PORTLAND, Ore. -- There was a rainbow over the field after the game, but there was no pot of gold for a Weber State football team still looking for the lucky charm that will end its losing streak.
Portland State handed WSU its eighth consecutive loss, 45-24, on a rainy Saturday afternoon at Jeld-Wen Field.
Senior running back DJ Adams, the second-leading rusher in the Big Sky Conference, ran for 152 yards and two touchdowns as PSU powered its way to victory by gaining 350 yards on the ground.
Freshman running back Nate Tago was also productive for the Vikings, rushing for 64 yards and two touchdowns.
Despite only having one Big Sky Conference win on the season prior to Saturday, the Vikings (5-4, 2-3 Big Sky) snapped a five-game losing streak against Weber State (1-8, 0-5), taking the Wildcats out behind the woodshed at the home of Major League Soccer's Portland Timbers by going up by three touchdowns in the first half.
WSU coach Jody Sears continues to look for a way to keep his team positive despite not seeing success in the win column since the first week of the season. He says it's about being consistent: There is no lucky charm, no magic pixie dust.
"It's all about believing in each other and trusting each other, because that's who we've got," Sears said. "We've got our mission statement, we've got our leadership principles. We've just got to stay true to our covenants and our vows and continue to grow, help each other be confident that we can go out, sustain drives, score points, get stops and play. Just keep playing."
Portland State wore Weber State down Saturday by pounding it on the ground. When Adams and Tago weren't running through and around the 'Cats, PSU let bruising 6-foot-4, 255 pound sophomore tight end Hayden Plinke deliver blows and run through them, gaining 79 yards on 10 carries as a wildcat quarterback.
Defending Big Sky defensive player of the week David Edgerson gave the Vikings a 24-3 lead late in the first half by recovering a fumbled lateral and returning it 28 yards for a score.
For the second consecutive game, Weber State true freshman quarterback Austin Chipoletti set a career-high in passing yards.
Chipoletti provided most of Weber State's offense through the air, completing 26 of 47 passes for 331 yards and two touchdowns. Chipoletti's second TD toss, a 9-yard pass to senior receiver Erik Walker with 1:46 remaining in the game, gave WSU its highest scoring total since defeating Stephen F. Austin 50-40 in the season opener for the Wildcats' only win of the year.
"We're just lacking a little bit of a breakthrough," Sears said. "It's coming. You can see it coming. You've got a lot of (young) kids out there making plays, especially our quarterback, our wide receiver and our right guard."
Junior wide receiver Shaydon Kehano, playing for the first time since the third game of the 2012 season, caught six passes for 123 yards and one touchdown, but he didn't score on his most remarkable catch of the day.
With Weber State trailing 31-10 late in the third quarter, Chipoletti escaped a sack and Kehaho came back to snare a hard-thrown pass at the 1-yard line. Chipoletti took it the last yard on a QB keeper, but the Vikings were still well in command.
"It's tough having a season like this, but as a team, we just have to stick together," Kehano said. "This is in the past already. We just have to move on to Southern Utah and win that game -- that's important."
Weber State was able to move the ball through the air at times-- Walker had seven catches for 79 yards and running backs Bo Bolen and Josh Booker combined for nine catches for 93 yards out of the backfield -- but the Wildcats couldn't move the ball on the ground, finishing with just 59 rushing yards.
"Before our bye week, we competed with Montana State and coming out, we had confidence that we were going to be able to put some points on the board and also stop them on the other side, but we didn't make it happen," Chipoletti said. "You can't come out and score then go three drives without scoring. You've got to come out and be consistent, do your job every time, including me."
Senior quarterback Collin Ramirez helped the Vikings to victory in his first start of the year, ending sophomore Kieran McDonagh's 19-game streak as the starter.
Ramirez was one of three quarterbacks who played in PSU's victory over North Dakota the previous week, but he was the one that led them to both fourth-quarter scores in a 14-10 comeback then. Now the Vikings are on a two-game winning streak.
Ramirez's numbers weren't huge, but he managed the offense, completing 10 of 22 passes for 130 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
After Weber State got off to a bad start by fumbling the ball away on its first play and Portland State took a 10-0 lead, Shaun McClain got WSU on the board with a 29-yard field goal in the first quarter.
Sophomore safety Adam Padilla and senior linebacker Anthony Morales led Weber State with 13 and 12 tackles, respectively. Morales moved into sixth place on WSU's career tackles list.
Weber State will face in-state conference foe Southern Utah next Saturday at 1 p.m. at Stewart Stadium.
WSU NOTES: Junior free safety DJ Bush did not play Saturday after suffering a concussion.
Contact sports writer Roy Burton at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @RoyBurtonSE.
Portland State 45,
Weber State 24
At Portland, Ore.
Weber State 3 7 7 7 -- 24
Portland State 10 14 7 14 -- 45
Portland State--Kinsella 47 field goal, 12:25.
Portland State--Carter 36 pass from Ramirez (Kinsella kick), 8:54.
Weber State--McClain 29 field goal, 5:26.
Portland State--D.Adams 7 run (Kinsella kick), 11:29.
Portland State--Edgerson 28 fumble return (Kinsella kick), 5:30.
Weber State--Kehano 43 pass from Chipoletti (McClain kick), 3:43.
Portland State--D.Adams 7 run (Kinsella kick), 7:48.
Weber State--Chipoletti 1 run (McClain kick), 1:00.
Portland State--Tago 7 run (Kinsella kick), 8:53.
Portland State--Tago 20 run (Kinsella kick), 5:15.
Weber State--Walker 9 pass from Chipoletti (McClain kick), 1:46.
First downs 16 27
Rushes-yards 33-59 58-350
Passing 331 130
Comp-Att-Int 26-47-0 10-22-1
Return yards (-4) 16
Punts-avg. 6-44.2 4-47.0
Fumbles-lost 3-2 0-0
Penalties-yards 9-90 7-60
Time of possession 28:13 31:47
Rushing--Weber State, Booker 8-20, Kehano 1-14, Zac.Smith 5-14, Bolen 6-10, Kahawaii 1-2, Chipoletti 12-(minus 1). Portland State, D.Adams 32-152, Plinke 10-79, Tago 6-64, Lilley 3-41, Closs 1-12, Dwyer 1-5, Ramirez 2-3, Jones 1-(minus 2), Team 2-(minus 4).
Passing--Weber State, Chipoletti 26-47-0-331. Portland State, Ramirez 10-22-1-130.
Receiving--Weber State, Walker 7-79, Kehano 6-123, Bolen 5-47, Booker 4-46, Livingston 2-24, Zac.Smith 1-8, Fowler 1-4. Portland State, Carter 5-85, Closs 2-32, D.Adams 1-8, C.Thompson 1-6, Tago 1-(minus 1).