards in the win.
Weber State running back C.J. Tuckett evades Idaho State defensive back Taison Manu in Pocatello, Idaho, on Saturday. Tuckett rushed for a school record 289 yards in the win.

POCATELLO, Idaho -- For at least one game in the 2012 season, everything went the Wildcats' way.

C.J. Tuckett rushed for a school-record 289 yards and scored two touchdowns as Weber State ran over border rival Idaho State for a 40-14 victory Saturday at Holt Arena.

Weber State (2-9, 2-6 Big Sky) didn't let its struggles this season stand in the way of its dominance of Idaho State (1-10, 0-8), beating the Bengals for the 10th consecutive time. The Wildcats steamrolled the Bengals by totaling 417 yards on the ground to just one rushing yard for ISU, which finished the season without an FCS win.

"It felt good, being my last college football game," Tuckett said, crediting the team's offensive line and defense for their play. "I just thank the Lord, thank our team, all the seniors. This year didn't turn out exactly how we'd like, but we finished strong."

Weber State interim coach Jody Sears, who will now wait to see if he is given a contract to continue as WSU's coach, was proud of how his players wrapped up a difficult season.

"It was a reflection of what we've tried to instill in these kids all year," Sears said. "Our mission stayed the same, our plan was always the same ... but our intensity, our energy, our chemistry, it showed up (Saturday). I couldn't be happier for these seniors."

Tuckett surpassed Markieth Ross's single-game record, set in 1993 against Nevada, late in the game as the Wildcats rushed for 24 consecutive plays without throwing a pass in the fourth quarter.

"We were getting five, 10, 15 yards a pop, so we just kept pounding the rock," Tuckett said.

The Raft River, Idaho, native wasn't aware he was approaching the record.

"I was just trying to leave it all on the field," he said. "I started playing football in Idaho and I was just blessed to end playing here."

Tuckett, who capped off his junior season with two huge rushing games, went out the same way as a senior, finishing his career with 1,633 rushing yards, passing Josh Booker, Clemente Sainten, Kelvin Matthews, Freddie Cook and Vonn Robinson to move into 13th on the school's all-time list.

"Our record doesn't show it, but we never quit," Tuckett said. "There are a lot of young guys that got a lot of experience and got a lot better, progressed throughout the year, so it's exciting for them looking forward to next year. It's always good to end on a win."

After roaring out to a 27-0 lead in the first half, WSU didn't score in the third quarter as ISU put a pair of touchdowns on the board, but the Wildcats kept the ball on the ground and kept it away from the Bengals.

Weber State held the ball for over 42 minutes while Idaho State, which attempted 41 passes and only eight carries, had possession for only 17:16.

Playing without one of the top tacklers in the Big Sky Conference after junior linebacker Anthony Morales had an emergency appendectomy on Tuesday, WSU's defense shut out the Bengals for the first half.

Rodrick Rumble, Idaho State's all-time leading receiver, hauled in an 81-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Kevin Yost to get the Bengals on the board in the third quarter, then added another 33-yard TD catch to cut Weber State's lead to 27-14.

Yost completed 25 of 40 passes for 306 yards and two touchdowns, and Rumble had eight grabs for 171 yards, but the Wildcats simply ran out the clock in the final quarter by running through ISU tackles and junior free safety Kela Marciel's interception in the end zone with 13 seconds left prevented the Bengals from adding a consolation touchdown.

Weber State senior quarterback Mike Hoke threw for 108 yards and one touchdown and rushed for 35 yards and another score in his final game.

"The O-line did a great job, their best all year, and it showed," Hoke said.

The results of the season weren't what the two-year starter had in mind for the last year of his college career.

"It's nothing that anyone wanted or expected, but still, you get real close to everybody. I think that was the best thing about this season, because we never won how we wanted to win, but the friendships we have, it's the closest team I've ever been around. Everybody has each other's backs; I think that's probably worth more in the long run than having a winning season," Hoke said.

"Nothing's going to go how you want it in life. There's always those times when it's exactly what you don't be, but somehow, at the end of it all, you still have friendships with all these guys, these coaches, so I guess that's more important in the long run."

Weber State 40,

Idaho State 14

At Pocatello, Idaho

Weber St. 16 11 0 13 -- 40

Idaho St. 0 0 14 0 -- 14

First quarter

Weber State--Tuckett 4 run (Dixon pass from Marciel), 10:45.

Weber State--Hoke 3 run (Marciel run), 5:18.

Second quarter

Weber State--McClain 22 field goal, 14:13.

Weber State--Clemente 7 pass from Hoke (Dixon pass from Marciel), 4:11.

Third quarter

Idaho State--Rumble 81 pass from Yost (Garcia kick), 13:43.

Idaho State--Rumble 33 pass from Yost (Garcia kick), :01.

Fourth quarter

Weber State--Tuckett 19 run (pass failed), 10:21.

Weber State--Parham 5 run (McClain kick), 2:14.


Weber State Idaho State

First downs 31 12

Rushes-yards 70-417 8-1

Passing 108 306

Comp-Att-Int 10-16-0 25-41-1

Return yards 2 14

Punts-avg. 4-38.0 5-45.4

Fumbles-lost 0-0 1-1

Penalties-yards 12-131 4-32

Time of possession 42:44 17:16

Individual statistics

Rushing--Weber St., Tuckett 36-289, Parham 13-69, Hoke 14-35, Booker 4-20, Finai 1-4, Team 2-0. Idaho St., Finney 2-12, Prier 2-0, Yost 4-(minus 11).

Passing--Weber St., Hoke 10-16-0-108. Idaho St., Yost 25-40-1-306, Reyes 0-1-0-0.

Receiving--Weber St., Clemente 3-28, X.Johnson 3-20, Finai 2-8, Walker 1-38, Tuckett 1-14. Idaho St., Rumble 8-171, Hill 5-39, Lemer 4-39, Prier 3-10, Finney 3-3, Austin 1-39, Richmond 1-5.

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