FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Coming off an upset victory over UNLV last Saturday, the Northern Arizona football team returns home this week to host Fort Lewis College in the home opener for the Lumberjacks. Kickoff is scheduled for 4:05 p.m. For tickets contact the Central Ticket Office at 928-523-5661.
NAU accomplished a feat last week that had not done in 25 years – beating a Football Bowl Subdivision team. It snapped a 21-game losing streak dating to win at Tulsa during the 1987 season, a date in the record books before any current Lumberjack had been born.
"I think I am proudest of what the difference of nine days can make," said Head Coach Jerome Souers. "Our kids came back and practiced hard and they got much better. When they play better, this is what happens. I am proud of their effort, their attitude and their willingness to stay at it. It says a lot about the character of the program and the direction that we are going."
And the direction is up for many reasons. The Lumberjacks showed a grit and determination last Saturday against the Rebels that looks to be a trait of the team in 2012. Trailing 14-0 early in the second quarter, the Lumberjack defense shutout UNLV over the final 43-plus minutes of the game to setup the win. Senior Austin Shanks provided the big play that is often needed in an upset to spark the underdog. Sophomore Chase Cartwright led the late game comeback with two huge drives in the decisive fourth quarter in his first career start. Sophomore kicker Andy Wilder made his first career field goal memorable with the game winner.
The postgame celebration on the field was memorable for a team that lost several close games last season and opened the 2012 with a difficult loss at Arizona State. One week later, the momentum has changed much like the direction of the Athletics Department under the leadership of Vice President of Intercollegiate Athletics Lisa Campos.
The Lumberjacks have hosted fan caravans across the state over the summer, offered new and cheaper ticket packages and will debut an energized fan experience at the Walkup Skydome Saturday starting with the pregame Lumberjack FanFest. The vastly improved Lumberjack FanFest and new Lumberjack Game Day Shuttle System will debut four hours prior kick-off. Then it is game time.
After playing two consecutive games on the road to start the season, the Lumberjacks are excited to play in front of the home crowd for the first time this season. The team will take the field Saturday against Fort Lewis with the support of the annual "Running of the Freshmen", a tradition that is quickly becoming one of the most unique in college football.
"This sets up real nice," said Shanks. "We have Fort Lewis next. We are going to play them hard and into the conference we go. We are ready."
Fort Lewis is a Division II school located in Durango, Colo., that plays in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference. NAU and Fort Lewis will be meeting for the second consecutive season and third time in school history. The two schools met for the first time in the 1965 season with the Lumberjacks posting a 41-14 victory at Fort Lewis.
Football vs Fort Lewis at 4pm (Saturday)
- Lots open at 12 p.m. for all Fans
- Debut of new FanFest & Shuttle System
- Pom-Poms for the first 2,000 Fans
- Lumberyard Student Section T-shirts for the first 2,000 Students
- Thundersticks for the first 1,000 students
- Hall of Fame: Dug Tryon (Athletic Contributor Award), Jake Crissup (Football 96-99), Dan McClintock (97-00), and Alyssa Wahl (04-07)
- Endowments: David Couture Maltbie Endowment Presentation, recipient is Jeremy Dang & Brown Brothers Endowment Presentation, recipient is Chase Cartwright
- Olympians & Coach Heins: Eric Heins, Diego Estrada, & David McNeill
> Ticket Prices
Premium Reserved & Reserved
$20 – Adults, Seniors, Youth (12 & Under), & NAU Faculty/Staff
Family General Admission & General Admission (West Side)
$15 - Adults
$10 – Seniors, Youth (12 & Under), & NAU Faculty/Staff
Soccer (Friday & Saturday)
> Friday vs Florida Gulf Coast at 7pm – Soccer at the Summit Youth Boys Soccer Night
*All youth players will receive a buy-one ticket get one FREE for that that game and for a future game at check-in
> Sunday vs San Jose State at 1pm – No promotions
> Soccer Ticket Prices for Both Games
$7 - Adults
$5 – Seniors, Youth (12 & Under), & NAU Faculty/Staff
$5 - Adults
$3 – Seniors, Youth (12 & Under), & NAU Faculty/Staff