By | Skye Kimya
This weekend the Humboldt State Lumberjacks faced off against rival, Azusa Pacific Cougars, on the road for its first 2017 season game. The Jacks defeated the 8th ranked Cougars 30-19.
After losing to Azusa twice last season by a combined score of 83 – 40, the Jacks were ready to create a different narrative this year. The win also snapped the Cougars’ nine-game GNAC win streak and also ended their eight-game home winning streak.
Ereon Nash, a sophomore defensive back who played against Azusa Pacific last season, knew they had to come back and play better this year.
“We prepared all week,” Nash said, “we know we had to bring it and come out here ready.”
An offensive battle, the jacks outgained the Cougars in total offensive yards 456-405. Senior Running Back Ja’Quan Gardner had 168 yards on 31 carries, scoring three touchdowns. The preformarnce helped him claim the GNAC Football Offensive Player of the Week award.
Junior John Todd led the Jacks with 58 receiving yards, including a 14 yard catch that secured the school’s all-time passing record for Senior Quarterback Robert Webber.
“We stepped up when we needed to step up,” Todd said, “we want that ring, so we need to make things happen.”
With the win, Humboldt State finds itself top of the list among teams receiving votes in the AFCA Division II Coaches Poll. The Lumberjacks trail No. 25 Slippery Rock by just four points.
Humboldt State continues its conference schedule next weekend, hosting Simon Fraser on Sat., Sept. 16 at the Redwood Bowl. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m.
“We just showed up, handled business, and shut it down,” Nash said.