Devon Pearce rushed for three touchdowns and a career-high 173 yards as the Idaho Vandals defeated Weber State 37-27 in a Big Sky Conference game Saturday.
In a wild contest that saw more than 1,000 yards in offense, Pearce and Vandal quarterback Doug Nussmeier proved too much for the Wildcats.Both teams' quarterbacks had an outstanding afternoon, as Weber State's Jamie Martin threw for two touchdowns on 23 of 32 passing for 302 yards and Nussmeier connected on 21 of 31 for 280 yards and a touchdown.
The Vandals took the opening kickoff and marched 68 yards in five plays, capped by Pearce's 1-yard plunge. A 2-point conversion attempt failed.
After a 35-yard field goal by Weber State's Tyler Gunderson, the Vandals extended their lead to 13-3 on a 3-yard run by running back Roman Carter. And, following a Wildcat fumble, Idaho drove 46 yards for another score on a Pearce run from 2 yards out.
Weber State cut the score to 20-10 at halftime when halfback George Jackson scored on a 1-yard plunge with 3:53 remaining in the second quarter. Jackson led the Wildcats with 162 yards rushing on 36 carries and a touchdown.
Four minutes into the second half, the Vandals stretched their lead to 17 points again as Scott Dahlquist, who caught five passes for 108 yards, scored on a 35-yard strike from Nussmeier.
The Wildcats took only four plays to drive 65 yards on their next possession, as Martin hit a wide-open Jon Fuller from 39 yards out to cut the score to 27-17.
A 70-yard, 12-play drive put the Wildcats away as Pearce scored from the 1 to give the Vandals a 34-17 lead with 6:49 left in the third quarter.