Football to Host Southern Utah in Home Opener Saturday
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – The
Northern Arizona football team will host Southern Utah Saturday in
its home opener for the 2009 campaign. Kickoff is scheduled for
3:07 p.m. in the Walkup Skydome. Tickets are available at the Central Ticket
Office at 928-523-5661. The game is available on Universityhouse
(Dish Network 9411) and the Sodexo Lumberjack
“It has always been an even matchup with Southern Utah,” said Head Coach Jerome Souers. “Maybe it is the geographical aspect of it. It ends up being a rivalry game. For a non-conference opponent, they are very, very tough.”
NAU won the game in Cedar City last year, securing the game in the final minute when senior K.J. Gerard made an interception in the end zone with 23 seconds remaining to preserve a 19-14 win. Michael Herrick, who played the first three quarters behind center in his first career start, went 20-for-34 for 196 yards and one touchdown. NAU controlled the time of possession with a 42:54 to 17:06 advantage while running 93 offensive plays.
“Our game last year was a dogfight,” said Souers. “I am sure they walked away thinking they should have won that game.”
NAU (0-1) lost at Arizona last week 34-17, while Southern Utah dropped a game at San Diego State.
NAU and Southern Utah will be meeting for the 14th time in school history this week. NAU holds a 9-4 edge in the series, including a 19-14 win in Cedar City last season and a 27-7 win in Flagstaff the last time the two teams met in Flagstaff. Northern Arizona has won the last three contests overall in the series. The last Thunderbird win came in 2000, a 27-3 triumph in Flagstaff.
The Lumberjacks own a 69-22-2 record in home openers and have won 16 consecutive home openers dating back a loss to Southern Utah in 1992. NAU has averaged 48.9 points per game during the streak while allowing just 13.2 for a 35.7 average margin of victory.