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August 30, 2014

Tough Season Debut for NAU Football

Postgame Notes

SAN DIEGO, Calif. – Northern Arizona put up a good fight against San Diego State, but the Lumberjacks struggled to convert on third down and fell to the Aztecs 38-7 at Qualcomm Stadium.

"San Diego State is a fine football club," said head coach Jerome Souers. "I thought they came out today and executed very well. We have to work on being more consistent. I saw some positives today, but we really need to work on everything as a whole moving forward."   

Missed opportunities saw NAU down 24-0 at the half against San Diego State. The Lumberjacks garnered 71 yards of offense in the first quarter, and 41 yards in the second unable to catch a steady rhythm.

The game started off slow for both teams, but then SDSU's Donne Pumphrey rushed for a one-yard touchdown with 8:03 to go in the first quarter to take an early edge.  

Chase Price added to the Aztecs score total when he recorded a one-yard rushing touchdown with 1:28 to go in the first.

NAU attempted its first field goal of the game at the 14:47 mark in the second quarter, but the 45-yard attempt was blocked by SDSU's Alex Barrett. 

Junior transfer Siupeli Anau and freshman John Herrero dropped Quinn Kaehler for an 11-yard sack that led to a missed 46-yard field goal attempt by the Aztecs at the 3:19 mark in the second quarter.

The Aztecs got on the scoreboard one more time in the half when, Kaehler found Robert Craighead for a two-yard touchdown pass.

 

The second half was highlighted by an Eddie Horn interception – his first as a Lumberjack. Horn's interception led to a nine-play 74-yard scoring drive by NAU, capped by a one-yard touchdown run from junior Casey Jahn.

 

"I'm excited to step into this role and be a big part of the offense," said Jahn. "I think that things are going to be better come next week. Our drives today hurt us. When one thing went wrong, it turned into another bad thing. From here we really have to focus on working on everything, because that's how we'll get better." 

A miscue by Kyren Poe late in the third quarter saw Calvin Munson return it for 64 yards to the NAU one yard line.

In the fourth quarter the Aztecs returned a punt 64 yards for a touchdown for their final score of the game.

The Lumberjacks struggled on third downs going 5-for-15, and trailed the Aztecs in first downs 25 to 14. Blake Bailey led the defense with nine tackles, while Horn and Austin Hasquet tallied eight apiece.

Poe completed 15-of-28 passes for 188 yards and one interception. Jahn led all rushers with 62 yards, while Alex Holmes caught five passes for 106 yards and a long of 50; his first career 100-yard receiving game. True freshman Elijah Marks registered 103 kickoff return yards.

NAU returns to the field next weekend at Abilene Christian. The Lumberjacks and Wildcats are set to kick off at 4 p.m. The game can be heard live on Hits 106.1 and MoneyRadio 1510 AM and 99.3 FM.