Ogden, Utah – Freshman quarterback Case Cookus and senior punter/kicker Ryan Hawkins were named Big Sky ROOT Sports Players of the Week, announced today by the league office. NAU put up a Big Sky school-best 63 points against Northern Colorado to stay undefeated at home this season.
Cookus, the Offensive Player of the Week, had a record day versus the Bears. Cookus connected on seven touchdown passes (6-59-11-5-41-1-22) with three different receivers, tying a school record set back in 1996 by Travis Brown. He completed 25 of 31 passes (80.6%) for 363 total yards in just three quarters of play. Cookus and the 'Jacks jumped out to a 21-0 lead and held a 42-7 advantage at the half. He guided the NAU offense to seven straight touchdowns and a 63-7 lead through three quarters. As a team, NAU put up 668 yards of total offense, 106 shy of a school record.
Hawkins, the Special Teams Player of the Week, worked his magic as all 10 of his kickoffs resulted in a touchback. He averaged 65.0 yards per kick for 650 total yards. When it came time to punt, Hawkins booted the ball three times at 40.7 yards per kick. Northern Colorado came in as the FCS leader in punt and kickoff returns. Due to Hawkins' amazing kicking abilities they had zero opportunities to return a kickoff, and the one punt they did return was for 21 yards. Hawkins was very successful at shutting down the Bears' return game and limiting them as much as possible. He also stayed perfect on PATs this season, as he converted all nine attempts. Hawkins was one off the school record for consecutive extra points in a game.
This is Cookus' first conference player of the week honor, while Hawkins now has four in his career.
Cookus was also named the CFPA FCS National Performer of Week, College Sports Madness Big Sky Offensive Player of the Week, College Sports Madness National Offensive Player of the Week, and HERO Sports FCS Offensive Stud of the Week.