Tag Archives: Max Komar

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?


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.

Continue reading

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.

Good Afternoon Vandal Nation: Dec. 7, 2009

7 Dec

History was made last night in Memorial Gym, as the Vandal men knocked off #25 Portland and football coach Robb Akey stepped to the floor at halftime and announced Idaho’s acceptance of a berth in the 2009 Humanitarian Bowl. It’s been a banner year for Idaho sports already, and we’re just at the halfway mark.

Here’s the links for today:


  • The New Mexico State Aggies are having an awful season, just 1-5 against Division I opponents and staring down the barrel of two tough road games. Jason Groves of the Las Cruces Sun-News looks at the Aggies’ total lack of offense.


Kaepernick’s Pistol barrage guns down Idaho

24 Oct

RENO, Nev. — Colin Kaepernick and Nevada shot up Idaho today, as the Vandals simply couldn’t find an answer to the Wolf Pack’s potent Pistol offense.

Idaho was routed, 70-45, by a Nevada squad that put on a 662-yard offensive show for its Homecoming crowd in Mackay Stadium.

The Wolf Pack (4-3, 3-0 WAC) scored early and often, jumping out to a 21-0 lead with nearly 14 minutes left in the first half. Nevada took it to the house four times on plays of 35 yards or longer, including an 89-yard dash by running back Vai Taua.

“Speaking for the defense, we just got outplayed,” defensive end Aaron Lavarias admitted. “We can’t give up 70 points and expect our offense to take care of it.”

Idaho (6-2, 3-1 WAC) tried mightily to make a game of it, racking up 24 points in the second quarter. Quarterback Nathan Enderle tossed a pair of 73-yard touchdown passes to Maurice Shaw, bookending a 59-yard touchdown run by Deonte Jackson.

The period was capped off by a career-long 54-yard field goal from Trey Farquhar. That kick put Farquhar third on the Vandals’ all-time longest FG list and left Idaho trailing Nevada by just four points, 28-24, at halftime.

Vandal wide receiver Max Komar, who pulled down a career-high three touchdown passes to go with 136 yards, said Enderle went to a no-huddle offense that picked apart the Wolf Pack’s porous secondary.

“Just like what we did to Colorado State, our two-minute drill caught them off-guard,” Komar said.

Idaho’s onside kick attempt to open the second half went awry, giving the Wolf Pack a short field. Even then, the Vandal defense appeared to have made a crucial stand in holding Nevada to a fourth-and-7 at the Idaho 35.

But in a city of casinos, coach Chris Ault went all-in. Instead of settling for a field goal, Kaepernick kept the ball and scampered through a shattered Idaho defense into the end zone. His 35-yard touchdown run put the Wolf Pack up by 11 and Idaho would never threaten again.

“We had some momentum and (the onside kick) was something I felt would give us the chance to win,” Idaho coach Robb Akey said. “We were being aggressive. If I want the players to attack, I have to be just as aggressive.”

That score by Kaepernick was the first of seven consecutive touchdowns Nevada would score on a demoralized Vandal defense. The Pack’s speedy quarterback finished the game with 230 yards and four touchdowns on the ground and 178 yards and two more scores through the air.

“As a defense, we needed to take care of No. 10 (Kaepernick),” Akey said. “It looked to me like No. 10 could have been a Heisman Trophy winner today, he played his tail off and my hat’s off to him. He outplayed us.”

The Vandals’ defensive weaknesses were ruthlessly exposed throughout the game. Kaepernick and Taua were routinely able to pick up five or more yards on first down, as the Pistol’s misdirection befuddled Idaho’s front line. A flurry of missed tackles only compounded the misery for a Vandal defensive unit that had been ranked second in the Western Athletic Conference against the run.

“We didn’t tackle (Kaepernick), we didn’t tackle Taua, we had Nevada backed up and they run an iso play 900 yards for a touchdown,” Akey said.

Though the loss dropped Idaho out of the WAC lead, Akey was unbowed and even defiant. He reminded the assembled press of how far the Vandals have already come this season, in a turnaround that has sportswriters across the nation talking about the third-year coach as a Coach of the Year candidate.

“There is everything still to play for and this football team can still accomplish everything we want to,” Akey said. “If we win the rest of our football games we still have a chance to be WAC champions. Everyone out there, you all told us we didn’t have a chance to do that. You all didn’t give us a chance to win any of these games.”

Komar echoed Akey’s words.

“We can’t let this ruin our season,” Komar said. “We’re still 6-2, Vandal Nation hasn’t seen a 6-2 team in so long and we’re not going to give up. Tomorrow we’ll watch film, see what we did wrong and put this game behind us.”

Cornerback Isaac Butts went down clutching his leg while trying to chase down Taua’s first-quarter touchdown run, and did not return to the game. Akey said he suffered a hamstring injury that may keep him out for an extended period.

“It doesn’t look good,” Akey said. “I’m concerned about next week.”

The Vandals return to Moscow tonight, where they’ll play three of their final four games. On Saturday, Louisiana Tech will visit the Kibbie Dome for Idaho’s Homecoming. Kickoff is scheduled for 2 p.m.