Vikings Blow Halftime Lead, fall to Beavers 29-14


Hope was alive for a long time in the valley on Saturday.

Portland State went after a first-ever win over a Pac-12 school at Oregon State and looked like they might make history through the first half of the game. But a gruesome third quarter that included four turnovers ultimately cost the Vikings in a 29-14 loss to the Beavers.

Paris Penn races for a 58-yard touchdown in the second quarter against the Beavers.
Paris Penn races for a 58-yard touchdown in the second quarter against the Beavers.

After PSU took a 14-13 lead into the halftime locker room, Oregon State came back out and took advantage of those Viking mistakes. In all the Vikings made five second-half turnovers but the defense kept them in the game, allowing OSU to convert only 13 points off those miscues.

Oregon State made two lengthy drives in the first quarter, but the Vikings held inside the five-yard line both times. Garrett Owens made a pair of 25-yard field goals and the Beavers led 6-0 at the end of the first quarter.

The Vikings put a shock into the Beavers on the first play of the second quarter. Quarterback Paris Penn ran a quarterback draw off left guard for 58 yards and a touchdown. Jonathan Gonzales extra point gave PSU a 7-6 lead at the 14:48 mark.

All-American quarterback Sean Mannion finally led the Beavers into the endzone after that. A 10-play, 82-yard drive culminated with Mannion scrambling in on a six-yard carry when he couldn’t find an open receiver. OSU had the lead back at 13-6 with 9:36 left in the second quarter.

PSU answered on the next drive, benefiting from four Oregon State penalties. The Vikings went 73 yards on nine plays and got an 11-yard TD run from Penn. PSU was up 14-13 and carried that lead into halftime.

The Vikings first crucial mistake came on the second play of the second half.  Tyrequek Zimmerman intercepted a Viking pass on a trick play. The Beavers got another short field goal as a result. Owens’ 26-yard kick put OSU back on top 16-13.

A second turnover; a lost fumble on a handoff by the Vikings turned into a 23-yard touchdown reception for the Beavers’ Storm Woods on the very next play. For the first time all day, the Vikings were down by more than one score, 23-14.

The third turnover, another interception by Zimmerman set up another Oregon State field goal later in the third.

A late fourth-quarter 23-yard field goal by Owens wrapped up the scoring and a 29-14 Beaver win.

Other than a number of early penalties, Oregon State’s defense was strong. The Beavers held PSU to just 40 offensive yards in the second half and 215 for the game.

“It was like we thought it would be, it was a hard fought game. I know one thing, I have some tough dudes in that (locker) room. We just hit the self-destruct button one too many times. Obviously, the turnovers are what changed the game,” said Viking Coach Nigel Burton.

Penn was the Vikings’ offensive star, rushing nine times for 112 yards and both PSU touchdowns. Portland State rushed for 132 yards and passed for just 83. Kieran McDonagh started at quarterback, completing 7-16 passes for 52 yards and one interception. He shared time with Penn throughout the game.

“Their were some times of brilliance and some times that were rough. Their secondary did a really nice job and their d-line found ways to get pressure on them. I don’t care who the quarterback is, if you find ways to hit them, it changes things,” said Burton.

Mannion paced the Beavers, completing 26 of 45 passes for 328 yards and a touchdown. Woods led the running game with 16 carries for 126 yards.

OSU had 505 yards of total offense, running 31 more plays than the Vikings (82-51).

Linebacker Anthony McNichols had nine tackles to lead Portland State. Cornerback Aaron Sibley had eight stops. The Vikings made nine pass breakups and three sacks in the game.

Defensive end Dylan Wynn led the Beavers with six tackles. Zimmerman had five stops to go with his two interceptions.

GAME NOTES: All-American punter Kyle Loomis averaged 48.5 yards on six punts for the Vikings… OSU is 4-0 all-time against the Vikings… PSU is now 0-13 against Pac-12 opponents… Portland State opens at home next Saturday against Western Oregon. The Vikings will host the Wolves at Hillsboro Stadium in a 7:15 p.m. game. Fireworks will take place following the game. PSU’s remaining home games will be played at Providence Park.