POCATELLO, Idaho — C.J. Tuckett set a Weber State single-game rushing record and the Wildcats' football team finished its season on a high note with a 40-14 win over traditional Big Sky Conference rival Idaho State on Saturday in Holt Arena.
The win is Weber State's 10th straight over the Bengals.
Playing in the final game of his collegiate career, Tuckett established a new school record with 289 yards rushing as Weber State rushed for 417 total yards, the fifth-most in school history. Tuckett broke the previous Wildcat rushing record of 280 yards, which was set by Markieth Ross in 1993 at Nevada.
Tuckett carried the ball 36 times Saturday and finished his WSU career with 1,633 yards rushing, which ranks 13th in school history.
"This game was a lot of fun and it was a great way to finish my career," said Tuckett, an Idaho native. "I'm so happy for our seniors, and this is exactly how we wanted to finish our season."?
The Wildcats' defense, playing without starting linebacker and leading tackler Anthony Morales, who had his appendix removed earlier in the week, shut out the Bengals in the first half. And, after giving up a pair of third-quarter touchdown passes, the Wildcats didn't allow ISU to score again.
Idaho State finished the game with just 1 net rushing yard.
"It was a lot of fun today for Weber State," said WSU interim head coach Jody Sears, whose team improved to 2-9 overall and 2-6 in the Big Sky Conference. "Our kids really showed up and played hard and wanted to win so badly. I was so proud of our effort and how we fought so hard. Our offense really performed well and it was a great team effort."
Weber State got off to a strong start, scoring on its first possession on Tuckett's 4-yard touchdown run. WSU went for the two-point conversion and converted it to lead 8-0. The 'Cats came right back and scored again on their next possession on senior quarterback Mike Hoke's 3-yard scoring scamper. After a second two-point conversion pass from Kela Marciel to Cordero Dixon, Weber State led 16-0 with 5:45 to play in the first quarter.
The Wildcats opened the second quarter with a 22-yard field goal by Shaun McClain, and later in the quarter, Hoke found Jordan Clemente for a 7-yard touchdown pass. WSU again converted on a two-point conversion and led 27-0 at halftime.
Idaho State started the second half with a 81-yard touchdown pass from Kevin Yost to Rodrick Rumble, and the same duo hooked up again on a 33-yard TD pass as the Bengals cut the Wildcat lead to 27-14 after three quarters.
But Tuckett took over in the fourth quarter and rushed for a 19-yard touchdown with 10:21 to play. After he broke the school record late in the game, Kris Parham ran for a 5-yard touchdown to seal the Wildcats' win.
Weber State finished the day with a season-high 525 total yards of offense, compared to 307 for Idaho State. The Wildcats did not throw a pass in the fourth quarter.
Hoke finished the day 10-of-16 passing for 108 yards and one touchdown pass and another one on the ground.
Yost threw for 306 yards and Rumble had eight catches for 171 yards for Idaho State, which ends its season 1-10 overall and 0-8 in conference play.
Copyright 2016, Deseret News Publishing Company