FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – The Northern Arizona defense rolled and the offense scored, as the Lumberjacks had no problems registering a 52-7 Homecoming victory over visiting Idaho State this afternoon in the Walkup Skydome.
"To come out today and play with the energy that we had was great," said head coach Jerome Souers. "The actual matchups that took place today was not reflected in the score. Idaho State interrupted our running game and we were forced to make changes. The team stepped up as a whole. We made plays and scored points to win the game."
It took NAU less than four minutes to give the Homecoming crowd a reason to stand and it came when senior Delshawn McClellon rushed for nine yards into the end zone for his first score as a Lumberjack. The touchdown was only a glimpse of what was to come for the wideout. He ended the day with 89 receiving yards, 11 rushing yards, and two touchdowns.
Butler, who finished the day with six catches for 88 yards, registered back-to-back touchdowns for NAU. The first score was a 14-yard grab from Kemp with 9:17 to go in the first quarter, while the second touchdown was a two-yard catch with 8:18 left in the second quarter.
The Lumberjacks were intimidating on both sides of the ball all day long. A nice defensive play by Clarence Smith that stripped the ball out of Tanner Gueller's hands, was scooped up by defensive lineman Kelepi Fifita and hauled back 23 yards for the first touchdown of his career.
Fifita's touchdown gave NAU a 28-0 halftime lead and the Lumberjacks never looked back.
Kemp found McClellon for a 22-yard combo that extended NAU's lead over the Bengals to 35-0 with 12:32 remaining in the third quarter. NAU added a 32-yard made field goal by Griffin Roehler, then mixed in a 47-yard touchdown catch from Kemp to William Morehand, and a 47-yarder from Hunter Correll to Hunter Burton; the touchdown pass was Correll's first college completion.
ISU's lone score of the game came on a 57-yard touchdown pass from Gueller to his brother Mitch Gueller for the score.
The Lumberjacks went 4-for-5 in the red zone and had three players with 88 or more receiving yards, as they scored over 50 points in the Skydome for the second time this season. Kemp completed 23 of 37 passes for 319 yards and four thrown touchdowns.
Andrew Gose and Jake Thomas had eight tackles each to lead the NAU defense. Thomas also added a 25-yard interception return to his resume. For the second straight game, Khalil Dorsey came away with an interception making his presence on defense felt. Siupeli Anau and Smith finished with three sacks apiece to lead a Lumberjack defense that tallied nine on the day for a loss of 40 yards.
NAU continues home play next week when it hosts Montana on Saturday, Oct. 22. The game is scheduled for a 4 p.m. kickoff at the Walkup Skydome.
Notes: NAU captains: Blake Kemp, Tyler Shank, LeAndre Vaughn, Jake Thomas…Delsahwn McClellon record his first NAU touchdown as a Lumberjack with a nine-yard score in the first quarter…Emmanuel Butler is tied at No. 2 on the NAU career touchdowns chart with 25…He also moved into the eighth spot on the career receiving yards chart with 2,0008…Hunter Correll made his first appearance in an NAU uniform…His 47-yard TD pass to Hunter Burton was the first completion of his NAU career.