CEDAR CITY, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – Weber State got its revenge and is moving on in the FCS playoffs.
The Wildcats avenged an early season loss to Southern Utah, and dominated the second half against the Thunderbirds, to win 30-13 in Cedar City.
The win moves the Wildcats to the FCS Quarterfinals where they will play at No. 1 an defending FCS champion James Madison Friday night at 5 p.m.
“I’m proud of our guys,” said Weber State head coach Jay Hill. “They fought, they clawed, they dug. It wasn’t always pretty, but when you’re playing the team we played tonight, you’re going to leave some stuff out there.”
Weber State now has 11 wins on the season, the most in school history, and has won seven-straight games.
Stefan Cantwell, who missed most of the Wildcats 32-16 loss to Southern Utah in October, threw for 299 yards and two touchdowns, and also rushed for 105 yards and another TD, as the Wildcats erased an early ten-point deficit.
Southern Utah jumped out to a quick 10-0 lead in the first quarter, scoring on its first drive of the game on 16-yard touchdown run by Jay Green.
But the Wildcats defense didn’t allow another touchdown the rest of the game. Weber State reeled off 13 straight points to take the lead for good.
Cantwell got the scoring started with a 20-yard touchdown pass to Drew Batchelor early in the second quarter. Trey Tuttle then connected on back-to-back field goals to give Weber State a 13-10 lead.
It was all Weber State in the second half as the Wildcat defense, held SUU to 38 yards of total offense in the second half. The Wildcats started the half driving down the field in three minutes, capped by a five-yard touchdown run by Cantwell to regain the lead at 20-13.
After a defensive stop, the ‘Cats scored again as Cantwell found Andrew Vollert for a 10-yard touchdown to make it 27-13 midway through the third quarter.
The Wildcats added another score with 8:16 left in the fourth quarter on a 24-yard Tuttle field goal.
Weber State had 447 yards of offense. Batchelor led the Wildcats in receiving with 98 yards on six receptions.
“Weber State came out and played a great game and beat us thoroughly on offense, defense and special teams after that first quarter and that’s one thing we were worried about,” SUU coach Demario Warren said. “We worried about two things in the game, we worried about if we could start fast and stay sharp after the bye and the second part was if we could keep the stamina and the urgency up if we did get off to a good start.”
The Wildcats have never made it past the quarterfinals in school history.