By Ray Hamill — The long goodbye looks as if it will be a painful one in more ways than one for Humboldt State football fans.
Three games into their final season playing football, the Jacks are struggling in just about every aspect of the game, dropping their third straight on Saturday night, falling 38-13 to Western Oregon.
It’s one thing for the Jacks to lose on the road to powerhouse programs like MSU Texas and Central Washington, both top-10 teams in the nation, but this was a struggling Wolves team that beat them, and one that dominated the Jacks more than the score would suggest.
The Wolves scored on six of their first seven possessions of the game, and stretched a 24-point halftime advantage to 38 points midway through the third quarter.
The Jacks put together a couple of late scoring drives, but by then the game was well out of reach.
“I was encouraged with some stuff I saw, but like I told these guys, almost isn’t good enough,” HSU head coach Damaro Wheeler said.
The first half was ugly for the Jacks, who managed just three first downs to the visitors’ 15.
Wolves quarterback Ty Currie threw for 186 yards in the first half alone, including a pair of TDs, while running in for another.
For the night, Currie completed 24-of-34 passes for 334 yards and four TDs.
HSU quarterback Andrew Tingstad made his first start and finished the night completing 11-of-21 passes for 121 yards and a touchdown.
Tingstad also had a TD reception from Gary O’Leary on a trick play.
Tingstad’s reception capped an impressive 14-play, 96-yard drive early in the fourth quarter.
“It was up and down,” Wheeler said of Tingstad’s performance. “But he made some plays when he needed to.”
The Jacks’ second score came with under two minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, when Tingstad connected with running back Christian Quirarte on a 15-yard scoring pass.
The drive began on the Western Oregon 25-yard line after a botched snap on a punt attempt gave HSU excellent field position.
Defensively, freshman Moses Finau had a big night for the Jacks, finishing with 14 tackles.
Saturday’s game featured an announced crowd of 4,137.
With the loss, the Jacks dropped to 0-3 on the season, while the Wolves improve to 1-3.
HSU travels to play at Azusa Pacific next week.