Football Wins Eighth Straight, Remains in First Place in Big Sky
POCATELLO, Idaho - The 12th-ranked Northern Arizona football team won its eighth consecutive game with a 50-10 victory over Idaho State at Holt Arena. With the win, NAU remained in first place in the Big Sky Conference at 6-0 and started 8-1 for just the second time in school history.
Idaho State, which entered the game fifth in the nation in passing at 367 yard per game, posted 287 yards but scored just one touchdown in the contest. The Bengals closed to 19-10 in the second quarter but the Lumberjacks added a late score to push the lead to 26-10 and were never threatened the rest of the game.
"To take on a passing team like that and hold them to 10 points was an accomplishment," said Head Coach Jerome Souers.
The NAU defense kept ISU in check with big plays, recording a safety, blocked punt and interception in the contest while sacking Yost, the nation's seventh-best passer in yards per game, three times and recording eight tackles for loss.
"Our defense as a whole played really well," said Souers. "Our pass rush was good and Defensive Coordinator Andy Thompson kept a good mix in coverage and blitz. It kept them off balance."
Cary Grossart went 18-for-29 for 238 yards, leading the offense on three scores in support of the defensive effort. Covaughn DeBoskie-Johnson sealed the game in the third quarter with a 34-yard run for a touchdown to extend the lead to 33-10. He finished with 151 yards and two touchdowns on eight carries, while Casey Jahn added 144 yards in second half action.
"The offensive unit as a whole in the second half I think we made some adjustments and they really paid off," said Souers. "They were overplaying some of our formations and doing some things unsound. We were able to make them pay for it."
The Lumberjack offense scored twice in the second quarter to build a 26-10 halftime lead. Dejzon Walker, who opened the game with a 50-yard reception, caught n 11-yard pass from Grossart. It snapped a six quarter streak without an offensive touchdown. NAU closed the half with a one-yard touchdown run by Grossart.
The game had a familiar feel early in the contest as the Lumberjacks posted 12 points, duplicating the scoring line against Northern Colorado. Tim Wilkinson recorded a safety with a sack of Yost in the end zone, Jarret Bilbrey got a defensive score on a blocked punt and Andy Wilder added a field goal.
Yost connected with Roderick Rumble on a 57-yard strike to get the Bengals on the board and cut the lead to 12-7 at the time.
NAU returns back to Flagstaff for the final two regular season contests of the year starting with Southern Utah at 2 p.m. on Saturday in a game to be shown live on Fox Sports Arizona. SUU (4-6, 3-4 Big Sky) is coming off a 33-29 loss at North Dakota on Saturday.
"It does not get any better than this," said Souers. "The team is doing the best to stay in position and remain undefeated in conference play. Southern Utah is a great team and we know the type of game it will be. We are coming to bring our best and I hope the people of Flagstaff do the same. We really need their help."
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