Weber State upset in first round of FCS playoffs by Southern Illinois, 34-31

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Salukis score game-winning touchdown with 51 seconds left to end Wildcats season

OGDEN, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – A shortened season ended all too abruptly for the Weber State football team.

Stone Labanowitz lofted a rainbow of a fourth-down pass to the back corner of the end zone for Branson Combs with 51 seconds left and Southern Illinois upset Weber State 34-31 in the first round of the FCS playoffs. 

Weber State, making its fifth straight playoff appearance, season ends with a record of 5-1. Southern Illinois (6-3) was making its first playoff appearance since 2009.

The Wildcats took the lead with 5:25 to play on a 3-yard touchdown run by Bronson Barron. But the Salukis drove 75 yards on 11 plays, culminating in the winning score.

Weber State’s last chance ended when Barron was sacked by Raquan Lindsey as time expired at the Southern Illinois 42-yard line.

Barron completed 16 of 29 passes for 224 yards and a touchdown to Justin Malone. But he also threw two interceptions.

Daniel Wright Jr. led the Wildcats on the ground with 91 yards rushing and a touchdown that gave Weber State a 21-7 lead in the second quarter.

But the Salukis scored 21 unanswered points, capped by a 3-yard touchdown on a fake field goal from kicker Nico Gualdoni to Cole Steward.

Weber State will kick off the 2021 fall season at Utah on September 2nd at Rice-Eccles Stadium.

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