OGDEN Too bad nobody was there to see it.
Playing in front of only a few hundreds actual fans, Weber State broke through with its first win of the season with a convincing 26-7 win over Sacramento State. But a previously winless team, combined with miserable weather, a rare televised home game and LDS General Conference, kept most WSU fans at home.
Attendance in Stewart Stadium was generously overestimated at 3,342.
What they missed was what coach Ron McBride described as an almost perfect game.
"The kids played error-free football today," McBride said, relishing in the cold-weather, smash-mouth game that snapped the Wildcats' four-game losing streak. "It's really my kind of football. I'm a bad-weather coach. ... I knew when I woke up this morning we'd play well."
Playing especially well was the combination of freshman quarterback Cameron Higgins and sophomore receiver Tim Toone.
Higgins, a Hawaii native, and Toone, an Arizona product, had no problems adapting to the cold weather, and both had the best games of their young careers.
Higgins was 13-of-20 in his second start with the Wildcats (1-4, 1-2 Big Sky) with 245 yards and found Toone for four touchdowns.
The success of the passing game was a pleasant surprise considering the nasty weather.
"I was like, 'I hope Sac State forfeits,"' Higgins said of his reaction to the un-Honolulu-like weather.
The Hornets (1-4, 1-2) didn't give up, but they didn't put up much of a fight, either.
The Wildcat defense put on a dominating show, limiting Sac State to just 155 total yards in the first three quarters as the offense built a 26-0 lead. The Hornets gained another 117 yards in the final period, but by then the outcome of the game was pretty much assured.
"We gave up one," McBride said. "But they had to work for that one."
Weber State enjoyed a balanced offense heck, they enjoyed an offense for the first time this year.
With Higgins throwing for 245 yards, Toone catching six balls for 128 yards and sophomore running back Trevyn Smith breaking the century mark for the first time this season with 110 yards on 21 carries, WSU was all smiles after the game.
"I'm feeling like I only played half a game," said senior safety Ty Sparrow, who had a first-quarter interception. "That's because the offense showed up to play their half."
The Wildcats came out strong from the start with Sparrow's interception ending the Hornets' first drive. Weber State drove all the way to the goal line but was unable to push it across on a fourth-and-goal play.
Higgins found Toone for a 15-yard touchdown with 2:02 left in the first and then connected again on a 50-yard pass that was juggled and brought back in to give the Wildcats a 13-0 lead before the first quarter was over.
"I really thought we were going to run the ball on them more," said Toone, who tied a school record for touchdown catches in a game. "But the O-line gave him protection and it was like playing catch."
The 26 points are a season high and could be the beginning of good things for Weber State. The Wildcats are on the road next week at winless Northern Colorado and then return home for three home games in four weeks.There might even be a few fans turn out to watch.
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