Reno Gazette-Journal from Reno, Nevada on November 13, 1987 · Page 29
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Reno Gazette-Journal from Reno, Nevada · Page 29

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Reno, Nevada
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Friday, November 13, 1987
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Page 29
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f? s Big Sky Conference football Friday, November 13, 1987 Reno Gazette-Journal 3B PAUL BAUMAN Montana plays like league's best The best football team in the Big Sky Conference right now might not be Idaho, Weber State or Northern Arizona. Montana has defeated Idaho State and Montana State by a combined score of 118-7 in the past two weeks. Granted, Idaho State is 2-6-1, and Montana State is 1-9. "It was the first game all year we got physically beat up," said Idaho State head coach Jim Koetter. "I think Montana is the best football team we've played this year." Idaho State defeated league-leader Idaho, 30-21, at Pocatello Oct. 3 and lost to Northern Arizona, 32-23, at Pocatello Oct. 24. Idaho, 6-1 in the Big Sky and 8-2 overall, is ranked No. 6 in NCAA Division I-AA. Northern Arizona, 4-2 and 7-2, is ranked No. 16. Idaho State will end the season at home Nov. 21 against 12th-ranked Weber State, 5-1 and 7-2. Montana's problem is that it lost to Idaho, 31-25, at Moscow, Idaho, Oct. 10 and to Weber State, 29-26, Oct. 24 at Missoula, Mont. The Grizzlies are 4-3 in the Big Sky and 5-4 overall. "NAU was not better than we were," said Montana sports information director Dave Guffey. "Our quarterback (redshirt freshman Scott Waak) was inept. He had guys wide open all day. . . . "I'd like to play NAU again. Idaho with (quarterback John) Friesz was awfully good. Weber got a little lucky against us. We threw a touchdown bomb with five minutes to go, and the kid catches it in the end zone, but we had an ineligible receiver downfield. Two plays later, Weber intercepts a pass and scores two plays later. I'd like to play them again, too." After losing its first two games (to Division II Portland State and Northern Arizona), Montana has won five of its last seven games and three of its last four. As usual in the Big Sky, a victory over the University of Nevada-Reno propelled another team. The Grizzlies upset top-ranked UNR, 41-29, at Missoula Sept. 26. Montana then defeated fourth-ranked Northern Iowa, 33-16, at the UNI-Dome in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, lost to Idaho and defeated Boise State, 12-3, at Missoula. "A lot of people expected us to be 0-5, if not 0-6, after we lost the first two," Guffey said. "The fact we beat Reno gave us a big boost." Waak engineered Montana's victory over UNR, completing 20 of 28 passes for 249 yards and four touchdowns. It seemed Waak was on his way, but he promptly collapsed. He was ineffective against Northern Iowa, and senior Scott Werbelow replaced him in the second quarter. "He was terrified," Guffey said. "It was homecoming, the place was packed, he had never been there before. ... He was just tight." Waak started against Idaho, but Werbelow entered the game in the third quarter and has started every game since then. Werbelow leads the Big Sky and ranks No. 2 in I-AA in passing efficiency. He has completed 65 percent of his passes for 1,374 yards and 12 touchdowns in seven games. Werbelow continues head coach Don Read's history of success with quarterbacks. He worked with Don Fouts at Oregon, June Jones at Portland State and Brent Pease at Montana. Pease, who had done nothing to speak of beforehand, passed for a school-record 3,056 yards last season under Read. Pease now is a backup quarterback for the Houston Oilers. Even if Montana wins its two remaining games (at Eastern Washington and Division I-A Cal State-Fullerton), the Grizzlies are unlikely to earn an at-large berth in the 16-team I-AA playoffs at 7-4. "I definitely think we're one of the top 20 teams," Guffey said. "Northern Iowa is ranked fifth, and we beat them pretty soundly. We just lost too many games." I can't leave the subject of Montana without mentioning Scott Zanon, who leads the Big Sky in punt returning with a 9.8-yard average. If the name sounds familiar, it should. Zanon was selected to the All-Big Sky Conference basketball second team last season. He ranked fourth in scoring (17.1 points per game) and first in free-throw percentage (84.8), three-point field goals (81-195), assists (5.9 per game) and minutes (35.8 per game). Zanon has completed his basketball eligibility. He is playing football while earning credits toward his degree. Zanon also plans to compete in the decathalon in track and field next spring, Guffey said. Zanon won the Big Sky decathalon championship as a sophomore in 1985. UNR RECORD CHECK: Junior fullback Charvez Foger is tied with Frank Hawkins for career touchdowns with 44. Foger also is tied with Merril Hoge of Idaho State (1983-86) for the Big Sky career touchdown mark. Foger is two points behind Hoge in Big Sky career scoring, 268 points to 266. Paul Bauman is a Gazette-Journal sportswriter whose Big Sky Conference column appears each week during the tootball season. Zendejas canries on family tradition UNR kicker breaks brother's record, NCAA scoring mark By Paul BaumanGazette-Journal Marty Zendejas had two goals as a freshman place-kicker at the University of Nevada-Reno four years ago. All he wanted to do was become the all-time leading scorer in NCAA Division I and break his brother Tony's I-AA mark of 70 career field goals. Nothing much. Zendejas reached both goals two weeks ago against Idaho State. With two games left in his collegiate career, he has 72 career field goals and 380 career points. The first figure breaks the record set by Tony at UNR in 1981-83, and the second figure snaps the Division I mark of 368 points set by Marty and Tony's cousin, Luis Zendejas, at Arizona State in 1981-84. "They were high goals, but they're what kept me going," Marty said. "I've never been able to be satisfied here at UNR. It wasn't enjoyable never to be happy. I don't recommend to anyone else to set goals so high." Brash? Cocky? Not really. When your name is Zendejas, you reach for the top. Marty is one of six Zendejas relatives who have kicked in the National Football League or for a major university. Tony, a member of the Houston Oilers, is tied for the NFL lead in scoring with 49 points (11 of 13 field goals and 16 of 16 extra points). Then there are Marty and Tony's cousins. Max Zendejas is on the roster of the Green Bay Packers, and Luis is a member of the Dallas Cowboys. Joaquin kicked briefly for the New England Patriots years ago, and Alan kicks for Arizona State. Marty can't relax quite yet. "I'm happy, but I also want to finish off the season on a good note above .800 for the season and my career," he said. "Right now, I'm at .800 for my career. I want to stay there." Marty is correct about his field goal percentage, but that's not surprising. He knows all his statistics. If you asked him how many field goals he has made under a full moon, he probably could tell you. Marty leads I-AA with 1.89 field goals per game this season. He has hit 17 of 21 for a percentage of .810, including a 42-yard miss on a bad snap last week against Boise State. Marty's and Tony's career statistics at Weber will play UNR with playoff berth at stake By Quane KenyonAP Idaho has the luxury of being able to sit back this weekend to learn whether it will have a challenger for the Big Sky Conference football championship. Weber State has to win at Nevada-Reno on Saturday to keep alive its bid for the 1987 title, while Idaho is not scheduled this weekend. If the Wildcats beat fading Nevada-Reno, then the Big Sky championship will be up for grabs the following weekend when Idaho plays host to Boise State and Weber State is at Idaho State. In other Big Sky Conference football games this weekend, next to last of the regular season, Northern Arizona is at Boise State, Montana State is at Idaho State and Eastern Washington plays at home against Eastern Washington. Weber can win its first Big Sky title since it shared in a three-way tie in 1968, only if it wins its final two games and Idaho loses to Boise State. Even if Weber State, the Big Sky's surprising team, does not win the Big Sky, it still has a good shot at an NCAA Division I-AA playoff spot, with a 7-2 record heading into the final two games. "Not many people outside the Weber State football team and the Weber State program thought we could make it to the playoffs," said coach Mike Price. "Reno's always a tough game to play. They're a good football team. They haven't been winning. Statistically, they aren't that bad," he said. Weber State has never won at Reno. Price said that's another loser image that his team has to shed. "Again, another rich football tradition at Weber State," he said. jcsL-. vAvi ':;:;( , . f IH : ' ' y V , , ( . ;. : c- v-" , - . - ' ' ' ' - : i . ' ' Z "r? - ' " - . ; , mtf - : ,. ' , , i -. far,iiM.,,..ijjirM.Hi,,i.,,.i,..,f.,:..-.r. . - . J.t.x.a..,- -.-rfSMum, , Lance Iversen Gazette-Journal NCAA'S TOP SCORER: Marty Zendejas, who has scored an NCAA Division I record 380 points and kicked 72 field goals, has carried on the Zendejas tradition at Nevada-Reno. His brother Tony is a former UNR record holder. CAREER SCORING Has scored 380 FIELD GOALS Has kicked 72 field points, breaking NCAA Division I record of goals, breaking Division I-AA record of 70 368 set by cousin Luis Zendejas at Arizona set by brother Tony Zendejas at UNR in State in 1981-84. 1 981 -83. UNR are almost identical. Marty has kicked 72 of 90 field goals (.800) in four years. Tony kicked 70 of 86 (.814) in three years. Marty has a better percentage from 20-29 yards, 30-39 yards and 40-49 yards, but Tony was better from 50-and-beyond. "Field-goal wise, Marty was more accurate than Tony," said UNR head coach Chris Ault, who also coached Tony. "I think Tony was stronger at this time." Tony could not be reached for comment. Marty has not missed a field goal from inside the 40 in two years. That's 26 straight. Also, he never has had a kick blocked at UNR. "It's not so much that I get it up high, but I get it off quick," Zendejas said. Marty said he and Tony talk once a week. "We talk about how we did, stat-wise." How did Tony feel about Marty breaking his record? "He's very happy I did," Marty said. "He always encouraged me to. To him, the records don't mean anything anymore because he's at another level." Marty said he and Tony are not rivals. "Not at all. I've pretty much always looked up to him. I wanted to come close to him. I pretty much did." Zendejas goes back to 1984 to pick his best game for UNR. Zendejas played a key role in UNR's 29-27 victory at Idaho State's Minidome in the Wolf Pack's last game of the season. He made all five of his field-goal attempts, including a 42-yarder with 37 seconds left to give UNR a 22-20 lead. "I had to kick the game-winner, and I was a freshman," Zendejas said. Zendejas also kicked five field goals (in six attempts) in UNR's 36-10 victory at Northern Arizona's Walkup Skydome in 1985. Among them was a career-high 54-yarder. Zendejas will end his collegiate career at Northern Arizona a week from Saturday. He's practically drooling at the prospect. "That dome is probably the best place to kick in America," Zendejas said. "It's the altitude (6,895 feet) and the dome nowhere else does the ball travel so well." Zendejas said he hopes to be selected between the fourth and sixth round in the NFL draft next spring. "I will be grateful to any team that drafts me in the fourth to sixth round," he said. "Every year only one or two kickers make it, if that. Coaches are reluctant to make a change." UNR vs. Weber What's at stake... If Weber State, 5-1 in the Big Sky Conference and 7-2 overall, defeats UNR Saturday at Mackay Stadium, the Wild-rats will remain in the Prlce race for the conference title and Division I-AA playoff spot. Idaho, idle this week, leads the race with a 6-1 mark. Other games Saturday Northern Arizona (7-2) at Boise State (5-4), Montana State (1-9) at Idaho State (2-6-1) and Montana (5-4) at Eastern Washington (4-6). r UAL- UNR tries to plug holes in its kickoff coverage T s-'W V Ault "We have a great opportunity to go to the playoffs with a victory over Reno," Price said. Coach Chris Ault said junior quarterback Jim Zaccheo will start Saturday, the final home game of the season for the Wolf Pack, 4-5 overall and 3-3 in Big Sky. Sophomore Andy Genasci started last week against Boise State but was pulled after missing four straight passes. "Andy is just not ready," Ault said. "Zac will finish out the season, with Andy behind him. If Zac is not moving the team, Andy goes in. If Andy moves the team, he stays in." Montana has scored 118 points in its last two games, but coach Don Read said he's worried about playing Eastern Washington on its field. "They don't tend to lose at home," he said. By Paul BaumanGazette-Journal By Chris Ault's own admission, kickoff coverage is one of the simplest things to do in football. Not for the University of Nevada-Reno, though. Every kickoff is an adventure for the Wolf Pack. "It's a courage thing," said Ault, UNR's head coach. "You go down, seek out the ball and destroy it. We're not doing that." UNR has been plagued by poor kickoff coverage for years, but never more so than in the Wolf Pack's 36-31 loss to Boise State Saturday at Mackay Stadium. Boise State's average field position after six UNR kickoffs (including an on-side kick late in the game) was the Bronco 48-yard line. The Broncos capitalized for 30 points. "We're trying to get downfield so fast that we're out of control," Ault said. "People can't stop fast enough to make the tackle." Ault said Robby Washington's 72-yard return to the UNR 23 at the beginning of the second half was a perfect example. "We had three players within five yards of him, but they were out of control," Ault said. Two members of the kickoff team, starting tight end Tim Wickersham and backup strong safety Gary Spires, missed the Boise State game with injuries. Wickersham (bruised foot) is expected back for Saturday's game against Weber State at Mackay Stadium, but Spires (knee) is out for the season. As it often has in the past, UNR resorted to squib kicks after Washington's long return. That prevented another long return but gave Boise State field position near its 40-yard line. "If it goes through and gets to the return guy, it's a real effective kick," said Ken Mizell, UNR's special teams coach. "The problem is it's a very difficult kick to execute." Kicker Marty Zendejas, the all-time leading scorer in NCAA Division I, also has had trouble kicking deep over the years. His kickoffs consistently have landed near the 10-yard line and sometimes shorter. "I haven't really gotten the opportunity to get consistent," said Zendejas, a senior. "We kick one, we squib one, we kick one, we squib one. I'm confident on field goals, but on kickoffs I can never build my confidence because I never get to do it. . . . It's true that when I've gotten an opportunity to kick off (deep), I haven't done as well as I'd like. ... If I blow one, I go, 'Oh, man. I'm not going to get a chance to redeem myself.' " When asked if he'll make any personnel changes on the kickoff team, Ault said, "We're still looking." He would not mention any names. UNR, however, is changing its philosophy. "We're starting all over this week," Mizell said. "We're reteaching. We're going to kick deep left and make it happen. We won't be so much lane-conscious as (concerned about) getting off blocks and 'squeezing' the football." Big Sky standings UNR statistics BIG SKY STANDINGS Idaho Weber State Nortf Arizona Montana Boise State UNR Idaho State Eastern Washington Montana State Conference W L T Pis OP W 6 10 777 189 B 5 1 0 236 180 7 4 7 0 70S HI 7 4 3 0 734 173 S 3 3 0 189 1 59 S 111 M III 4 7 4 0 171 737 2 2 5 0 1M 737 4 0 7 0 173 256 1 AIIGames LT Pts OP 7 0 7M 244 7 0 314 249 7 0 321 704 4 0 275 159 4 0 279 203 5 I 259 271 4 I 717 359 6 0 717 781 0 197 401 UNR STATISTICS (Nine Games) SCORE BY QUARTERS UNR H 94 77 77-259 (21 1 avo.) Opp 47 41 U 70 - 771 (74laj.) GAME RESULTS (1-1 m kwm, 4-5 over all) UNR 40, E Washington 24 A-3.W9 (A) UNR 34. UC Davis 17 A-15.430 (HI Montana 41. UNR 29 A-1.200 IA) UNLV 24, UNR 19 A-25,584 (A) UNR 31, Montana State 13 A-13,903 (H) Idaho 38, UNR 21 A 15,100 (A) Stephen f. Austin 9, UNR 7. A-14,577 1H) UNR 40. Idaho State 19 A 11.737 (H) Boise State 34, UNR 11 A 11.150 HI Bn Sk Conference gam TEAM STATISTICS UNR Opp First downs 191 171 Rushing 101 48 Passing 71 102 Penalty 12 I Rushing attempts 422 350 Rushing yards gained 7084 1355 Rushing yards lost 290 234 Netrusn yards 1794 1119 Yards per rush 41 3 7 RUSHING YDSGAME 199.4 124.1 Passes attempted 744 303 Passes completed 145 189 Passes had intercepted 11 13 Completion oct 58 9 47 4 Net yards passing 1954 2138 Yards per pass art 7 9 7.1 Yards per comp 13 5 11.1 PASSING Y OSGAME 217.1 717 .4 Total plays 48 453 Total playsgame ' 2 77 4 Total net yards 3750 1757 Yardsperplay 56 50 YARDS PER GAME 416.7 141.9 KkkoH returnsyards 40791 501107 Kicnott return avg 20 0 22 0 Punt returnsyards 24779 1441 Punt return average 9 5 4 4 Punt returnsgame 2 7 16 Int returnsyards 11179 11141 Int return average M 12 1 Int per game 14 12 PumVyards J61479 411668 Punt average 39.7 40.7 Fumbleslost 2211 146 Penaltiesyards 49430 51476 Yards per penalty 8 8 8.8 Penalties per game 5.5 57 Penalty yardsgame 47.8 52.9 Safeties 0 0 3rd down atts made 12267 13959 3rd down percentage 54 9 42 5 Avg. lime of poa. 30 06 29:54 INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS Ruining Art Yds TO Avg Foger 176 940 9 5.3 Floyd 131 514 6 3.9 Zaccheo 76. 187 2 2.5 Williams M 146 0 4 9 Egu 3 13 0 4.3 Seybotd..... 1 3 0 30 Genasci $ 7 0 -2.3 Passing CompAlt Pet Yds TO Int Zaccheo 130710 41 9 1713 10 11 Genasci 1536 41.7 171 1 t Receiving N Yds Avg TO Logan 53 879 15 4 I Floyd 27 349 129 I Egu 20 258 12 9 1 Foger 20 235 111 2 D Davis 14 147 119 0 Pavilions; t 66 110 0 Williams 1 14 7.0 0 Wickersham J 14 70 0 Claiborne 1 27 72.0 0 Scoring TD FG XP Pts Zendein 0 17 26 77 Foger II 0 1 61 Logan 0 0 41 Floyd 7 0 0 42 Zaccheo J 0 0 12 Egu 1 0 0 I Ellison 1 0 0 I Puntmg No Yds Avg Duran 79 1195 41.2 Pavilionis 7 234 33 4 Field Goals Made Alt Pet Zendejas 17 21 11.0 Kickoff Returns No Yds Avg TD Williams 36 734 70 4 0 Egu 3 54 18 0 0 Floyd 1 W 10.0 0 Punt Returns No Yds Avg TD Kaskie 12 70 5 1 0 Caleb .. 10 101 101 0 Ellison 1 50 SO 0 1 Nortleet 1 1 1.0 t Interceptions No Yds TD Ellison .. 95 0 Brown S 12 0 Lommori. i 14 0 Kaskie 1 I 0 Tackles UT AT TT Lommori 59 43 102 Brown 53 20 73 Lazovich 32 33 65 Bonsall 38 25 63 SeybUd 30 22 52 J Davis 32 19 51 Ellison 29 16 45 Kaskie. J9 IS 44 Caleb 24 20 44 Nortleet 30 9 39 Hulbert 16 16 32 Armstrong 7 I 15 Belli 7 7 14 Morrow I 4 13 Spires .,7 5 12 Ford 7 1 10 Shipp 7 1 Wickersham 6 3 9 C. Wells 4 3 7 Deeds 4 1 5 Tolliver 3 2 5 McCoy 3 1 4 Floyd 1 ) j Logan 0 1 Greene 10 1 Jo" 0 1 T Wells 1 0 1 Egu 1 1 1 Williams ) , j Pavilions 0 1 1 Sacks i. Davis.. Bonsall.. No Yds Morrow Belli C. Welh Hulbert 42 37 16 15 10 7

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