Haden Hoggarth’s well-deserved and very public surprise

It was just an innocent drill during the 11th period of Boise State’s open practice Saturday at Albertsons Stadium. Haden Hoggarth booted a 33-yard field goal. Then he nailed a 48-yarder. Then, as he was lining up from 60 yards or so, Brad Larrondo was summarizing Hoggarth’s journey as a walk-on over the stadium PA before revealing that the Broncos were awarding him a full scholarship. Hoggarth threw him arms up in elation, and his teammates dogpiled him. It’s a well-earned scholly—he was 18-of-23 in field goals last season and was perfect on 57 extra point attempts. There have been lots of creative ways to surprise walk-ons with scholarships. Doing it on the blue turf in front of thousands of fans was especially cool, though.

Hoggarth took a decidedly unconventional route to Boise. He’s from Ormand Beach, FL, and played his freshman year at Bethune-Cookman. But Hoggarth didn’t like it there and took time off from football, continuing to go to school and occupying his time with various jobs, like serving as a summer camp counselor in Maine. When he was ready to try football again, he ended up rolling the dice at Boise State after researching the program. And no, Hoggarth had no clue what was happening Saturday. “Why is Brad still talking?” he thought to himself. “I’m trying to kick this field goal.” But then…”Next thing you know, I have a scholarship. It was an awesome moment.”

Boise State has decided on its season captains. There will be three, and two are not breaking news. Quarterback Brett Rypien and cornerback Tyler Horton represented the Broncos at Mountain West Media Days last month, and Rypien was a captain the past two years. The third is STUD end Jabril Frazier, who’s a testament to tenacity. Four years ago, Frazier could have packed it in as a Bronco when he had to spend his first semester getting his academic house in order and couldn’t participate in team activities. But the senior from Los Angeles took care of biz and has basically doubled his sack production each season since his redshirt freshman season. Most importantly, Frazier has earned the unquestioned respect of his peers.

The combination of a Top 25 team coming to town plus the christening of a new $24 million North End Zone facility has Troy projecting its first sellout of the FBS era and largest crowd in school history for the Boise State game this Saturday. The Trojans shattered the school attendance record last year, averaging 24,456 fans per game. Capacity at Veterans Memorial Stadium is 30,402—they came close to filling it last year with a record throng of 29,278 for their home opener against Alabama State. Troy’s official website calls the matchup with the Broncos “one of the most anticipated contests in school history.” It is all that.

Colorado State fans have to be fit to be tied after watching the CSU defense give up 617 yards to an offense that was all but impotent last year. Hawaii built a 37-7 lead and withstood a frantic Rams rally to win 43-34 at the newly-named Canvas Stadium in Fort Collins Saturday evening. Colorado State’s K.J. Carta-Samuels threw for a school-record 537 yards and five touchdowns, but the Rainbow Warriors’ Cole McDonald had more than enough with 418 passing yards and 96 more on the ground. Meanwhile, Wyoming’s defense was tremendous in a 29-7 win at New Mexico State. The Aggies gained just 135 yards, 93 of them on their lone touchdown drive at the end of the game. New Cowboys quarterback Tyler Vander Waal was serviceable, while Nico Evans rushed for 190 yards and TDs.

College of Idaho was ambushed by a stout Eastern Oregon defense Saturday night and fell 24-21 in the season opener in LaGrande. The Coyotes managed only 295 yards, and quarterback Darius-James Peterson was particularly stifled. Peterson was just 12-of-25 for 136 yards before giving way to Nathaniel Holcomb, a redshirt freshman from Puyallup, WA, who went 7-of-10 for 81 yards and threw a 28-yard touchdown pass to Dominic Garzoli. A blocked punt for a TD got the Yotes to within three points in the fourth quarter, but that was it.

Leighton Vander Esch’s groin injury is apparently still a problem, as he did not play last night for Dallas in the Cowboys’ 27-3 loss to Arizona. Maybe it was just precautionary. That doesn’t change the team’s plans for the 19th overall draft pick out of Boise State—Dallas still expects him to be ready for the season opener in 13 days (it may increase his learning curve a bit).

There were numerous other local ties in last night’s game, though. Jeron Johnson made his Cowboys debut, recording one tackle. DeMarcus Lawrence and Tyrone Crawford both appeared, with Lawrence logging a quarterback hit and Crawford a tackle-for-loss. For the Cardinals, Jamar Taylor started at cornerback and didn’t have a tackle, while fellow former Bronco Jonathan Moxey did not play. Former Idaho Vandal Benson Mayowa made four tackles for Arizona, including one for loss.

The task for the Boise Hawks now is to avoid a fourth straight losing season, and it’s going to take a seven-game winning streak for that to happen. The Hawks are now 31-38 after yesterday’s 5-2 loss at Vancouver. They’ve lost three in a row and five of their last six, and they’ve dropped nine consecutive series. Boise wraps up its 11-game Western Idaho Fair road trip tonight versus the Canadians.

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August 27, 1982: Rickey Henderson of the Oakland A’s, who got his professional start in Boise six years earlier, steals four bases in a 5-4 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers and breaks Lou Brock’s major league single-season record of 118 steals (set in 1974). That brought Henderson’s season total to 122 in 127 games—he’d end up with 130. Henderson is also baseball’s career leader, with 1,406 stolen bases amassed over 25 seasons with nine different teams.

(Tom Scott hosts the Scott Slant segment during the football season on KTVB’s Sunday Sports Extra and anchors five sports segments each weekday on 93.1 FM KTIK. He also served as color commentator on KTVB’s telecasts of Boise State football for 14 seasons.)