Football Falls On Homecoming
GREELEY, Colo. - A defensive touchdown in the first quarter gave Northern Colorado the early lead, but the Bears couldn't hang on during Homecoming, falling 23-18 to Portland State on a cold and dreary day where snow coated the field.
The Bears fall to 1-5 overall and 0-4 in Big Sky Conference play, while the Vikings snap an eight-game losing streak to improve to 2-4 on the year and 1-3 in league action.
"We got a huge play by Korey Askew; that return for a touchdown," said Head Coach Scott Downing. "I thought it was a huge spark that got us rolling. We have to continue to capitalize on those kinds of plays. I'm very disappointed but we have to come back on Monday and get started again."
Askew, a junior cornerback, put the team on the board first with an 88-yard interception return and junior Sam Sewell carried the ball across the goal line for the 8-0 advantage.
Portland State scored on a touchdown late in the first quarter and added a 50-yard field goal with 12:30 on the clock in the second quarter to take a 10-8 advantage.
The Bears took the lead back 23 seconds later on a 74-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Bryan Waggener to true freshman Chris Morris.
The Vikings' Zach Brown made his second field goal of the afternoon with 12 ticks remaining in the first half for the 15-13 halftime score.
Portland State scored on a 22-yard pass from junior quarterback Drew Hubel to Lavonte Kirven at the 2:42 mark of the third quarter to take the lead for good.
NC senior kicker Michael York and Brown each made a field goal in the fourth quarter for the 23-18 final.
Askew was one of three with interceptions on the afternoon for the Bears. Junior safety Max Hewitt also had one for 39 yards and senior safety Stephen Michon saved a touchdown with a pick in the endzone in the second quarter.
The NC defense also tallied four sacks on the afternoon, with junior linebacker John Eddy recording 2.5 for 20 yards to go along with 13 total tackles and a forced fumble. Junior linebacker Matt King led all players with 15 tackles and one sack. Hewitt was the third Bear in double figures in tackles with 12.
Waggener completed 16-of-26 passes for 208 yards, hitting eight different receivers. Morris had a team-best 81 yards, while senior receiver Alex Thompson caught three passes for 52 yards. Junior running back Andre Harris led the rushing game with six carries for 30 yards.
PSU junior quarterback Drew Hubel completed 18-of-25 passes for 193 yards and one touchdown, while freshman Connor Kavanaugh completed 5-of-6 for 47 yards and rushed for a game-best 56 yards. Junior wide receiver Ray Fry caught eight passes for 101 yards.
Defensively, DeShawn Shead had an interception for 18-yards as well as forced and recovered a fumble. Ryan Rau led the Vikings with seven tackles.
The Bears return to the road next week, playing at Idaho State on Saturday at 3:30 p.m.