MOSCOW, Idaho (AP) — Colton Richardson passed for two touchdowns and ran for another and the Idaho defense scored three TDs — including two by Lloyd Hightower — as the Vandals beat Idaho State 45-21 on Saturday.
Richardson was 17-of-25 passing for 289 yards with no interceptions and opened the scoring with a 2-yard scoring run midway through the first quarter. Jeff Cotton had 10 receptions for a career-best 192 yards, including a 5-yard touchdown that gave Idaho (3-5, 1-3 Big Sky Conference) a 24-0 lead early in the second quarter.
Malakai Rango scored on a 4-yard run late in the first half and Idaho State (3-4, 2-2) opened the second with an eight-play, 75-yard drive that cut its deficit to 24-14 when Matt Struck hit Austin Campbell for an 8-yard touchdown but Richardson connected with Connor Whitney for a 58-yard touchdown just 52 seconds later.
The Bengals immediately responded with a 10-play, 75-yard drive capped by Struck’s 10-yard TD pass to Mitch Gueller to make it 31-21. Leo Tamba’s strip-sack of Struck was scooped up by Hightower and returned 49 yards for a score with 15 seconds left in the third quarter before a 36-yard pick-6 by Sedrick Thomas on the final play of the period capped the scoring.
Hightower added a 45-yard interception return for a score in the first quarter.
Struck was 27-of-52 passing for 316 yards and Gueller finished with 11 receptions for 166 yards.