Football blows big lead for second week

The Green and White lost their second game in a row in which they held a big lead going into the fourth quarter. The Weber State Wildcats would rally from a 14-point deficit to win 25-24 over UND.

After giving up big numbers through the air last week to Idaho state, UND’s injury stricken defense surrendered 273 yards to Weber State’s quarterback Jadrian Clark. Weber State’s passing offense had been struggling coming into the game averaging only 159 yards a game.

The UND defense was missing starters Cole Reyes, Drew Greely, Taj Rich                                     and Zach Arnell due to injury.

Filling in for the injured starting quarterback was junior Ryan Bartels, who went 9-20 passing with two touchdowns, one interception and one fumble, highlighted by a 47-yard touchdown pass to Miguel Cerriteno.

Because UND’s offense was without starting quarterback Studsrud, that meant they would have to rely on their talented running back, John Santiago. Santiago delivered. He had a long 46-yard touchdown run in first to set the tone for his monster 157 yard rushing game.

Just like last week going into halftime, it seemed like UND was on its way to                              another victory.

“We came out and established a very physical presence” UND coach Bubba Schweigert said.

They had a 17-3 lead and just about everything was going their way. After Weber State’s opening drive, the UND defense only gave up 41 yards on five Wildcat possessions.

In the third quarter, Weber State broke through and scored its first touchdown of the game on a five-yard pass to Darryl Denby, capping a seven play, 80-yard drive.

Denby gashed the UND defense for 130 yards receiving on seven receptions. He also scored a touchdown after his big 42-yard reception which sparked the offense on the first play of the drive.

Bartels lead the Green and White offense on a quick scoring drive to answer the Wildcat touchdown in the beginning of the fourth. The drive took only one minute and 17 seconds and UND scored on a 22-yard pass to Luke Stanley to make the score 24-10.

After Stanley’s touchdown, it was all Wildcats. They went on to score 17 unanswered points in the final 12 minutes of the game on two touchdown passes from Clark and a 43-yard field goal from kicker Josh Kealamakia.

UND had chances to get back in the game, but a Bartels interception and fumble ended any hopes of a Green and White comeback.

Once again, UND suffered a come-from-behind loss.

“We have to learn how to close out games, and we need to do a better job of that,” Schweigert said.

Schweigert was not the only one who shared this thought.

“We had the game in our favor most of the game,” Santiago said. “But we have to learn how to finish strong.”

UND heads to Missoula to take on Montana at 2:30p.m. on Oct. 24.

Adam Gunderman is a sports writer for The Dakota Student. He can be reached at [email protected]