In lightning-delayed game, Utah State rides big second half in 48-24 win over UND

UND led 21-7 after one quarter but it was all Aggies after that.

UND wide receiver Brock Boltmann breaks into the open in the first quarter against Utah State in Logan, Utah, on Sept. 10, 2021. Photo by Wade Denniston/Utah State Athletics.

LOGAN, Utah. -- The Utah State student section was rewarded late Friday night.

They didn't leave Maverik Stadium during a lightning pause. They sang ACDC's Thunderstruck through a downpour. They didn't scare off during a pregame power outage.

They definitely didn't hit the exits when the visitors led 21-7 after the first quarter.

In turn, the Aggies' faithful was rewarded with plenty to cheer about in three quarters of domination during a 48-24 win over the North Dakota Fighting Hawks.

The game, scheduled for an 8 p.m. kickoff, started about 90 minutes after it was scheduled to start because of the lightning and then a brief power outage.


Announced attendance was 18,124, with a strong percentage of that crowd coming from the student section for the home opener as the Aggies improved to 2-0 for the first time since 2012.

Utah State quarterback Logan Bonner threw for 390 yards and four touchdowns, as the Fighting Hawks couldn't hold on to any early momentum.

"They line up fast," said UND cornerback C.J. Siegel, who had a third-quarter interception. "It was tough to get lined up when they want to snap it when the play clock starts."

Otis Weah, a Walter Payton Award finalist in the spring, finished with just 17 carries for 47 yards and didn't score a rushing touchdown for the first time in his young career.

Weah's lowest rushing output in the spring was a 64-yard performance against Missouri State.

"They showed us some different stuff that made it challenging for us," UND coach Bubba Schweigert said. "We have to be able to get him going."

Tommy Schuster threw for a career-high 348 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. Schuster was 29-for-43 passing.

"As receivers, we did a decent job in the first half," UND wide receiver Garett Maag said. "In the second half, we just have to make more plays."


Maag five passes for 81 yards, while Luke Skokna had six catches for 77 yards. Bo Belquist, playing in his first game of the season, had five catches for 51 yards.

UND’s first quarter featured three touchdown passes from three different quarterbacks.

The Hawks went to a trick play to punch in their first score. Once in the red zone, UND backup quarterback Quincy Vaughn entered the game and faked a run to the left before pitching a reverse to Brock Boltmann, who countered with a 13-yard pass to Belquist.

UND would then take a 14-7 lead on its second drive of the game. The drive was finished off when Schuster found tight end Adam Zavalney over the middle for a 12-yard score.

Zavalney, a sophomore from Park River, N.D., now has five career touchdown catches and two this season.

UND took a 21-7 lead late in the first quarter when Vaughn entered the game again near the goal line. Vaughn faked a run, bootlegged out to his right and found Grand Forks native Tyler Burian for his first career touchdown. Burian had to dive with full extension to haul in the score.

The second quarter wasn’t as kind to the Fighting Hawks. Utah State kicker Connor Coles connected on field goals of 26 and 37 yards, while Bonner hit Derek Wright for a 4-yard touchdown pass with 1:55 to halftime to make it 21-20 UND.

Adam Stage's 29-yard field goal in the third quarter to give UND a 24-20 lead was the Hawks' only points of the second half.


Utah State added three fourth-quarter touchdowns -- a 2-yard Calvin Tyler Jr. on fourth down, a 41-yard Derek Wright catch and a 59-yard run by backup quarterback Andrew Peasley.

"It's a long season ahead," Maag said. "I think we'll be alright."

Miller has covered sports at the Grand Forks Herald since 2004 and was the state sportswriter of the year in 2019 and 2022.

His primary beat is UND football but also reports on a variety of UND sports and local preps.

He can be reached at (701) 780-1121, or on Twitter at @tommillergf.
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