FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Senior All-American running back Zach Bauman was a true super star tonight as he set a career-high single game record of 266 rushing yards as No. 19/21 Northern Arizona scooted by Idaho State 39-30 at the Walkup Skydome in its Think Pink Homecoming Game. The Lumberjacks' win over the Bengals marked the 42nd straight road loss for Idaho State dating back to 2006.
"That was an exciting Big Sky Conference football game," head coach Jerome Souers. "First half I thought Idaho State had a good game plan, they forced us to do some adjusting. We went in halftime and took care of those adjustments that we needed to and we sprung Zach loose in the third quarter and played some good defense which got them off the field and that enabled us to reposition ourselves and regain control of the game."
The Bengals (3-4, 1-3 Big Sky) had the lead for 21 minutes and 25 seconds that started late in the first quarter and ended four minutes into the third quarter. The Lumberjacks started to come alive when Nick Cole caught a 22-yard touchdown pass from Chase Cartwright late in the second quarter to give NAU its first touchdown of the game. Bauman had back-to-back rushing touchdowns coming out of halftime to give NAU a 25-19 lead with 9:51 to go in the third quarter.
Joining in on the scoring spree was senior wide receiver Jesse Brantley who caught a 22-yard pass from Cartwright to score the next touchdown for the Lumberjacks.
NAU (5-2, 3-1 Big Sky) wasn't quite done yet as Bauman added another touchdown with 5:41 left in the game, but this time it was a nine-yard pass from Cartwright that helped Bauman find his way into the end zone. The Lumberjacks scored 33 unanswered points as they began to pull away from the Bengals.
"I got rattled a little bit early and got knocked around, but you can't let it faze you, you have to continue to drop back and throw the ball with comfort and I think we did a good job on that in the second half," said Cartwright.
The Lumberjacks held a 39-14 lead with five minutes to go in the game. The Bengals were able to close the gap as time continued to expire, but NAU came out on top with a 39-30 win and its third Big Sky victory of the season to remain undefeated at home.
Bauman scored a total of three touchdowns and tallied 324 all-purpose yards to lead the offensive unit. Cartwright completed 17-of-26 passes for a total of 157 yards to go along with three touchdown passes.
(On setting the record) "It's an individual performance, but those big runs and long passes, that comes because the quarterback throws great balls and the receivers blocking down field," said Bauman. "The offensive line is creating seams for me to run so the record is a tribute to my team."
Austin Hasquet led NAU in tackles for the third time this season. The senior finished with nine tackles, eight solo and one assisted. Mike Dosen and Lucky Dozier tallied six tackles apiece to round out the top three.
The Lumberjacks will hit the road next week as they travel to Cal Poly on Saturday, October 26 for a 6:05 p.m. kickoff at Alex G. Spanos Stadium.