Football snaps skid in 38-13 homecoming win


Wide receiver Shane Harrison leaps into the air to catch a pass over an Idaho State defender. Harrison led the Hornets in receiving yards with 159 for three touchdowns, Saturday, Oct. 24th, 2015 at Hornet Stadium.

Andre Newell

It was a tremendous night on both sides of the ball for the Hornets football team, as they beat Idaho State University 38-13 on Saturday in their homecoming game, ending their six-game losing streak as well as picking up their first win in Big Sky Conference play.

The Hornets now have an overall record of 2-6 and a conference record of 1-4.

The Bengals came out of the gate strong, putting points up on the board first as senior running back Xavier Finney rushed for a two yard touchdown after an ensuing drive, giving the Bengals a 7-0 lead early in the first quarter.

The Hornets would tie the game up at 7-7 on the first play of the second quarter when freshman quarterback Nate Ketteringham found senior wide receiver Shane Harrison for a 20-yard touchdown pass. That pass was Ketteringham’s first touchdown pass of the season as well as the first touchdown reception of the season for Harrison.

The Bengals reclaimed the lead later in the second quarter after sophomore kicker Zak Johnson nailed a 21 yard field goal attempt following a very nice drive by the Bengal offense. The Bengals led 10-7 midway through the second quarter.

The Hornets responded with a touchdown on the following drive as Ketteringham threw his second touchdown pass of the game to senior running back Garrett Steele for two yards. The Hornets led 14-10.

After a tough defensive effort, the Hornets were able to capitalize as they scored once again on a 31-yard field goal made by senior kicker Brad Cornish, giving the Hornets a 17-10 lead going into halftime.

Along with an impressive first half offensive performance, the Hornet defense was stellar as well. After the early first quarter touchdown, the Hornets defense dominated the Bengal offense, only allowing them a field goal in the second quarter.

The Hornets carried their tremendous play into the second half on both sides of the ball.

Junior defensive back Anthony Payne set the tone in the third quarter for the Hornets when he intercepted Bengals quarterback Tanner Gueller, and the Hornets’ offense capitalized on that turnover when Ketteringham and Harrison connected for the second time in the game on a 20-yard touchdown pass.

“We thought about the Eastern Washington game,” senior linebacker Darnell Sankey said when asked how they kept their focus on defense throughout the game. “We thought about how they came back and beat us in the second half because we lost focus.”

The Bengals would respond with an ensuing drive that ended in Johnson making a 31-yard field goal, cutting the Hornet lead to 11 (24-13).

The Hornets extended their lead on the very next drive as Ketteringham and Harrison connected once again on a 61-yard touchdown pass. That was the freshman quarterback’s fourth touchdown pass of the game.

On the very next drive, it was the Hornet defense scoring as freshman defensive back Joey Banks got an interception and ran it back 41 yards for a touchdown. The Hornets’ lead was now 38-13.

Coach Jody Sears was more than pleased with the overall effort that the team gave.

“This win feels so good,” Sears said. “This team works so hard and they want to win so bad, so to get this win is great.”

Ketteringham was tremendous all game. The freshman was 20-26 and threw for 287 yards and four touchdown passes. He also rushed for 53 yards.

“Nate plays with great heart and he wants to win and that’s what I love about him,” Harrison said.

The Hornets will have a bye next week and will be preparing to take on Cal Poly on Saturday, Nov. 7.

“We don’t have time to take breaks or slack off; we’re 2-6, but we’ll be ready for Cal Poly,” Sankey said.

The Hornets will be playing Cal Poly San Luis Obispo on Saturday, Nov. 7 at Alex G. Spanos Stadium at 6 p.m.