Poor Weather Leads To Good Results For Bears Football
GREELEY, Colo. - An 80-yard pass from senior quarterback Bryan Waggener to senior receiver Alex Thompson started things off for the Northern Colorado football team in the first quarter and the team never looked back, winning 31-12 at Nottingham Field in front of 5,247 fans.
The Bears first three scoring drives all lasted less than 1:10, extending the lead to 17-0 at the halftime break. Waggener hit Thompson on the only play of the team's second drive, then freshman John Burnley rushed 34 yards to cap a four-play 86-yard drive that lasted just 1:02. With 4:51 on the clock in the second quarter, senior Michael York made a 28-yard field goal to finish a four-play five yard drive that took just 57 seconds after junior Korey Askew had a 24-yard interception return.
San Diego had the lone scoring in the third quarter with a 10-yard touchdown pass from Sebastian Trujillo to John McGough and the extra-point failed. The Toreros close the lead to five after scoring a touchdown with 13:01 remaining in the game on a two-yard scamper by Brendan Feliczak and the two-point pass attempt failed.
The Bears rallied, scoring two touchdowns off the feet of junior running back Andre Harris as he scored on a seven and 19-yard run.
"I was really pleased with the way we came out," said Head Coach Scott Downing. "Especially with the way the weather was. I think our guys responded and the weather did not bother them. In fact, they did a good job of executing offensively and defensively."
Harris led all players with 152 rushing yards, the most since Andre Wilson rushed for 158 against Western Illinois on Sept. 23, 2006. He also had four receptions for 37 yards for a total of 189 all-purpose yards. The Bears relied heavily on their rushing game as it rained much of the second half. Freshman John Burnley tallied a career-best 84 rushing yards
Thompson finished the day with four catches for 106 yards to lead the receivers.
The Bears defense was intense, picking off four Trujillo passes as Askew, senior Quincy Wofford, junior Max Hewitt and sophomore Chuks Nweke each grabbed one. Askew also led the squad with 10 total tackles and had two pass break ups, while junior linebacker Matt King had nine stops including a 13-yard sack.
"It was good to see our team score 14 points in the fourth quarter," continued Downing. "It's the thing we've talked about all fall, finishing strong; to finish off games when you've got a chance to win."
Northern Colorado starts Big Sky Conference play next week as they head to Eastern Washington to face the Eagles on Sept. 19. Kickoff is slated for 1:05 p.m. (Pacific)/2:05 p.m. (Mountain). The Eagles fell to Cal 59-7 earlier today.