Welcome to the history books, Hayden Hatten.
The redshirt sophomore etched his name among the Vandal greats when he hauled in four scores during the first half of a conference showdown with Eastern Washington on Saturday afternoon. The effort not only tied a school record for scoring receptions in a single game, but it also propelled No. 15 Idaho to a 48-16 victory over its northern neighbor in front of a crowd of 11,811 at the Kibbie Dome.
“He had four touchdowns in the first half, and he had three in the second half last week,” coach Jason Eck said following the win. “To have a guy have seven touchdowns in four consecutive quarters—I’ve never seen anything like that.”
The Vandals improved to 6-3 overall and 5-1 in Big Sky play with the victory, while the Eagles fell to 2-7 on the year and 1-5 against conference foes.
After the matchup, Eck lugged the recently unearthed Governor’s Cup into the media room for his postgame interview. The traveling trophy—previously awarded to the annual winner of the regional rivalry until Idaho’s departure to the Big West Conference in 1998—had a patch of athletic tape placed over the former title, with the nickname “Che-Scow Cup” scrawled in Sharpie as a temporary rebrand for the award.
The traveling trophy is the second retained by the Vandals during Eck’s first year at the helm, with the squad already in possession of the Little Brown Stein following an upset victory over Montana earlier in the season.
“I love traveling trophies,” Eck said in a prior interview with The Spokesman-Review after his team hoisted the iconic beer mug. “To me, traveling trophies are a college football tradition. You don’t see those in the NFL or in college basketball.”
On a day when Hatten stole the spotlight, the Vandal ground game quietly bulldozed the Eagles defense for 308 yards, led by two touchdowns from Roshaun Johnson and a career 128-yard effort from tailback Elisha Cummings. The offensive line also prevented quarterback Gevani McCoy from hitting the turf for a sack during the matchup, as the redshirt freshman picked apart the opposing secondary for 218 yards on 16-of-26 passing and four scores.
In the postgame press conference, Hatten said he knew he had tied the school record during the game and was hoping to snag a fifth before the final whistle. “I had one opportunity that I will probably be thinking about later tonight,” he admitted to reporters.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Idaho line held strong and only surrendered 36 yards to the Eastern Washington backfield. Fa’Avae Fa’Avae and Jeremiah Salaam tallied five solo tackles apiece, while sophomore Kemari Bailey notched the lone sack of the day.
The only bright spots for the Eagles were a pair of big passing plays by quarterback Gunner Talkington—an 87-yard strike to Nolam Ulm and a 75-yard toss to Freddie Roberson. Even though the Eastern Washington secondary snagged a couple interceptions, the visitors were otherwise dominated from the opening kickoff as Idaho avenged last year’s beatdown in Cheney.
LOOKING AHEAD: The Vandals host UC Davis next weekend after the latter’s 43-3 drubbing of Idaho State. The Aggies are 5-4 overall and currently sit fifth in the Big Sky rankings with a 4-2 showing against conference foes.
AROUND THE LEAGUE:
No. 2 Sacramento State 33, Weber State 30
No. 3 Montana State 41, Northern Arizona 38
No. 16 Montana 57, Cal Poly 0
UC Davis 43, Idaho State 3
Portland State 35, Northern Colorado 21
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