November 21, 2009

Football’s Herrick Breaks School Single-Game Passing Record in Loss to Eastern Washington

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Quarterback Michael Herrick threw for a school-record 574 yards and four touchdowns but the Lumberjacks came up short 49-45 to lose to Eastern Washington Saturday at the Walkup Skydome. The Lumberjacks overcame an 18-point deficit in the second quarter and held a lead late before losing in the final minutes.

“It was a tough way to finish the season,” said Head Coach Jerome Souers. “It is a very good team we played. We credit our opponent Eastern Washington. They are hitting on all cylinders on offense and at the end of the day that was the difference.”

Eastern was out-gained in total yards 747-487, but won the important turnover battle 4-0 as NAU had two fumbles and two interceptions. EWU’s Makai Borden returned Herrick’s second interception 85 yards for a touchdown, extending the Eagles lead to 28-10 at the time. The Lumberjacks two fumbles came at the 8-yard line and in the end zone on a potential scoring play when Alex Henderson was stripped.

“We had some critical turnovers that cost us some points and slowed us from the kind of production we could have had tonight,” said Souers.

NAU gained 747 yards with 173 rushing yards behind Alex Henderson’s 183 yards on the ground that pushed him over the 1,000-yard for the season for the second time in his career. He finished the season with 1,166 yards, the sixth-best single season total in school history. His 3,462 career yards ranked second in school history.

Herrick’s career day shattered the school record of 474 set by Travis Brown against Montana in 1996 and was the 11th-best single game performance in Football Championship Subdivision history. He completed 47-of-65 passes on the day, tied for second most attempts in school history.

But he would like to have the last one back. Facing fourth down and three on the Eastern 32-yard line, Herrick’s pass to Henderson was off the mark ending the Lumberjacks chances in the game.

NAU rallied in the second half, scoring on three consecutive drives to erase a 42-27 Eagle lead to lead 45-42 with 5:20 left in the fourth quarter.

But Eastern scored on a five-play, 74-yard drive, with senior quarterback Matt Nichols passing 13 yards to Nathan Overbay for the winning score. Nichols passed for 408 yards and five touchdowns as EWU wrapped-up a fourth-straight victory and a possible berth in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision Playoffs.

NAU’s three senior wide receivers each recorded over 100 yards in the game led by Ed Berry who had 12 catches for 194 yards and two touchdowns. Conrad Meadows had 11 catches for 101 yards, while Curt Sweeney caught eight balls for 121 yards and a touchdown. Daiveun Curry-Chapman also had a touchdown catch in the game.

Kicker Matt Myers connected on 3-of-4 field goal attempts with a long of 51 yards.

NAU finishes the season 5-6 on the season and 4-4 in Big Sky play.

NCAA Single-Game Yards
Yds. Player, Team (Opponent), Date
624 Jamie Martin, Weber St. (Idaho St.), Nov. 23, 1991
623 Drew Hubel, Portland St. (Eastern Wash.), Oct. 4, 2008
619 Doug Pederson, La.-Monroe (Stephen F. Austin), Nov. 11, 1989
618 Bruce Eugene, Grambling (Prairie View), Oct. 1, 2005
599 Willie Totten, Mississippi Val. (Prairie View), Oct. 27, 1984
595 Robert Kent, Jackson St. (Alabama St.), Oct. 6, 2001
589 Vern Harris, Idaho St. (Montana), Oct. 12, 1985
588 Martin Hankins, Southeastern La. (Ark.-Monticello), Sept. 2, 2004
587 Steve McNair, Alcorn St. (Southern U.), Oct. 22, 1994
577 Dustin Long, Sam Houston St. (McNeese St.), Nov. 6, 2004
574 Michael Herrick, Northern Arizona (Eastern Washington, Nov. 21, 2009