Football Hosts Southern Utah in Senior Day Contest
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FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – The Northern Arizona football team will host Southern Utah Saturday in the final game of the 2011 season. The Lumberjacks (4-6) will celebrate the careers of 17 seniors in a pregame ceremony before the 3:05 p.m. kickoff at the Walkup Skydome.
The game can be seen online on NAU TV and Big Sky TV with tape-delayed coverage on Fox College Sports on Sunday at 10 a.m. Mountain on FCS Pacific. Fans can also catch the call from the Lumberjack Radio Network on 105.1 FM The Big Talker in Flagstaff, Prescott and Sedona or listen online at The Big Talker website.
NAU and Southern Utah will be meeting for the 16th time in school history this week. NAU holds an 11-4 edge in the series. Northern Arizona has won the last five contests in the series. The last Thunderbird win came in 2000, a 27-3 triumph in Flagstaff, Ariz. Head coach Jerome Souers owns a 5-1 career record against the Thunderbirds. The teams are meeting for the fourth consecutive season and will meet yearly when SUU joins the Big Sky Conference in 2012. The last three contests have been decided by a total of 10 points.
"The games we have managed to win (with Southern Utah) have been decided on the last drive and decided by a touchdown or less," said Head Coach Jerome Souers. "I think this game is going to be very similar, very close. The matchups look very close across the board and they tackle very well."
The Thunderbirds enter with a 5-5 overall record. They have faced two common opponents with the Lumberjacks, beating Sacramento State 35-14 and Weber State 35-28. Their signature win came at UNLV with a 41-16 win in Las Vegas. SUU receiver Brady Meason is on the Jerry Rice Award Watch List for the award given to the national top freshman in the FCS. Junior quarterback Brad Sorensen is on the Walter Payton Award Watch List. He has thrown for 2,754 yards and 15 touchdowns this season.
"Our defense needs to come up big against Austin Minifee, who is their version o f Zach Bauman," said Souers. "He is a returner and great running back."
#82 WR Daniel Adler
A wide receiver from Pleasant Hill, Calif., he joined the team from Diablo Valley College. He has recorded 11 catches over two seasons and has led the Lumberjacks with a 32.4 yards per return average this season. He is majoring in sociology with a minor in communication studies.
#95 DL Blayne Anderson
A four-year contributor out of Edison High School in Huntington Beach, Calif., Anderson has seen action in 41 career games. He has recorded 90 tackles in his career, including a career-best 35 in 10 games this season. He has seven tackles for loss and team-best six quarterback hurries in 2011. He is majoring in criminology and criminal justice.
#50 LS Ben Bachelier
The Lumberjacks' long snapper for the last four seasons, Bachelier has successfully completed over 200 snaps over the last four seasons on special teams. A Gold Axe recipient as one of the top graduates this December, the Rio Rico, Ariz., native is a Capital One Academic All-District selection. He is also a two-time Golden Eagle Scholar Athlete and was chosen to the Big Sky All-Academic team twice. He is majoring in exercise science.
#96 DL Isaac Bond
The Vancouver, Wash., native has 25.5 career tackles for loss and 20 quarterback sacks, the second-best total since 1970 in school history. He is a two-time All-Big Sky selection, earning first-team honors in 2010 after ranking fourth in the conference in sacks. He is among the team tackle leaders again in 2011, recording 33 with a team-best 7.5 tackles for loss. He is majoring in secondary education.
#75 OL Dwight Boyd
A product of Blue Ridge High School in Pinetop, Boyd has played on both sides of the ball during his career as a Lumberjack. He started as a defensive lineman, earning All-Big Sky honorable mention accolades in 2009. He has started every game on the offensive line this season, leading the way for an NAU offense ranked among the national leaders. He is majoring in psychology with a minor in criminology and criminal justice.
#11 WR Mike Czyz
The Danville, Calif., product has been a four-year contributor for the Lumberjack wide receiver group. He ranked fourth on the team in receptions with 26 for 331 yards and two touchdowns last season and has seven catches this season. He is a two-time Big Sky All-Academic selection, majoring in criminology and criminal justice.
#21 DB Daivon Dumas
A transfer from Saddleback College and a native of Laguna Niguel, Calif., Dumas started all 11 games in 2009, ranking fourth on the team in tackles with 56 with five pass deflections. He has returned to the field this season after suffering a season-ending injury last season, playing in nine games and recording 15 tackles. He is majoring in business.
#97 DL Alec Hutton
A transfer from Chaffey College, Hutton has played in 16 games with two starts in his career. He has 15 tackles in 2011 with 1.5 tackles for loss and a forced fumble. The Lake Arrowhead, Calif., native is majoring in sociology.
#46 LB Scott McKeever
A three-year starter from Wickenburg, Ariz., McKeever has ranked among the leading tacklers on the team each of the last two seasons. He ranked third on the team in tackles with 52 in 2010, earning All-Big Sky second-team honors. He is second on the team this season with 41 tackles. He graduated with a degree in marketing in May 2011 and is working on graduate classes this fall.
#78 OL Alex Mott
A two-year starter on the offensive line, Mott has anchored the center position this season after earning all-conference honors at guard in 2010. He helped the team produce back-to-back 1,000-yard rushers while ranking among the top passing teams in the country. Majoring in criminal justice, Mott was a 2010 Big Sky All-Academic selection.
#29 K Matt Myers
The Corona, Calif, native has handled the place-kicking duties for each of the last three seasons, earning a pair of All-Big Sky honors during his career. He was a finalist for the Fred Mitchell Outstanding Placekicker Award in 2010 and is under consideration again this season. He has made 70 percent of his attempts in 2011, making 14-of-17 attempts inside 49 yards. A nominee for the Allstate Good Works team, he is majoring in business economics and finance.
#45 FB Vinnie Paciulli
A product of Moon Valley High School in Phoenix, Pacuilli started his career on the offensive line before switching to fullback last season. He earned All-Big Sky second-team honors last season and was a preseason all-league selection this season. He is a four-time Golden Eagle Scholar Athlete and is majoring in health science.
#18 WR Khalil Paden
In his second season after transferring from San Jose State, the Chatsworth, Calif, native has had a breakout season in 2011. He leads the team in receptions, yards and touchdowns and is within reach of becoming the 10th receiver in school history to eclipse 1,000 yards in a season. He has recorded five 100-yard receiving games. He is majoring in psychology and will graduate in December.
#98 DL Dan Pela
A four-time Golden Eagle Scholar-Athlete recipient and two-time Big Sky All-Academic choice, he has played in every game with seven starts and notched 19 tackles and 3.5 tackles for loss. He also had a blocked extra-point attempt on potential game tying touchdown by Sacramento State with 4:53 left in the game, securing the road win for the Lumberjacks. He was recently named to the Capital One Academic All-District team. He is majoring in health science with a public health promotion emphasis and will graduate in December.
#86 TE Brian Riley
A double major in marketing and management, the Tucson, Ariz., product has been a four-year contributor for the Lumberjacks. He earned All-Big Sky honors in 2008 after catching 10 balls for 191 yards and two touchdowns and was a Golden Eagle Scholar Athlete in 2009. He has seen action in all 10 games this season with eight starts.
#40 Andy Saldana
A three-time Golden Eagle Scholar Athlete, Saldana graduated last spring with a degree in business management. He has been a four-year contributor on special teams and backup at running back. He took over the holder position in 2011, assisting kicker Matt Myers on kick attempts this season.
#8 QB Chasen Stangel
A transfer from Arizona State, Stangel saw action in nine games last season, going 45-for-74 for 376 yards with two touchdowns. He made two starts in nine games overall. The San Jacinto, Calif., native is majoring in applied sociology.
#42 P Drew Zamora
The Colorado Springs, Colo., native has handled kickoffs for the last three seasons and was an All-Big Sky selection at punter in 2010. He ranked third in the Big Sky and 12th in the nation in punting average at 42.2 yards per kick. He has three punts of 70 yards in his career and seven of 50 or more this season. Majoring in hotel and restaurant management.