OGDEN, Utah – Northern Arizona senior linebacker Jake Thomas was named the ROOT SPORTS Big Sky Defensive Player of the Week, announced Monday by the league office. The honor is the first of Thomas' career and the second distinction for a Lumberjack this season.
The Mesa, Ariz. native was everywhere on defense in NAU's 45-34 win over No. 10 Montana. He led all players with a career-high 14 tackles; five solo and nine assisted. He forced his second fumble of the year when he stripped Montana's James Homan of the ball. Thomas' defensive efforts led to an NAU touchdown on the next drive, extending the home team's lead at that point to 38-20. Thomas and the Lumberjack defense held Montana to 0 of 4 on fourth-down conversions and 5 of 16 on third-down conversions.
Thomas also showed off his offensive skills when he lined up at fullback on 3rd and goal in the second quarter and caught a pass from senior quarterback Blake Kemp. The touchdown was the second for Thomas this season.
Thomas was also named the College Sports Madness Big Sky Defensive Player of the Week.
NAU (4-4, 3-2 BSC) is on a bye this week, but will return to the field next Saturday on the road at Weber State (5-2, 4-0 BSC).