Football Drops Game Late to Weber State
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Weber State converted a late turnover into the game-winning touchdown with 38 seconds left to defeat Northern Arizona 27-26 Saturday at the Walkup Skydome.
"Our players played hard and at times played very well," said Head Coach Jerome Souers. "At the end, when we needed it most, we were not able to make the play to secure the win."
NAU (5-5, 3-4) led 26-20 and had moved the ball into field goal range late in the fourth quarter. But Michael Herrick was intercepted on a 3-and-9 pass by Weber's Kela Marceil at the Weber State 29 with 3:53 left on the clock.
Weber State quarterback Mike Hoke, who replaced injured Cameron Higgins, led the Wildcats on a 13-play, 75-yard drive to tie the game with 38 seconds left. Shaun McClain's extra point was the winning margin.
The Lumberjacks had one last chance after a 34-yard return by Austin Shanks started their drive at their own 39. Herrick completed a short pass to Daiveun Curry-Chapman for five yards and the Wildcats were called for delay of game. But NAU never got any closer with four straight incomplete passes ending the game.
"We were trying to get the ball down the field and give Matt (Myers) a chance to win the game," said Herrick. "We just did not execute."
Herrick finished 24-for-45 for 310 yards and one touchdown, while freshman running back Zach Bauman had 96 yards on 20 carries and a touchdown. Senior wide receiver Daiveun Curry-Chapman had a career-high 10 catches for 104 yards. Kicker Matt Myers made a career-high tying four field goals (22, 29, 31, 24).
"We got the ball down in the red zone a couple times," said Herrick. 'We can't kick field goals. I think we get if we get one or two touchdowns there the game is out of reach."
NAU scored first on the first field goal by Myers on the opening drive of the game. Weber State responded quickly with 64-yard strike from Higgins to Joe Collins on their first offensive play of the game. Myers added a second field on the next drive as the Lumberjacks continued its strong opening half.
NAU went ahead on a touchdown pass to Austin Shanks early in the second quarter, completing a 10-play drive. Bauman pushed the lead to 20-7 with an 11-yard run. The Wildcats got a late field goal to close within 20-10 at halftime.
The Lumberjacks opened the second half with an onside kick that resulted in a 31-yard field goal by Myers. Each team added a field goal in the quarter as NAU led 23-13. The Wildcats got a second big play on the first play of the fourth when Hole connected with Collins for an 80-yard strike to get back within a score at 26-20.
Senior linebacker Reid Worthington had a game-high 11 tackles for the Lumberjacks.
"Our guys have great character and integrity," said Souers. "They don't quit. They never have and never will. I know how much they are hurting and how disappointed they are. I can assure you we will come out and practice and work hard and prepare the things we did wrong. We'll put a better fort on Saturday day next week. It will mean a lot to our seniors with an opportunity to get a win and play together again one that time. We are going to do that for each other."