Bobcat football opened up their season with a loss at Idaho University on Sept. 1. This game was long awaited for in the Bobcat community after a complete reconstruction of coaching staff last season and throughout preseason.
Idaho made 57 plays for 353 total yards while MSU made 74 for 300 yards. Junior quarterback Tyler Bruggman, a transfer from Scottsdale Community College, completed 19 of 35 for 186 yards, and freshman quarterback Chris Murray completed 1 of 1 for four yards. Senior Chad Newell rushed 25 times for 105 yards, Murray rushed five times for 13 yards and junior Nick LeSane rushed four times for nine yards.
Sophomore John D’Agostino was a standout receiver, completing a game high six catches, for 47 yards. Juniors Justin Paige and Mitchell Herbert completed five catches for 31 yards and four catches for 62 yards, respectively. Junior linebacker Mac Bignell led the team in tackles with eight, and redshirt freshman Josh Hill and junior Khari Garcia both recorded four. MSU had no sacks.
The Bobcats won the coin toss and chose to defer, giving Idaho the ball to start the game. After the kickoff return, Idaho started strong with a 36 yard pass and a 44 yard field goal to score 3-0 thirteen minutes into the first quarter.
The Cats answered Idaho’s field goal with a 75 yard drive resulting in a touchdown to go up 7-3. The drive consisted of a few big catches from Herbert, D’Agostino and the touchdown catch made by Paige.
Idaho had a quick response and scored within a minute after the Cats. An interception thrown by quarterback Bruggman helped Idaho go up 17-7 at end of first quarter. After a slow defensive start, a fumble recovery by sophomore linebacker Grant Collins late in the second quarter led the Cats to a field goal to end the first half with a score of 20-10.
The Cats made a couple big defensive plays in the second half to come within three points of Idaho. Sophomore Tre’von Strong intercepted Idaho’s Matt Linehan at the MSU two yard line to give the Bobcats another chance to march down field in hopes of scoring. Unfortunately, the offense was stopped by Idaho’s defense, and the final score was 20-17, Idaho.
The Bobcats will play at home Sept. 10 against Bryant at 2:05 p.m. in the annual Gold Rush game.