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OGDEN — There was a notable pop song that talked about saving the best for last.
After watching Weber State’s win over Idaho State, Wildcats fans must have thought Jody Sears’ coaching staff played the Vanessa Williams hit for the team in pregame meetings.
Regardless of whatever caused the Wildcats’ 32-7 win over the Bengals, several Weber senior players savored the lasting memory of a final victory.
“It was our last senior game here, so I just wanted to try to make something happen whenever I had the ball,” said running back Josh Booker, who ran for 139 yards and two touchdowns. “Thanks to our team for going out there and playing hard … it was awesome.”
Winds at Stewart Stadium were routinely clocked at more than 40 mph during the game, causing both teams to have to switch to a run-oriented offense. Idaho State, which has one of the Big Sky’s best passing offenses, was lost in the transition, while Weber State was able to successfully put the game on the backs of its offensive line.
"It was our last senior game here, so I just wanted to try to make something happen whenever I had the ball," said running back Josh Booker, who ran for 139 yards and two touchdowns. "Thanks to our team for going out there and playing hard … it was awesome."
Sears said the offensive line’s performance made the win possible.
“Obviously with the conditions, we put it on their (the offensive line’s) shoulders,” Sears said about Weber’s 283 rushing yards. “You have to tip your hat a little bit to Idaho State because they’re a lot stronger up front. But we just kept pounding it and pounding it … and I was really, really proud of those guys.”
The wind not only changed the offensive game plan but the mindset for Weber State punter Tony Epperson. Epperson, who is considered to have NFL potential, said the wind made the kicking game much more challenging.
“It’s either a dream or a nightmare, depending on which way you’re kicking,” said Epperson, who had a long punt of 86 yards in the game. “It was nice when it was at your back, but it was still hard to kick even with it at your back — the ball is going everywhere when you drop it.”
Weber State’s defense also forced five turnovers — a statistic that Sears said will always equal victory.
“When you go plus-three (in the turnover margin), you win by 25 points,” he said. “All I know is when you win the turnover margin, you’ve got a really good chance to win the football game. That’s been our MO all year — win the turnover margin, run the ball, and sometimes it happens and sometimes it doesn’t.”
Now the Wildcats sit back and wait as the WSU administration makes a decision over Sears’ future. Though Sears has a three-year contract, Weber State can dismiss him without pay this season for not reaching a benchmark of four wins.
Sears said he is planning on being the head coach at Weber State until he is told otherwise by school officials.
“All I’ve been focused on is coaching these kids and putting these guys in a position to win a football game,” Sears said. “That’s what I’m going to continue to do, period. And now it’s time to put this season to bed and (start) going full-tilt with recruiting.”