Isaiah Hall, right, gets to the edge of the field and turns toward the end zone for the Humboldt State University offense while defeating Simon Fraser 72-14 on Saturday, Sept. 16. Photo credit: Diego Linares

HSU rolls past Simon Fraser 72-14

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By | Diego Linares

The football team has now scored 185 points over its first three games of the season after defeating Simon Fraser University, 72-14, in the Redwood Bowl on Saturday, Sept. 16.

“It’s awesome. I love those guys,” Humboldt State University quarterback, Robert Webber, said about his offensive line. “Those guys really do one heck of a job to keep me upright and allow me to do what I do, but none of this would happen without them.”

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Humboldt State University running back Jabar Byrd sprints past defenders down the left side of the field for a 23-yard touchdown run in the third quarter of a 72-14 win over Simon Fraser University on Saturday, Sept. 16. Photo credit: Diego Linares

Webber recently, against Azusa Pacific University, became the all-time leader in passing yards and completions for HSU and managed to keep that momentum into Saturday’s game. Webber finished with five touchdowns and 224-yards on 15 completions out of 18 attempts.

“When you have a running game, running backs like Ja’Quan (Gardner) and Jabar (Byrd) and all them, and an offensive line that dominates the line of scrimmage, it makes it easier on me because they try to load the box,” Webber said.

Gardner had 85-yards on his first six carries of the game and finished with 121-yards and a touchdown. The rushing attack sparked the offense and kept the opposing team’s defense honest having to commit to stopping the run throughout the game.

Simon Fraser was able to score two touchdowns in the second quarter to keep things interesting in the first half, but HSU managed to go on a 51-point tear.

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Defensive coordinator Barry Sacks lectures linemen of the Humboldt State University defense on the sideline during the team’s 72-14 win over Simon Fraser University on Saturday, Sept. 16 in the Redwood Bowl. Photo credit: Diego Linares

“It’s important that you don’t let your play drop off,” HSU head coach Rob Smith said. “I thought we were flat when we came out, but then the players responded. We’ve got a lot of weapons on the offensive side and we were able to utilize many of them tonight.”

While the offense was handling things on its end, the HSU defense was also able to put pressure on the opposing quarterback, contain Simon Fraser’s running back, Jalen Jana, and create a turnover late in the game.

HSU defensive lineman Sefa Tauanu’u managed to get in the backfield for two tackles for loss against Simon Fraser, while also getting three quarterback hits in last week’s win against Azusa Pacific.

“If I trust them and they trust me, then we’ll get it,” Tauanu’u said about working with his teammates. “If I’m taking on a double-team, I trust that one of my fellow defensive linemen can get a sack or a tackle for loss.”

Simon Fraser is now on a 26-game losing streak, winning 10 games since the 2012 season.

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Jabar Byrd makes a cut upfield as he finds his opening in a 72-14 win for Humboldt State University over Simon Fraser University on Saturday, Sept. 16 in the Redwood Bowl. Photo credit: Diego Linares

“For us to compete, we need to execute at a very high level,” Simon Fraser head coach Kelly Bates said. Which means great decision making, and we’re just not consistent enough right now.”

The football team’s next game is Saturday, Sept. 23 against Central Washington University, the only other team in the Greater Northwestern Athletic Conference with a 3-0 record.

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