Tag Archives: Humanitarian Bowl

Butch Otter proclaims Idaho Vandals Football Day

16 Jan

In celebration of Idaho’s spectacular Humanitarian Bowl victory, Gov. Butch Otter came to Moscow yesterday to unveil a proclamation making Jan. 23 “Idaho Vandals Football Day” throughout the state of Idaho. We were there, and have complete video coverage:

We also talked with coach Robb Akey about using the momentum from the bowl win to establish a positive direction for the program.

Finally, University of Idaho president Duane Nellis on the interplay between athletics and academics.

Good Afternoon Vandal Nation: Morning-After-H-Bowl Edition

31 Dec

BOISE — The snow is falling again on the Treasure Valley, and we’re at the Boise Airport waiting for our flight home after a wonderful weekend for Vandal sports.

To recap:

There’s news and notes aplenty, so let’s get right to them.

  • Reporters and pundits across the country are calling the Humanitarian Bowl one of the best games of the year. As CNATI.com’s C. Trent Rosecrans wrote, “The Humanitarian Bowl: exactly why I’ll never complain about too many bowl games.”

Idaho’s ‘Cardiac Kids’ find gold on Humanitarian Bowl’s blue turf

30 Dec

BOISE — For Idaho, the calculus was simple: 28 seconds to go 66 yards for a Humanitarian Bowl-tying seven points. Either that, or make the long drive back to Moscow as losers.

But the Vandals, who were picked last in the Western Athletic Conference but stunned the football world by making their first bowl in a decade, redid the math.

The result is destined to be remembered as one of the greatest games in Idaho football history.

With just eight seconds to play, quarterback Nathan Enderle found Max Komar in the end zone from 16 yards out, and the Vandals’ leading wideout made a diving catch — his first of the night — for the score. Bring out Trey Farquhar, kick the extra point to tie and head for overtime, right?

Wrong.

Coach Robb Akey asked his players what they wanted to do. The unanimous decision? Go for two.

“If my players have confidence in the play, they’re going to make it work,” Akey said. “Why make everybody wait for overtime? Let’s get it done.”

They did.

Enderle took the snap, rolled left and spotted Preston Davis back by the goalpost. The veteran shot-caller heaved a strike across the middle, straight at the sophomore wideout.

Catch. Score. Wild celebration. Penalty flags. A streaker. Pandemonium.

Four seconds and a stuffed kickoff return later, a Vandal team dubbed the “Cardiac Kids” for their last-minute heroics became the 2009 Roady’s Humanitarian Bowl champions, defeating Bowling Green by the final score of 43-42. Idaho finishes the 2009 season with an 8-5 record.

The triumph is only the second bowl win in the history of the University of Idaho, following a 1998 victory over Southern Mississippi — also in the Humanitarian Bowl.

Many of the 26,726 fans in attendance — a heavily partisan Idaho crowd — charged the Bronco Stadium field to celebrate a comeback victory capping a comeback season. Defensive end Aaron Lavarias summed up the feeling for a team, a university and the long-suffering Vandal Nation.

“This is destiny,” he said. “Playing in our state’s capital in a stadium filled with Vandals, we were born to win this game.”

But they almost didn’t.

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Humanitarian Bowl postgame interviews

30 Dec

BOISE — We’ll consolidate our many, many Humanitarian Bowl postgame interviews with Idaho Vandals players and coaches in this post. This will be frequently updated as the night progresses and more get uploaded.

Robb Akey:

Max Komar:

Brian Reader:

Aaron Lavarias:

Shiloh Keo, Jeromy Jones and Preston Davis:

Nathan Enderle, Shiloh Keo, Mike Iupati and JoJo Dickson:

JoJo Dickson:

Miracle in Boise: Idaho 43, Bowling Green 42

30 Dec

BOISE — Unreal.

Your Idaho Vandals are the 2009 Roady’s Humanitarian Bowl champions, defeating Bowling Green tonight in Bronco Stadium by the final score of 43-42.

The Vandals trailed by seven points with 32 seconds remaining, but put together a 66-yard, 28-second drive capped off by Max Komar’s first catch of the night — a diving completion in the end zone for the potentially-tying score.

Then the miracle: Idaho went for two.

Quarterback Nathan Enderle stepped back and tossed a strike to a wide-open Preston Davis in the back of the end zone — and there was pandemonium.

Fans stormed the field after the final whistle, as Idaho capped off a remarkable comeback season with its first bowl win since 1998.

More coming shortly.

Vandal Football Gameday: Humanitarian Bowl

30 Dec

BOISE — In a snow-covered Treasure Valley, we’re just about six hours away from Idaho’s second-ever bowl game. The Vandals will take on the Bowling Green Falcons in the Roady’s Humanitarian Bowl at 2:30 p.m. Mountain Time, and we’ll be right there in Bronco Stadium with the call.

After the best season in a decade, Akey’s Army wants to prove its early success was no fluke, and uphold conference pride by becoming the first Western Athletic Conference team to win a bowl game this season.

Vandal Nation Live will have all the action for you, with pregame coverage starting at 1 p.m. Pacific, 2 Mountain. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Pacific/2:30 Mountain. We’ll have scoring updates on the Vandal Nation Twitter as well.

Click here for Vandal Nation Live: The Humanitarian Bowl!

Pregame Roundup

  • Merlin Verlin’s Vandals got the bowl festivities off to a great start with a 19-point victory over Lewis-Clark State in front of 4,111 fans in Qwest Arena last night. We’ve got the game story, and Sandra Kelly of the Moscow-Pullman Daily News chimes in with her take.
  • Kelly also says to expect fireworks when the Vandals and the Falcons clash today.
  • Sports Illustrated writer Bill Trocchi breaks down the H-Bowl, predicting a 3-point Bowling Green victory in a no-defense shootout.

Blowout in Boise sends Idaho into WAC play on a high note

29 Dec

Marvin Jefferson throws down a highlight-reel jam against Lewis-Clark State.

BOISE — With the Qwest Arena clock reading 38.0, the Vandals’ Travis Blackstock grabbed a feed on the wing and launched a contested midrange jumper that didn’t seem to have a prayer.

His shot caught nothing but net.

The 4,111 fans in attendance exploded in cheers and applause for the beloved walk-on forward from nearby Kuna, as Blackstock put an exclamation point on a night that was all Idaho from start to finish. The Vandals rolled Lewis-Clark State, 71-52, in a neutral-court non-conference game that was never as close as its score would indicate. The contest was held as part of festivities for tomorrow’s Humanitarian Bowl.

Idaho, which improved to 7-4 on the eve of Western Athletic Conference play, was led by a strong showing from floor general Mac Hopson, who posted his first double-double of the season with 15 points and 10 rebounds on 4-10 shooting and 5-for-7 from the charity stripe. The Vandals outrebounded the Warriors, 42-32, and shot 50 percent for the game, 35 percent from beyond the arc.

“It’s always good to get a win, but in this great environment in front of a packed house, this was something special,” coach Don Verlin said. “I thought we played pretty well at times, especially defensively, and we rebounded the basketball well which is a real key.”

A near-NBA-range 3-pointer from Hopson sparked a crowd-pleasing 18-0 Vandal run early in the first half that put a quick end to any thoughts of a Warrior upset. The streak was punctuated by a two-handed fastbreak slam from Marvin Jefferson, who took a beautifully-placed feed from Steffan Johnson and jammed it home. LCSC coach Tim Walker called a timeout, but Idaho would score five more out of the break before giving up a bucket.

“I talked to Coach (Verlin) after the last couple games, he said I should try to be more aggressive about attacking the lane rather than settling for threes, and that’s what I did tonight,” Johnson said. “I have to keep developing my game week in and week out.”

Unlike Idaho’s last game against an NAIA foe, there was to be no miracle second-half comeback from the underdog this time. The period featured sloppy play all around, as LCSC was whistled for 7 fouls in the first 4 minutes while Idaho missed four of its first five shots.

After being down by as many as 20, the Warriors managed to cut the lead to 13 points with just under 7 minutes to play, backed by six straight points from forward Alex King. But they’d get no closer, as Vandal long-ball specialist Luciano de Souza drilled a dagger from downtown with five minutes left, snapping the run and putting paid to LCSC’s miracle hopes.

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