OGDEN — The Weber State football team earned its third win of the season in a big way Saturday night at Stewart Stadium.
Not only did the Wildcats' (3-1) victory match their win total from the last two years, but they also took the NAIA Montana Tech Orediggers (0-3) out behind the campus woodshed for a good old fashioned 49-14 whipping.
Although the Wildcats' fire diminished somewhat in the second half, Weber State burned the Orediggers with a 35-point second quarter that blew the game open.
The Wildcat free-for-all began in the first quarter with a 46-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Kyle Bauer to receiver Scott Peery on the game's first drive. Peery ended up leading the team in receiving, with five catches for 129 yards and a score.
"It was our plan to get out early, capitalize and put them away," Peery said. "It was fun."
WSU running back Nick Chournos started the scoring spree in the second quarter on a two-yard touchdown run. Minutes later, Chournos was joined in the scoring romp by senior linebacker Matt McFadden, who returned an interception 24 yards for touchdown.
The Wildcats continued to pour on the points, even after Weber's second-string quarterback Tate Bennett entered the game in the second quarter. Bennett connected with tight end Josh Rebholz on a 10-yard TD strike to give WSU a 28-0 lead.
Chournos, who complied 111 yards rushing in the first half and hardly played the rest of the game, found the endzone a second time on a nine-yard run with five minutes left in the half. He followed that up with a third score a minute later after a Montana Tech turnover gave the Wildcats the ball on the three-yard line. Chournos' third score of the half gave Weber State a 42-0 halftime lead.
Head coach Jerry Graybeal said he spent halftime making sure the bench players knew their assignments.
"I spent a lot of time chalking plays for the second and third string guys,' Graybeal said. "That was good because it showed our first-stringers did what they needed to do, but it is just as critical for the other players to perform."
The second half began with another WSU score. Bauer drove the Wildcats 81 yards in five plays and capped the drive with a 27-yard pass to receiver Justin DeFour. DeFour's score marked the end of the night for the starters as Graybeal emptied the bench. The rest of the game served as a scrimmage for the Weber scrubs.
Everything the Orediggers attempted against Weber's top players either failed to produce results or transformed into a turnover, as the Wildcats forced six Tech turnovers. But Tech was able to execute against Weber's scrubs. Montana scored in the third quarter when running back Josh Johnson ran into the endzone from 23 yards out to make the score 49-7. They notched another touchdown when Tucker Edmundson blocked a Wildcat punt and Kent Kahl recovered the ball in the endzone.
Montana Tech was led by Johnson's 23 carries for 100 yards. The Orediggers were without their top rusher, running back Adam Cotton, who didn't play for undisclosed reasons.
Overall, the Wildcats racked up 487 yards offense and held the Orediggers to 213. Five Weber quarterbacks saw action, led by Bauer who threw 9-for-15 for 167 yards and two touchdowns. Bennett added 120 yards and one TD pass. Heading into Big Sky Conference play next week, Graybeal rated the Wildcats with a grade of B+.
"I told them if you have the effort, you can do things," Graybeal said. "I think they have a good mindset for knowing what we need to improve."