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Vandals fall to Huskies, 42-23

Just filed an unedited game story from Idaho’s 42-23 loss to Washington. You can read it below in extended entry.

 


By Jim Meehan

SEATTLE – In the first half, Idaho nearly matched Washington yard for yard, but not point for point. In the second half, the Vandals did roughly the same thing.

The Vandals were competitive throughout, but missed several chances to make it truly interesting as win-starved Washington put its 15-game losing streak to rest with a 42-23 victory in front of 58,980 on a cloudless Saturday at Husky Stadium.

“We had too many penalties, we had too many opportunities that we left on the field to make it a better game and give ourselves a chance to win,” UI coach Robb Akey said.

The Vandals (1-1) couldn’t contain elusive quarterback Jake Locker, who had a couple of nice runs but was even more impressive with his throwing arm. He passed for three touchdowns and ran for another as Washington (1-1) scored on its first five possessions, building a 26-point lead four minutes into the third quarter.

“This is how it’s supposed to be,” first-year Husky coach Steve Sarkisian said. “We’re supposed to be able to come in here and answer all the questions about how we won and why we won and what it took. It’s a jubilant locker room.”

Idaho scored on its last three drives of the first half, but all three were field goals. Washington scored touchdowns on its three first-half possessions to take a 21-9 edge at intermission.

“We’d get down in the red zone and kind of stall ourselves,” UI quarterback Nathan Enderle said.

The first turnovers of the game occurred rapid fire at the outset of the third quarter, but UW was the team that gained valuable momentum. Washington’s Curtis Shaw fumbled while returning the kickoff, but Idaho gave it right back when Enderle threw in the right flat and hit Washington linebacker Mason Foster in the hands. Foster returned the ball to Idaho’s 21 and UW scored four plays later, hiking its lead to 28-9.

“The Sam (strong-side) linebacker dropped back and I didn’t see him,” said Enderle, who finished 22 of 33 for 279 yards.

After Idaho’s first three-and-out, Washington took over at the Vandal 36 and Jermaine Kearse out-jumped cornerback Isaac Butts for a 34-yard reception. Locker’s third TD pass, a 2-yarder to Chris Izbicki, put UW on top 35-9.

Enderle got back on track and Idaho scored its first touchdown when De’Maundray Woolridge crashed in from the 4 with 3:58 left in the third quarter.

The Vandals made their first defensive stop, then drove to Washington’s 39. Incomplete passes on third and fourth down put an end to the threat. Washington sealed it with a 67-yard scoring drive.

Idaho moved the ball efficiently and won the yardage battle 412-374, but was stung by a flood of early penalties. Three straight penalties left UI facing first-and-35 on its first possession. Idaho picked up 24 yards and would have made the first down if not for a drop by receiver Daniel Hardy on third down.

Instead, Bobby Cowan’s punt rolled out at Washington’s 3. The Huskies marched 97 yards – their longest scoring drive since Oct. 27, 2007 – with 35 of those yards coming on a spectacular buy-time scramble by Locker. He did a 360-degree dash in the pocket, fled right to the sideline and found D’Andre Goodwin open at the UI 6. Idaho was also penalized for a late hit on Locker, moving the ball to the 3. Locker covered those three yards on the next play and UW led 7-0.

Idaho drove deep into UW territory, only to be pushed back by face-masking and holding penalties. The Vandals settled for the first of Trey Farquhar’s three first-half field goals.

“I’ve never seen that many holding penalties,” Akey said. “Not the fact that they were calling them, but the fact that we did it. We need to sell out and make a block as opposed to grabbing somebody.”

The Vandals tried to step up the pressure, but Washington’s line picked up a blitz and Locker hit Goodwin for 28 yards over the middle. Another blitz was unsuccessful as Locker tossed a screen to Johri Fogerson, who coasted in from the 24-yard line.

“He has a strong arm and he puts the ball where it needs to be,” safety Shiloh Keo said of Locker, who passed for 253 yards.

Enderle led the Vandals downfield, but Washington stiffened and Farquhar booted a 28-yard field goal.

The Huskies converted on their first six third-down plays before Locker threw an incompletion on third-and-3 at Idaho’s 45. UW went for it on fourth down, which appeared to be a dubious decision when the snap bounced to Locker in the shot-gun formation, but he handed it off to Chris Polk, who picked up five yards. On third-and-1 at the UI 31, Idaho’s secondary bit on a fake handoff and Locker connected with James Johnson in stride for a touchdown and a 21-6 lead.

Idaho faces San Diego State in its home opener Saturday. The Huskies entertain USC.

 

 


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Jim Allen Sports reporter Jim Allen's primary coverage areas are Eastern Washington University football and men's basketball, and college and high school soccer. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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