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Published September 10, 2011, 08:15 PM

SIOUX FOOTBALL: After Good Start, UND Loses to Idaho 44-14

MOSCOW, Idaho (AP) — Idaho quarterback Brian Reader threw for 299 yards and four touchdowns Saturday as Idaho rebounded from its season-opening loss, defeating North Dakota 44-14.

By: Associated Press,

MOSCOW, Idaho (AP) — Idaho quarterback Brian Reader threw for 299 yards and four touchdowns Saturday as Idaho rebounded from its season-opening loss, defeating North Dakota 44-14.

Mike Scott was the top receiver for the Vandals (1-1) with eight catches for 99 yards, including a 17-yard touchdown pass. Reader also found Armauni Johnson, Marsel Posey and Michael LaGrone for scores as Idaho rolled up 424 yards of total offense to North Dakota's 197. Idaho's defense also returned two interceptions for touchdowns.

The Fighting Sioux (1-1) led early, going up 14-3 midway through the second quarter when Joey Bradley hit Greg Hardin with a 54-yard touchdown strike. Bradley finished the day 15 of 31 for 166 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Erik Mersereau returned a punt 79 yards for the other North Dakota score.

But Idaho, which lost 32-15 to Bowling Green on Sept. 1, scored the game's final 41 points.

Idaho looked frozen and stiff early. Reader's passes were long, the running game was nonexistent, and the Fighting Sioux's defense was solid. Then Idaho changed tactics.

Late in the second quarter, the Vandals put on a version of "small ball." Gone were the home run passes. Instead, Reader began working the sideline with a series of short passes that ate up the field.

The Idaho running game also came alive, and the result was an 80-yard drive that ended with Johnson snagging an 8-yard touchdown pass from Reader to pull Idaho within 14-10.

In the third quarter, a 22-yard run by Princeton McCarty put the Vandals on the North Dakota 37 and eventually set up a 14-yard touchdown pass from Reader to Posey that gave the Vandals a 17-14 lead. Idaho never looked back.

After a promising start, the Fighting Sioux faded. For the game, they trailed in time of possession by 11 minutes.

North Dakota's top receiver was Hardin, who had two grabs for 81 yards and the touchdown. Mitch Sutton, who was last week's Great West offensive player of the week after rushing for 105 yards in North Dakota's 16-0 win over Drake, was held to 22 yards on nine carries.

Trey Farquhar made a 50-yard field goal for the game's first score.

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