It’s a safe bet this is not how Grant Stucker wanted to end the game.
The CSU Rams (3-2 0-1) lost to the Idaho Vandals (4-1 0-0) in Moscow, Idaho, blowing a sizable half time lead and ending the game in heart breaking fashion
Down two late in the fourth quarter, CSU’s defense forced the Vandals to punt, setting the Ram’s offense up on the 20-yardline with just over a minute to play. Stucker, who had four touchdowns in the loss, couldn’t take advantage of the opportunity as he was intercepted by Idaho’s Shiloh Keo. The Vandals downed the ball from there, holding on to earn a 31-29 win.
Rams head coach Steve Fairchild was disappointed by the loss, explaining that the Vandals just played better tonight.
“It’s a tough loss, especially after coming so close at the end of the game,” Fairchild said in a post game interview on AM 560 KLZ. “We just left a lot out on the field and didn’t play really smart. They made more plays than we did so there for they won the football game.”
The Rams had to work to make the game as close as it was. Trailing by eight with just under four minutes left in the game, CSU put together a five play 89-yard scoring drive, climaxing in a Stucker touchdown pass to true freshman running back Lou Greenwood.
Needing a two point conversion to tie the game, CSU lined up in their wildcat formation with running back John Mosure behind center. Mosure took the snap but was stopped short just inches from the end zone. The play would be reviewed and ultimately upheld.
After getting off to a quick start and leading 21-10 at half, CSU stalled in the third quarter while Idaho and quarterback Nathan Enderle took over the game. The Vandals came out firing from the half time break, scoring three consecutive touchdowns, two coming on Enderle passes.
The Vandals scored the game winning touchdown at the beginning of the fourth quarter, as running back DeMaundray Woolridge bowled across the goal line from a yard out.
CSU came out strong to start game, jumping out to a 14-0 lead midway through the first quarter before collapsing in the second half. The Rams punted on the games opening possession, but countered with two straight Stucker passes, first to Tyson Liggett and then tight end Eric Peitz, both players second of the season.
Despite his game ending pick, Stucker once again put together an impressive game, going 19 of 35 for 297 yards and four touchdowns.
Enderle ran was equally impressive for the Vandals, going 25 of 38 for 332 yards and three touchdowns.
The Rams have a week to recover from their second straight loss before hosting conference rival Utah at home next week.
Assistant sports editor Adam Bohlmeyer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org