Idaho football shows life, but falters in fourth against Arkansas State

Idaho cuts deficit to seven before kickoff return kills chance at comeback win.

STAFF AND WIRE REPORTSOctober 13, 2013 

JONESBORO, Ark. — Adam Kennedy passed for 375 yards and four touchdowns to drive Arkansas State to a 48-24 homecoming win over Idaho on Saturday night.

The Red Wolves (3-3) dominated the game, taking the lead with an 80-yard touchdown strike from Kennedy to Julian Jones on its opening possession and never losing it. Kennedy also found J.D. McKissic for a 13-yard TD pass, and Darion Griswold for 13- and 1-yard touchdown throws.

“It’s still a process,” Idaho coach Paul Petrino said. “We have to be a lot more consistent; keep improving.”

The Vandals (1-6) trailed 31-7 early in the third quarter, then started cutting into the deficit behind James Baker and Taylor Davis, who entered the game at quarterback after Chad Chalich left with a shoulder injury in the first quarter.

Austin Rehkow hit a 28-yard field goal with 7 minutes, 9 seconds left in the third, then a Trey Williams interception led to a 15-yard scoring connection from Davis to Dezmon Epps with 4:09 remaining. Baker scored on a 1-yard run 38 seconds into the fourth, and the gap was down to seven.

McKissic sealed Idaho’s fate on the ensuing kickoff, returning it 98 yards for ASU’s first such touchdown since 2001 and a two-score lead. A Brian Davis 21-yard field goal and a 3-yard David Oku TD run provided the final margin.

“That kick returned killed us,” Petrino said. “That’s my fault for kicking to (McKissic).”

Taylor Davis finished 14-of-39 for 199 yards and an interception, and Baker had a career-high 150 yards on 23 carries.

“James had a good game,” Petrino said. “He did some good things for us. We have to keep building on that.”

The extent of Chalich’s injury is unknown.

“I’m going to wait (to comment) until I hear from the doctors,” Petrino said.

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