Chavez helps Idaho beat S. Illinois 20-17, advance to FCS quarters

Chavez kicks 29-yard FG in OT to help Idaho beat S. Illinois 20-17, advance to FCS quarters

— Jermaine Jackson returned a punt 86 yards for a touchdown, Ricardo Chavez kicked a 29-yard field goal in overtime and No. 4 seed Idaho beat Southern Illinois 20-17 Saturday night in the second round of the FCS playoffs.

Idaho (9-3) advances to play No. 5 seed Albany in the quarterfinals.

Idaho’s Marcus Harris tackled Ro Elliott for 3-yard loss on the first play of overtime, Nic Baker was pressured into an incomplete pass on the second and then Harris picked off a pass from Baker to end SIU’s drive. Anthony Woods ran for a 16-yard gain on the next play from scrimmage but an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty against Turon Ivy Jr. after the play backed up the Vandals to the 24. Woods then had consecutive carries for 6, 5, 0 and 4 yards to set up the winning field goal by Chavez.

The Vandals played their first FCS postseason game at the Kibbie Dome since they beat Boston University 21-14 in a second-round matchup on Dec. 4, 1993.

Elliott took the hand off, worked outside the left tackle, cut back to the right and raced untouched for a 38-yard touchdown to cap a seven-play, 88-yard drive and open the scoring with 13:06 left in the second quarter. On the next play, Peyton Reese recovered a fumble to give the Salukis possession at the Idaho 17 and Baumgarte kicked a 36-yard field goal to make it 10-0 just more than a minute later.

Jackson caught a pass on the sideline for a 12-yard gain on a fourth-and-5 and four plays later Chavez kicked a 40-yard field goal as time in the first half expired to get Idaho on the scoreboard.

Jackson returned a punt 86-yards for a touchdown to make it 10-all with about 5 minutes left in the third quarter but Southern Illinois immediately responded with an 11-play, 75-yard drive that culminated when Elliott scored on a 1-yard run with 14:20 remaining in regulation.

Idaho failed to convert a fourth-and-2 when Gevani McCoy was sacked near midfield but Southern Illinois had minus-13 yards while going three-and-out on its next possession. The Vandals took over and McCoy hit Hatten for a gains of 23 and 14 yards on back-to-back plays and then a couple plays later for 24 yards to make it first-and-goal from the 1. McCoy’s pass intended for Terez Taylor on fourth-and-goal was incomplete but a defensive pass interference gave Idaho a fresh set of downs and Woods scored on the next play from a yard out to make it 17-all with 4:17 left.