Vandals Win WAC Opener 26-18 for First Win - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Vandals Win WAC Opener 26-18 for First Win

Posted: Updated:

by Idaho Univ. Athletics

MOSCOW, Idaho – Idaho's "new" season started just the way the Vandals wanted – with the victory that puts them in a tie for the Western Athletic Conference lead, albeit one game into the conference season.

The Vandals did it by dispatching New Mexico State 26-18 before a Homecoming crowd at the Kibbie Dome with all three elements of the team making their presence felt. Possibly more than any other was kicker Trey Farquhar with field goals of 55, 53, 39 and 32 yards.

"All three phases of the game contributed," coach Robb Akey said. "It was a more complete game. It was our football team's best game – because we won.

"More than anything else in the world, I'm happy for that room full of players – those guys in there that have been working their tails off."

The first play of the game, however, wasn't what the Vandals wanted. Quarterback Dominique Blackman, who wound up with his third 300-plus game with 304 yards on 26-of-48 passing, threw his only interception of the game to give NMSU the ball at the Idaho 44.

Up stepped the defense to force a three-and-out and return the ball to the Vandals. Idaho stalled again, though, and it was the Aggies scoring first on Tyler Stamper's 42-yard field goal on NMSU's next possession. Farquhar knotted the game at 3 when he booted a 39-yarder on the Vandals' next possession.

The Vandals took advantage of a muffed punt two series later. After Justin Parkins recovered the ball at the NMSU 35, Blackman found Najee Lovett past the defense and just a stride out of the end zone with a 35-yarder for Idaho's first TD and a 10-3 lead with 2:37 left in the first.

Both teams added a touchdown in the second – Idaho's was a 17-yard pass from Blackman to Jahrie  Level, but what set the emotional tone for the Vandals as they headed into the locker room for the halftime break was Farquhar's booming 55-yarder as time expired in the second quarter. The kick, the second-longest of Farquhar's career, put the Vandals up 20-10.

"He's accountable. I have great confidence in him," Akey said.

As for Farquhar, who meet Olympic gold medalist Kristin Armstrong Friday afternoon and was the recipient of a good luck rub of her gold medal on his kicking foot, he said he was "just doing my job."

Farquhar accounted for all of the Vandals' second-half scoring with a 32-yarder with 8:35 to go in the third and a 53-yarder with 1:55 to left in the third.

Blackman made use of nine receivers with Jahrie Level leading the way with eight for 92 yards and Mike Scott accounting for 78 yards on three catches. And kudos to the offensive line, which, for the second time this season, didn't allow a sack.

Defensively, hard-hitting Gary Walker had 13 tackles along with two pass breakups, and Su`a Tuala added 12 tackles, which includes two of the Vandals' seven tackles for loss. Homer Mauga and Tracy Carter each had one interception with Ryan Edwards joining Parkins in recovering a fumble.

"It's been several months since we've been able to celebrate after a game," Akey said. "I'm happy as could be for them."

  • College SportsCollegeMore>>

  • WSU Football Announces Practice Schedule

    WSU Football Announces Practice Schedule

    Washington State University Head Football Coach Mike Leach and the Cougar football team open fall camp Saturday, Aug. 2, with an 2:30 p.m. practice at Sacajawea Middle School in Lewiston, Idaho.>>
    Washington State University Head Football Coach Mike Leach and the Cougar football team open fall camp Saturday, Aug. 2, with an 2:30 p.m. practice at Sacajawea Middle School in Lewiston, Idaho.>>
  • EWU Football Adds Texas Tech Clash In 2017

    EWU Football Adds Texas Tech Clash In 2017

    Eastern Washington University head football coach Beau Baldwin will forever remember his first trip to Lubbock, Texas, and now his Eagles will make a second trip to play at Texas Tech on Sept. 2, 2017 in an announcement made jointly by the two schools...>>
    Eastern Washington University head football coach Beau Baldwin will forever remember his first trip to Lubbock, Texas, and now his Eagles will make a second trip to play at Texas Tech on Sept. 2, 2017 in an announcement made jointly by the two schools...
    >>
  • Pippins Cruise Past Walla Walla, 12-2

    Pippins Cruise Past Walla Walla, 12-2

    After narrowly holding on for an 8-7 victory Tuesday night in Walla Walla, the Yakima Valley Pippins found themselves in a much more comfortable game Wednesday night, scoring eight runs the first three innings to take a 12-2 win over the Sweets.>>
    After narrowly holding on for an 8-7 victory Tuesday night in Walla Walla, the Yakima Valley Pippins found themselves in a much more comfortable game Wednesday night, scoring eight runs the first three innings to take a 12-2 win over the Sweets.>>
  • IdahoIdahoMore>>

  • Petrino Boots Epps From Vandal Football Team

    Petrino Boots Epps From Vandal Football Team

    Sunday, July 20 2014 11:03 PM EDT2014-07-21 03:03:02 GMT
    University of Idaho football coach Paul Petrino Sunday today the dismissal of senior wide receiver Dezmon Epps from the Vandal football team.>>
    University of Idaho football coach Paul Petrino Sunday today the dismissal of senior wide receiver Dezmon Epps from the Vandal football team.>>
  • Idaho Football Picked 9th in Sun Belt

    Idaho Football Picked 9th in Sun Belt

    The University of Idaho was chosen ninth in the Sun Belt Conference’s preseason coaches’ poll.>>
    The University of Idaho was chosen ninth in the Sun Belt Conference’s preseason coaches’ poll.
    >>
  • Former Idaho Star Charlston Signs Pro Contract

    Former Idaho Star Charlston Signs Pro Contract

    Alyssa Charlston and the Idaho Vandals women defeated Chicago State to advance to the WAC Tournament Semifinals.Alyssa Charlston and the Idaho Vandals women defeated Chicago State to advance to the WAC Tournament Semifinals.
    Former women’s basketball standout, Alyssa Charlston, will continue her basketball career in Europe after signing her first professional contract. Charlston will join Amicale Steinsel, located in Steinsel, Luxembourg. >>
    Former women’s basketball standout, Alyssa Charlston, will continue her basketball career in Europe after signing her first professional contract. Charlston will join Amicale Steinsel, located in Steinsel, Luxembourg. >>