For the first time in 37 years, The College of Idaho football team will take the field in front of its home crowd Saturday at Simplot Stadium in Caldwell. The Coyotes, coached by Mike Moroski, host Montana Western in one of the most anticipated games Canyon County has ever seen. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.
“So much hard work has been put in by our staff, the City of Caldwell, Coach Moroski and his staff, the players, the student body, our trustees—virtually everyone associated with The College of Idaho,” C of I President Marv Henberg said. “On Saturday, it all pays off. We are ready to enjoy some Coyote football!”
The Coyotes, members of the Frontier Conference, opened their season Sept. 6 with a thrilling 35-34 nonconference victory over NCAA Division III opponent Pacific University in Forest Grove, Ore. Moroski says the team is excited to play in front of its home fans for the first time Saturday.
“My hope is that the guys will know that so many C of I alums and fans and friends are behind them,” Moroski said. “It’s a great opportunity for our program to represent the entire College of Idaho community. I want the players to enjoy the experience.”
Junior quarterback Teejay Gordon led the Coyotes in the opener, racking up 332 yards of total offense and scoring three touchdowns. Freshman running back Zach Garzoli (1-yard run) and freshman receiver Elijah Carter (87-yard kickoff return) also scored for the Coyotes, while freshman receiver Wes Fitzpatrick had 131 yards on eight catches. Defensively, freshman linebacker Kyle Cothern led the Coyotes with 10 tackles, including a sack, and freshman safety Hunter Temple had five tackles, a fumble recovery and a crucial blocked extra point. Freshman receiver/special teamer Charlie Shepherd helped seal the dramatic victory, blocking Pacific’s game-winning field goal attempt with 22 seconds remaining.
“It’s a great way to start the season,” Gordon said. “It gives our guys confidence. We just sold out today and gave it everything we had, and that’s what it’s going to take to win games.”
In addition to welcoming the Coyotes back to Simplot Stadium, the C of I will honor those who made the return of football possible during the home opener. Major donors including John and Linda Bequette, Bernie McCain, Larry Williams, the Dave Bruce family, Jim and Tami Grigsby, Fred Oliver and Mike Bruett, Bettie Ferguson, Joe and Pam Glaisyer, the Laura Moore Cunningham Foundation, the Halliday Foundation, the Vivien Nelson Foundation, the Crookham Company and the Simplot Company will be honored, along with former C of I coaches Ed “Buzz” Bonaminio and Rod Sears and all former Coyote football players in attendance. The partnership between The College of Idaho and the City of Caldwell—which made possible the new artificial turf field, state-of-the-art video scoreboard and other major upgrades to Simplot Stadium—also will be formally recognized.
Founded in 1891, The College of Idaho is the state’s oldest private liberal arts college. It has a century-old tradition of educating some of the most accomplished graduates in Idaho, including seven Rhodes Scholars, three Marshall Scholars, and another 12 Truman and Goldwater Scholars. The College is located on a beautiful campus in Caldwell, Idaho. Its distinctive PEAK curriculum challenges students to attain competencies in the four knowledge peaks of the humanities, natural sciences, social sciences and a professional field, enabling them to graduate with an academic major and three minors in four years. For more information on The College of Idaho, visit www.collegeofidaho.edu.