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GREELEY, Colo. (AP) - Mike Hoke's pinpoint passing fueled Weber State's fast start against overmatched Northern Colorado.
Hoke threw a career-high five touchdowns, including three to wide receiver Shaydon Kehano, and Weber State routed winless Northern Colorado 45-21 on Saturday for its first road victory of the season.
"We've really been working on that, starting fast, because we weren't able to do that last year," Hoke said. "The coaches really stressed that this week, starting fast, just jump out ahead of them, try to put them away early and I guess we kind of did that."
Hoke had scoring passes of 16, 57, and 23 yards to Kehano, a fellow Hawaiian and also his roommate. He added touchdown throws of 1 yard to fullback Karl Finai and 2 yards to tight end Jordan Clemente as the Wildcats (2-2, 2-0 Big Sky) rolled to a 35-0 halftime lead.
"Their defense left us so many holes, we just picked them apart," Kehano said. "I just did the easy part - catching it. Mike threw a nice ball every time. I just did my job. He did his. Everybody else did theirs and it all came out good."
Northern Colorado (0-4, 0-2) fell to 0-6 in its series with Weber State, and the 24-point margin was the Bears' worst loss ever to the Wildcats.
"It was good to see them come out and play in the second half, and we're going to build on that," Northern Colorado coach Earnest Collins Jr. said. "But eventually, you can't keep blowing the first half... because you're still behind when the clock strikes zero."
Hoke, who has yet to throw an interception this season, completed 20 of 25 passes for 280 yards in little more than three quarters of play.
Weber State coach Ron McBride said Hoke has shown he's capable of that kind of performance all the time.
"He's a good player," McBride said. "They did a good job protecting him, and he had plenty of time to throw and he's got good receivers. That's what you expect him to do."
After punting on its first series, Weber State scored on five of its next six possessions, including two touchdowns that followed turnovers by Northern Colorado.
Hoke hit Kehano from 16 yards out for the Wildcats' first score, then marched the team 77 yards on the ensuing drive that ended in Finai's scoring catch for a 14-0 advantage after the first quarter.
The Wildcats broke the game open with a 21-point second quarter that included Barrington Collins' 4-yard scoring run. That was set up by Patrick Walker's fumble that was recovered by Weber State cornerback Kela Marciel.
Wildcats defensive tackle Veteson Sauni forced a fumble by running back John Burnley that was recovered at the Northern Colorado 35-yard line by Luke King. That turnover led to Clemente's scoring catch.
Northern Colorado finally found the end zone when Dominic Gunn caught a 10-yard pass from Seth Lobato early in the third quarter. Lobato threw a second touchdown pass with 5:06 left in the third, a 29-yarder to Walker. But Hoke answered with his third scoring pass of the day to Kehano, who finished with four receptions for 100 yards.
Weber State's Shaun McCain kicked a 45-yard field goal before Lobato teamed up for a second time with Walker on a 9-yard touchdown with 10:56 left.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)