Fumbling one away

Barring a complete collapse by several of the top teams in the Big Sky Conference, the Vikings are no longer contenders in the conference title picture.

Barring a complete collapse by several of the top teams in the Big Sky Conference, the Vikings are no longer contenders in the conference title picture.

After a promising start to conference play that included beating Sacramento State in a late-game thriller and victory over a stellar Eastern Washington team, Portland State (2-5, 2-2) dropped its second straight Big Sky game to Idaho State Saturday, and currently sits in fifth place in the conference.

Head coach Jerry Glanville was dejected by the loss and the Vikings’ unmotivated play. He plans to turn his team’s efforts around quickly.

“For the first time, I wasn’t proud of myself or the product,” Glanville said. “We’ll work harder these next few days. We have to re-dedicate ourselves.”

The Vikings’ 13-3 halftime lead vanished without a trace, as the Bengals came from behind to demolish the Vikings 38-20. A high dosage of sacks, turnovers and missed tackles helped lowly Idaho State improve to a 3-4 overall record and 2-3 in the Big Sky.

The Vikings started out on a hot streak, which included a 30-yard interception return for a touchdown by junior linebacker KJ McCrae. But as the game wore on, Portland State completely came apart.

Senior quarterback Brian White and junior fullback Ronnie Fa’avae committed fumbles on consecutive drives early in the third quarter. Both fumbles were returned for touchdowns, putting the Bengals ahead 17-13.

“We responded poorly when they returned those two fumbles,” Glanville said. “It was all mental. You have to be able to function after getting a stick in the eye.”

The first fumble would be taken 65 yards by Idaho States defensive tackle Micah Cloward and the second snatched up by linebacker Sterling Mennear, who took it 76 yards to give the Bengals a command on the game. Idaho State would then tack on two offensive touchdowns on their next two drives for an insurmountable 31-13 lead.

Two turnovers, three sacks and four Idaho State touchdowns, all in the third quarter, completely killed any momentum the Vikings would have had coming into the second half.

“It was the first time (this season) we took a step backwards offensively,” said offensive coordinator Darrell “Mouse” Davis. “They were trying to give the game to us, we just didn’t take it. It was ugly.”

The Vikings defense had one of its better efforts, knocking the quarterback to the ground for six sacks, snagging three interceptions and holding a the Bengals’ passing game to only 138 yards on 11 receptions.

Both Portland State and Idaho State would put up one more touchdown each with the game out of reach, but the third quarter collapse proved too much for the Vikings to recover from. The Viking offense turned the ball over six times on the day and scored only one touchdown on four trips into the red zone.

“We are all obviously disappointed that now there is no possibility of a playoff game,” Davis said. “Each loss hurts the same as the next. It’s why winning is so sweet.”

The loss overshadowed a solid effort from senior full back Olaniyi Sobomehin, who rushed for a season-high 143 yards, marking his second 100-yard plus rushing game. He is seventh in the Big Sky for rushing yards per game, averaging 69.6 yards per contest.

Senior wide receiver Tremayne Kirkland caught six passes for 84 yards and continues to be an offensive threat. He currently sits in second in the Big Sky for receiving yards per game with 89.7 yards and third in receptions per game with seven.



The number of unanswered points Idaho State rattled off in a span of more than 20 minutes after the Vikings jumped out to a 13-0 lead.


Portland State’s total fumbles on the afternoon. Fortunately for the Vikings, only five were actually lost.


More total offensive yards Portland State had than the Bengals. The Vikings compiled 409 yards of total offense, while Idaho State only accrued 306 yards.


The number of offensive plays the Vikings had on Saturday, which is 19 more than Idaho State’s 63.


Sacks for the Bengals on Portland State quarterbacks. This season the Vikings have allowed 40 sacks through seven games, the most of any Big Sky school.


Disparity between Portland State and the nearest Big Sky squad in sacks allowed. Northern Colorado, who has allowed the second most in the conference, has allowed 18 through eight games.