OGDEN — Seniors Auston Tesch and Jonah Williams never thought of playing football at Weber State was something they’d do.
Tesch, the Eden native, grew up around BYU and was a Cougar fan his entire life. Williams, who grew up in Meridian, Idaho, knew he wanted to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but didn’t think playing football after was in his future.
Oh, how things have changed.
The two seniors are the heart and soul of the Weber State defense and want to continue being a team opposing offenses don’t want to face. The seniors are a part of a group that has won three Big Sky titles and it’s all thanks to the system that coach Jay Hill has established with the Wildcats.
“It’s the same process that we’ve had for the last four years and that’s that there’s not a lot of freedom with it,” Williams said. “We each have our gap and our responsibilities, so if one guy decides to do his own thing, there's gonna be a crease. It’s gonna hurt us. We each have our gap and our responsibility and if we do that technically our opponent shouldn’t have any rush yards, that’s why we keep rush yards low against our opponents.”
The Wildcats defense has limited opponents to just an average of 107 yards rushing per game and have allowed only eight rushing touchdowns. The secondary also has 12 interceptions this season. Tesch credits that to the discipline that the defense has.
“I’ve always believed it’s partly our discipline, buying into the scheme, I think,” Tesch said. ”It’s a great scheme when you’re really sound at it and use proper technique and things. It’s hard to beat. The discipline that we teach and the technique that we teach make it tough.”
As the Wildcats prepare to take on Kennesaw State at home in the second round of the FCS playoffs this weekend, both of the seniors want the community to know how much of an impact they’ve made by showing their support.
“You can see if from just the audience perspective,” Williams said. “Every year we get more and more people in the stands and more and more support from the community, and ... honestly, we just want to keep seeing that get bigger and bigger. It’s cool to have a lot of people at the games watching us.”
Tesch also added that he doesn’t want people to forget what this senior class has done.
“I want people to remember this class, the classes before us,” said Tesch “Since I’ve got here, we’ve done nothing but work and it’s all kind of paying off. We’ve seen the fruits of our labors these past few years, so I just want the respect that we’ve earned and for people to understand that we’re the real deal.”
The Wildcats take on Kennesaw State at 1 p.m. on Saturday at Stewart Stadium.