Vikings lose 44-29 at No.25 St. Cloud State
Sept. 11, 2004
ST. CLOUD, Minn. - Despite a late rally, Western Washington University suffered its first loss of the season, falling to nationally ranked St. Cloud State University, 44-29, in a college football game Saturday.
Western fell to 1-1 with the loss in its first road game of the season. The Huskies, ranked No.25 in this week's American Football Coaches Association/NCAA Division II Top 25 Poll, improved to 3-0.
SCSU quarterback Daniel Kaczor tied a school record with five touchdown passes, all in the first half, leading the Huskies to a 42-13 lead at halftime. But Western rallied, closing to 44-29 early in the fourth quarter on a 5-yard pass from Steve Nichols (Sr., Stevenson) to tight end Nick Yoney (Jr., Arlington) and an ensuing 2-point conversion pass to James Laurence (Sr., Kent/Kent-Meridian).
Western then reached the Husky 12 with just under eight minutes left, but a penalty moved the ball back to the 22. Two incomplete passes ended the drive, and the Vikings did not cross midfield in their last two possessions.
Nichols completed 27-of-45 passes for 304 yards with three touchdowns and three interceptions. Two of the interceptions came in his first three attempts of the game, but he did not throw another until a desperation bomb was intercepted in the final minute.
Western wide receiver Andy Olson (Jr., Chehalis/W.F. West) had 10 receptions for 119 yards, including an 18-yard touchdown in the second quarter.
Kaczor completed 15-of-25 passes for 279 yards, throwing scoring passes to five different receivers, and was intercepted once, helping SCSU to a 503-409 edge in total offense.
After being stopped on the opening series of the game, the Huskies scored on six consecutive possessions, the first two being set up by interceptions, and held a 42-13 lead at halftime. SCSU had 429 yards of offense in the first half, with Kaczor going 12-of-16 for 254 yards.
"I hope the second half is an indication of the team we are, because the first half certainly was not," said Western coach Rob Smith. "You cannot dig yourself that kind of hole. Obviously, we have a lot of things to clean up, but if they get cleaned up, we'll be okay. We showed that in the second half."
Running back Matt Birkle, who rushed for 213 yards in SCSU's 44-27 victory over Western at Bellingham last year, ran for 188 yards on 27 carries, including a 42-yard touchdown run on a draw play late in the first quarter.
Western running back Jake Carlyle (Jr., Olympia), who ran for 70 yards on 13 carries and added 56 yards on four receptions, had Western's first touchdown on a 1-yard run in the first quarter.
The Vikings scored on the opening possession of the second half, going 76 yards in seven plays, capped on a 15-yard pass from Nichols to tight end Rick Carte (Sr., Juneau, AK/Juneau-Douglas). SCSU got its final points later in the third quarter on a safety which made the score 44-21.
Western hosts another North Central Conference school on Sat., Sept. 18 (1 p.m.), entertaining No.22-ranked University of Nebraska at Omaha (2-1).
Western Washington Vikings Sidebar Links
|Email this article||Printer-friendly format|