MOSCOW — Idaho scored 49 unanswered points to cruise to its first victory of the season Saturday, 56-10 against NCAA Division II Western New Mexico before 10,566 at the Kibbie Dome.
The Vandals (1-1) scored twice on special teams in the fourth quarter to blow the game open against the Mustangs (0-2).
Idaho coach Paul Petrino said the win, albeit over a lower-division school, gave the Vandals confidence — especially coming off last week’s 79-13 trouncing at the hands of Fresno State.
“Some belief in that hard work actually pays off,” he said. “Nobody works harder than our guys do. Nobody works harder than our staff does. I’m happy for our staff. I’m happy for our staff’s wives and kids. Unless you grow up as a coach’s kid, you don’t know how miserable it is when your dad’s team gets their butt kicked. The next week’s hard. Especially when you know how late he’s working and everything he’s putting into it.”
Idaho quarterbacks Mason Petrino and Colton Richardson combined to complete 21 of 26 passes, throwing for 246 yards and three touchdowns. Petrino and Richardson hit eight different receivers, including three different touchdown recipients.
Petrino also scored the first rushing touchdown of his career — a 10-yard keeper in the first quarter.
Petrino was 12 of 13 for 151 yards and a touchdown. Richardson was 9 of 13 for 95 yards and two scores.
“Both quarterbacks played well,” Paul Petrino said. “Both do things that people don’t think they can do. It’s really encouraging how much they support each other. I told them earlier in the week, ‘You have to have each other’s back. There’s not a whole lot of people out there who like either one of you, or me, so we better all stick together.’”
David Ungerer, who caught a 4-yard score from Richardson to start the fourth quarter, also returned a punt 65 yards for a touchdown six minutes later. Ungerer finished the day with 235 all-purpose yards — the 13th-highest single-game total in program history — including career highs of nine receptions and 118 receiving yards. His punt return touchdown was Idaho’s first such score since 2011.
“Dave did a good job on offense,” Paul Petrino. “He played really well at receiver and made some key plays for us there. Then he did a great job returning that punt. He did a great job and he needs to. He’s one of our seniors ... I met with our captains and challenged them all, ‘You need to play your best game. We need it. You have to do it.’ And I know Dave did it for sure.”
The previous drive by Western New Mexico ended with a field goal attempt. Christian Elliss broke through the line and blocked the kick. Dorian Clark scooped up the deflection and scampered 47 yards for a touchdown. It was Idaho’s first blocked field goal returned for touchdown since 2005.
The Mustangs took a 10-7 lead with 10:57 remaining in the second quarter. Isaiah Saunders scored on the ensuing Idaho drive and the Vandals never looked back. Idaho took a 21-10 lead into halftime after Richardson hit Jeff Cotton for a 25-yard score with 60 seconds left in the half.
Western New Mexico rushed for 109 yards in the first half, but the Vandals surrendered just 14 yards on the ground after intermission.
The 46-point margin of victory is Idaho’s largest since Sept. 30, 2000, when the Vandals defeated Montana State 56-7.
Blayne Armstrong threw for 180 yards and a score for the Mustangs.
NOTES: The Vandals will take their bye next week, followed by their Big Sky Conference opener Sept. 22 at UC Davis. Kickoff is scheduled for 4 p.m., and the game will be televised by Eleven Sports. ... Cade Coffey (Lakeland High) was 8 of 8 on extra points, and averaged 51.3 yards on three punts. ... Redshirt freshman wide receiver Cutrell Haywood scored the first touchdown of his career. Haywood caught a 25-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter from Petrino.
Idaho 56, W. New Mexico 10
W. New Mex. 3 7 0 0 — 10
Idaho 7 14 7 28 — 56
IDHO—Petrino 10 run (Coffey kick), 11:51.
WNMU—FG Correa 34, 5:17.
WNMU—Jones 6 pass from Armstrong (Correa kick), 10:57.
IDHO—Saunders 10 run (Coffey kick), 8:34.
IDHO—Cotton 25 pass from Richardson (Coffey kick), 1:00.
IDHO—Haywood 25 pass from Petrino (Coffey kick), 2:38.
IDHO—Ungerer 4 pass from Richardson (Coffey kick), 12:14.
IDHO—Clark 47 blocked field goal return (Coffey kick), 8:40.
IDHO—Ungerer 65 punt return (Coffey kick), 6:13.
IDHO—Bamis 7 run (Coffey kick), 0:49.
First downs 18 25
Rushes-yards 32-123 32-162
Passing 185 246
Comp-Att-Int 27-41-0 21-26-0
Return Yards 27 130
Punts-Avg. 7-35.0 3-51.3
Fumbles-Lost 1-0 0-0
Penalty-Yards 5-43 4-35
Time of Possession 33:21 26:39
RUSHING—W. New Mexico, D. Williams 13-69, B. Armstrong 7-25, J. Harris 5-21, M. Taele 4-6, A. Baskerville 1-3, G. Tomaszewski 2-(minus 1). Idaho, I. Saunders 11-47, R. Johnson 5-30, J. Bamis 6-28, T. Walker 3-19, D. Brantley 1-18, M. Petrino 3-12, C. Richardson 3-8.
PASSING—W. New Mexico, B. Armstrong 26-40-0-180, G. Tomaszewski 1-1-0-5. Idaho, M. Petrino 12-13-0-151, C. Richardson 9-13-0-95.
RECEIVING—W. New Mexico, K. Roberts 9-45, E. Beebe 5-39, I. Crichton 3-31, E. Jones 4-30, J. Harris 1-25, D. Williams 1-12, D. Smith 1-5, V. Brown 1-2, I. Pierre 2-(minus 4). Idaho, D. Ungerer 9-118, C. Haywood 2-33, J. Cotton 2-32, J. Ellingson 1-16, K. Elliss 2-15, C. Whitney 2-13, I. Saunders 2-11, R. Johnson 1-8.