FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Case Cookus tied a Northern Arizona passing touchdowns record of seven as he led the Lumberjacks to a 63-21 victory over visiting Northern Colorado (4-4, 2-4 BSC). The Lumberjacks scored 42 points in the first half to cruise to their fourth straight win at home this season.
NAU (5-3, 3-2 BSC) scored 28 points in the first quarter, including jumping out to a 21-0 lead, as it sailed pass the Bears and never looked back.
The first quarter had many highlights for the Lumberjacks. After UNCO's third attempt of its first drive resulted in a seven-yard sack, NAU's Jake Thomas busted through the line for the drop. That momentum carried on to the next play where Eddie Horn intercepted Knipp and returned it 32 yards for his third straight pick at home in as many games.
The Lumberjacks weren't quite done when it came to interceptions, as Delvin Batiste got in on the action for a 25-yard pick; the first of his career.
NAU added 14 points late in the second quarter, aiding in its 42-7 halftime edge. Even after posting 406 yards of total offense through two quarters, NAU still had plenty of gas in the tank to start the second half.
The Lumberjacks shut the Bears out in the second and third quarters, during which they scored 35 points. From late in the first quarter all the way to early in the fourth, the Lumberjacks rattled off seven consecutive touchdowns to take a monstrous 63-7 lead.
UNCO was able to score a pair of touchdowns in the fourth quarter, but by then it was too late.
NAU held the Bears to 302 yards of total offense. UNCO entered the game as the FCS leader in punt and kickoff returns; against NAU the Bears tallied just one punt return for 21 yards. All 10 of Ryan Hawkins' kickoffs resulted in a touchback, forbidding the Bears to even try and make a return attempt.
Cookus tied an NAU record seven thrown touchdown passes set by Travis Brown in 1996 versus Sacramento State. Emmanuel Butler was one touchdown reception short of tying the single-game record. Butler grabbed four touchdown passes, in addition to 158 receiving yards. As a team, NAU was 106 yards shy of breaking the total offense game record of 774 set back in 2009.
NAU will play at top 25 Eastern Washington next Saturday. Kickoff at Roos Field is set for 4 p.m. MST.