Portland State suffered yet another loss in college football Saturday, Oct. 29, this time against Big Sky conference foe the University of Northern Colorado Bears.
Both teams got off to a slow start as they remained scoreless for the majority of the first quarter. Bears kicker Jamie Falloon kicked a 24-yard field goal to put the first points of the game on the board, giving UNC a 3-0 lead with 7:06 left in the first quarter. Viks quarterback Alex Kuresa then scored the first touchdown of the game on a 3-yard run to give Portland State a 3-7 lead with 44 seconds to spare.
Both teams would go back and forth in the second quarter, each scoring touchdowns. The Viks had the momentum as they extended their lead to 11 after Kuresa found tight end Maximo Espitia for a 22-yard touchdown. The Bear’s Falloon made a 32-yard field goal as time expired in the half to cut the lead to eight.
UNC came out of the halftime break and quickly put points on the board. Bears quarterback Kyle Sloter found wide receiver Alex Wesley for a 5-yard touchdown. The Viks didn’t hesitate to answer as running back Za’Quan Summers took it to the house for 69-yards to take the lead. UNC scored two unanswered touchdowns to take their only lead since the first quarter.
The Viks fought hard in the fourth quarter, battling to keep up with the Bears. Kuresa found wide receiver Austin Holman for a 10-yard touchdown pass to tie the score with 1:12 left in the game. The Bears failed to score, sending the game into overtime.
In overtime, UNC got the ball first and scored quickly as running back Brandon Cartagena took it to the house on a 10-yard rush. On third down, Kuresa would find receiver Josh Kraght for an apparent touchdown, but the play went under further review and was overturned due to false possession.
“I thought he scored,” Viks head coach Bruce Barnum said. “I was confused. I thought the refs were reviewing the spot of the catch.”
The overturned call brought a fourth-and-goal situation for PSU. Kuresa threw the ball to teammate Paris Penn but he wasn’t able to haul it in, resulting in an incomplete pass. The Bears won in overtime 56–49.
Bears quarterback Kyle Sloter finished the day completing 20–31 attempts, accumulating 311 total yards and three touchdowns. Running back Brandon Cartagena finished with eight rushes for 85 yards and three touchdowns. Wide receiver Stephen Miller finished with seven catches for 143 yards.
For the Viks, Kuresa finished the day 11–22 for 178 passing yards, 22 carries totaling 130 yards, four total touchdowns, and one interception. Za’Quan Summers had 10 rushes totaling 122 yards and one touchdown in his Viking debut game.
Portland State travels to Davis, CA next week to take on the UC Davis Aggies 4 p.m. on Nov. 5.