Xavier Finney heard rumblings of how close he was to breaking the Idaho State career rushing record, but the senior running back was determined to keep his focus on the field.
Finney did just that with his best performance of the season, rushing for 145 yards on 15 carries in a 44-20 loss to Montana State on Saturday afternoon at Holt Arena.
Finney has 3,487 career rushing yards, passing Josh Barnett’s record of 3,408 that was set in 2007. The Bengals (2-8, 1-6 Big Sky) close out their season next Saturday at Weber State.
“It is an honor,” Finney said. “To be in this program four years, and accomplish something like this, is an amazing feeling. I will never forget this moment and I will carry it with me for the rest of my life.
“Winning games and doing my job was the most important thing to me. Now that I have achieved it, it is crazy. It is an insane feeling. It is so surreal. I am so honored and appreciative of this award and record. To do it in front of our fans and my family means the world to me.’’
Said Idaho State coach Mike Kramer: “He’s (Finney) the best running back that’s ever played at this school and he’s got the numbers to prove it.’’
Senior wide receiver Madison Mangum (Timberline High) finished his last home game by catching eight passes for 112 yards. It was his second 100-yard receiving game of the season and his ninth of his three-year career.
The Bengals’ offense tallied 419 yards and Michael Sanders threw for 231 yards and two touchdowns. Idaho State trailed 27-0 at halftime, but scored two third quarter touchdowns. Finney caught a 4-yarder from Sanders and KW Williams scored on a 10-yard pass.
Jakori Ford later scored a touchdown on a 4-yard run in the fourth.
Junior linebacker Hayden Stout (Meridian High) led the Idaho State defense with 13 tackles and Chris Edwards (Meridian High) finished with eight tackles, one sack and two tackles for loss. Braeden Mitchell (Skyline High) recovered on a fumble on a punt and Anthony Ricks had his first career interception.
“Well the home season is over,’’ Kramer said. “First time in a long time that we haven’t won a home conference game. That’s pretty stressful. Tough all the way around. We just fight the process too much. They were just better than we were, especially on offense and especially at quarterback.’’
Dakota Prukop threw for four touchdowns and ran for another as Montana State (5-5, 3-4) scored the first 34 points.