ISU football: Last-second field goal lifts Northern Colorado over Idaho State in gut-wrenching loss

By Madison Guernsey mguernsey@journalnet.com

Idaho State’s lasting memory of Saturday’s game won’t be the gaudy offensive stats or the fourth-quarter comeback.

It won’t be Mitch Gueller’s highlight-reel touchdowns or James Madison’s gutsy career-best effort.

The story of Saturday is much more painful.

A fumble near the goal line, a missed extra point and an opponent’s flawless final drive. A last-second field goal, the wrong team storming the field and the wrong kicker hoisted in triumph.

Collin Root’s game-ending 37-yard field goal gave Northern Colorado a dramatic 43-42 win Saturday at Nottingham Field, ending a game that featured over 1,200 yards of offense, a three-hour seesaw of momentum and, in ISU’s case, one too many mistakes.

The Bengals trailed 40-24 late in the third quarter and were agonizingly close to pulling off a thrilling road victory to kick off Big Sky Conference play.

Instead, heartbreak, a tortuous list of costly mishaps and an uphill battle to regain Big Sky relevance.

A week after reaching an emotional peak with a historic 30-28 win at FBS Nevada, the Bengals are behind the eight ball in the race for a conference crown.

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“The Big Sick” at ISU Sunday

Acclaimed comedy, “The Big Sick” shows this Sunday, Sept. 24, at 4:30 and 7:00 p.m. in the Bengal Theater. Hailed by critics as “One of the best movies of the year,” this true story of a Pakistan-born comedian who falls for a young American grad student is complicated when a mystery illness forces him to navigate the medical crisis with her parents, while also dealing with his own family’s traditional views. All are welcome to attend. Admission is $3 for the public, $2 for ISU staff or free for ISU students with Bengal ID. For trailer and more information, go to www.isucinema.com/sick.
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ISU soccer: Bengals drop conference opener at North Dakota

ISU Sports Information

The Idaho State soccer team dropped a 2-0 decision Friday at North Dakota to open Big Sky Conference play. The Fighting Hawks scored two quick goals to secure the win.

“We gave up two really soft goals early, and we just came out too soft,” ISU coach Allison Gibson said. “We played a strong second half and got our game together, but by that point it just wasn’t enough to make up the deficit.”

Idaho State (1-8-, 0-1 Big Sky) was called for an early foul that resulted in a penalty kick for North Dakota (3-3-3, 1-0 Big Sky). The Fighting Hawks converted the penalty kick, and in less than 60 seconds into the game claimed a 1-0 advantage. Less than nine minutes later, UND capitalized on a cross into the box for another score. Idaho State outshot the Fighting Hawks 8-7 in the first half, but the Bengals were unable to break the goal line for a score.

Idaho State was led by sophomore Michaela Didericksen with seven shots, one on goal, while sophomore Makena Bambei finished with five shots, two on goal. Sophomore Brooke Kortekaas added four shots, two on goal.

North Dakota was led by Katie Moller with nine shots, five on goal with two goals while Kennedy Kidd added one assist.

Idaho State continues play on the road with a match at Sunday at Northern Colorado.

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ISU football: Impact players, scouting reports and keys to victory for ISU against Northern Colorado

By Madison Guernsey mguernsey@journalnet.com

Idaho State (2-1) opens Big Sky Conference play Saturday at Northern Colorado (1-1). Kickoff is at 1 p.m. Here are notables from the matchup, which is the 31st in the teams’ histories.

SCOUTING NORTHERN COLORADO

Impact payer, offense

WR Alex Wesley

Wesley is among the conference leaders in receiving, with 12 catches for 197 yards and two touchdowns through two games this season. The 6-foot junior scored both touchdowns during last week’s 41-21 loss at Colorado — a 33-yarder in the first quarter and a 52-yarder in the second — and is more than halfway to his yardage total from last season.

Wesley has won three Big Sky track and field championships, claiming two 400-meter titles and one 4×400-meter relay title.

“Once he honed in his particular spot, he just became that guy that is going to be a threat down the field,” Northern Colorado coach Earnest Collins Jr. said Wednesday during the Big Sky coaches teleconference. “He’s a football player that runs track. He’s not a track (runner) trying to play football because he’s a tough kid.”

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ISU volleyball: Attacking errors costly in Bengals’ conference opener

By Journal Staff

Idaho State suffered 19 attacking errors and dropped its Big Sky Conference opener, 3-0 Thursday at Portland State.

The Bengals lost 25-15, 25-13 and 25-19 with a hitting percentage of .099.

Abby Garrity and Chloe Hirst tied for the team lead in kills with nine apiece. Garrity added 10 digs, and Makayla Lundin led the Bengals in assists with 28.

ISU (3-11, 0-1 Big Sky) has dropped nine games in a row. The team hasn’t played a home game since Sept. 4 and continues its road trip Saturday at Sacramento State.

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ISU football: Impact players, scouting reports and keys to victory for ISU against Northern Colorado

By Madison Guernsey mguernsey@journalnet.com

Idaho State (2-1) opens Big Sky Conference play Saturday at Northern Colorado (1-1). Kickoff is at 1 p.m. Here are notables from the matchup, which is the 31st in the teams’ histories.

SCOUTING NORTHERN COLORADO

Impact payer, offense

WR Alex Wesley

Wesley is among the conference leaders in receiving, with 12 catches for 197 yards and two touchdowns through two games this season. The 6-foot junior scored both touchdowns during last week’s 41-21 loss at Colorado — a 33-yarder in the first quarter and a 52-yarder in the second — and is more than halfway to his yardage total from last season.

Wesley has won three Big Sky track and field championships, claiming two 400-meter titles and one 4×400-meter relay title.

“Once he honed in his particular spot, he just became that guy that is going to be a threat down the field,” Northern Colorado coach Earnest Collins Jr. said Wednesday during the Big Sky coaches teleconference. “He’s a football player that runs track. He’s not a track (runner) trying to play football because he’s a tough kid.”

Impact player, defense

CB Isaiah Swopes

Swopes has been all over the field in the Bears’ first two games this season. The junior defensive back is third on the team with 11 tackles, adding a sack and an interception to his stat line.

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ISU football notebook: Bengals going back to 3-4 defense; earn votes in FCS polls

By Madison Guernsey mguernsey@journalnet.com

DEFENSE SWITCHING BACK TO 3-4 BASE

Idaho State head coach Rob Phenicie said Monday during his weekly press conference the Bengals may revert back to the 3-4 base defense the team ran for years under former head coach Mike Kramer.

ISU defensive coordinator Spencer Toone confirmed the transition Wednesday after practice at Holt Arena. The Bengals switched from a 3-4 base to a 4-3 last season but have operated out of mostly three-man fronts the last two games.

“I think we’re just built for it,” Toone said. “It fits our personnel, so we’re just going to keep riding with it. We’ll keep doing some four-down (linemen) stuff and mix it in.”

ISU faced two uptempo offenses the last two weeks in Utah State and Nevada. Toone leaned on nickel packages against the Aggies and operated more traditional 3-4 sets against the Wolf Pack.

Toone ran a 3-4 scheme each year at ISU until last season. The Bengals have had the worst scoring defense in the Big Sky Conference three times in the last five seasons.

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ISU XC: Dodge earns Big Sky weekly honor after win at MSU

By Big Sky Conference

Idaho State’s Jenica Dodge won the individual title at the MSU-Bozeman Running Company Invite to earn Big Sky Conference Cross Country Athlete of the Week honors.

A little bit of snowfall didn’t bother Dodge in Bozeman, as the senior claimed her second individual title in her career. Dodge won the three-mile race with a time of 17 minutes, 11.51 seconds as the Bengals finished third in the meet ahead of conference foes Montana, North Dakota and Northern Colorado.

Dodge’s strong performance comes after earning All-Conference recognition for her seventh-place finish at the 2016 Big Sky Championships. This is the first Athlete of the Week award in Dodge’s career and she becomes the first Idaho State runner to earn it since Bradi Hutchison won the award twice in 2011.

Dodge’s next opportunity is in South Bend, Indiana, at the Notre Dame Invitational.

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