Video by Sarahi Apaez.
The Lumberjacks go big for its only preseason 2017 home game against international team Cetys University from Mexico. Cetys arrived to Humboldt County Thursday, August 31, and shared the Lumberjack’s practice field in preparation for Saturday’s game at 6 p.m. game at the Redwood Bowl.
The game started with a 94-yard kickoff return by running back, Jaquan Gardner promptly followed by two other touchdowns by Gardner in the first quarter.
“It was a good start to the game,” Gardner said, “a good way to build momentum for the team.”
Offensively, the Lumberjacks showed its upcoming competition what it is made of. The team put up a total of 83 points on the board by the end of the game. Eight touchdowns were scored by: JaQuan Gardner, Malcolm Hale, Edwin Campbell, Kaleo Garrigan, and Jabar Byrd before Cetys scored its first touchdown with only seconds left in the 2nd quarter.
Malcolm Hale, a transfer player from Contra Costa College, had two receiving touchdowns for a total of 157 yards in the first half of the game.
“I am just happy to be a Jack, to be able to score and be able to win for my team,” Hale said. “Whatever it takes, I am going to do it.”
As well as offense scoring, the defense put several points on the board. Senior, Edwin Campbell from San Jose, California started with the first big hit of the game. And with 10 minutes left in the 2nd quarter, Campbell intercepted the ball and ran it back for a touchdown.
“It felt great,” Campbell said, “it felt like a movie, to be honest.”
Senior, Ryan McKenzie, also from San Jose can relate to his teammate’s enthusiastic play overview. McKenzie went in for a big hit in the 2nd half of the game and also had a 48-yard interception return.
“When you make big plays like that and can score off the turnovers,” McKenzie said. “It gives a good spark for the team.”
Now although the Lumberjacks defense made big plays and overall held a high number on the board, first year defensive coordinator Barry Sacks gave us his opinion about where to go from here for the first official season game on the road against Azusa Pacific next Saturday, September 9.
“I thought we were good, sound, and solid in a lot of situations,” Sacks said. “A little sloppy at times in the second half, but I think it is a great start. We want to make sure we improve as much as we can before next week.”
The Lumberjacks displayed its potential and had its fans chanting every other minute. The players are ready for another blowout, and the coaches are ready for another smart, well-played game.
“We are just ready to prepare for Azusa,” Gardner said. “I think we’ll be alright.”