FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – When it comes to the quarterbacks for Northern Arizona, the line up will be very familiar. With an offensive line that is significantly improved from a year ago, the quarterbacks have a solid foundation in place to help improve its offense.
"I think that we're fortunate that both quarterbacks (Kyren Poe and Chase Cartwright) have a little bit of a different style and they complement each other well," said offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Rich Scangarello.
Poe returns to lead the quarterbacks. The junior earned the starting role last season, and will go into 2014 with the same title. Poe completed 163 passes on 270 attempts for a total of 1,602 yards and six touchdowns during his sophomore season.
"Kyren has become a better thrower, but he's an outstanding athlete and it allows us to do some different things in the run game," said Scangarello.
Backing up Poe will be senior Chase Cartwright. Unlike most backups, Cartwright has exceptional experience on his resume to bump up the depth chart for the Lumberjacks. Cartwright finished last season with 70 completions on 111 attempts for a total of 753 yards and eight touchdowns, including four starts.
"Chase is a traditional drop back quarterback that's very accurate and has won some big games as a quarterback from the pocket," Scangarello said.
NAU produced 4,212 yards of total offense in 2013, with an average of 351 yards per game and 14 touchdowns. The Lumberjacks will have to work on accuracy as they had 14 interceptions on the stats sheet.
"Continuity helps," said Scangarello. "Three years in the same offense and multi-year quarterbacks that have started games aren't the norm. It doesn't happen very often. We are fortunate that we have two guys that are capable of winning games for us. They are outstanding individuals, leaders, and players."
Junior Jordan Perry has been another great player to have on the depth chart for NAU. When you mix everyone together, you have a dynamic group that can throw, run, and create situations to keep the defense off balance.