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Plenty To Play For With Two Weeks Left In Football Season
Conference commissioner Dave Haglund presents the GNAC championship trophy to Azusa Pacific following the Cougars' 44-7 win over Central Washington on Saturday.
Conference commissioner Dave Haglund presents the GNAC championship trophy to Azusa Pacific following the Cougars' 44-7 win over Central Washington on Saturday.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

While Azusa Pacific has sewn up its third GNAC football championship in the last four years, there is still plenty to play for in the final two weeks of the season for all five conference teams.

The Cougars left no doubt in clinching the title on Saturday, scoring the first 37 points of the game en route to a 44-7 home win over Central Washington. Azusa Pacific finished with 508 yards of total offense. Wide receiver Weston Carr accounted for 189 of those yards and scored for touchdowns to earn the GNAC Offensive Player of the Week award.

Azusa Pacific also got the job done on defense, forcing three interceptions and sacking CWU quarterback Justin Lane six times. C.J. Broussard was named the GNAC Defensive Player of the Week after he finished with five tackles and two interceptions.

The Cougars will need two wins in the final weeks to try and secure a spot in the NCAA Playoffs. Currently ranked No. 6 in Super Region 3, APU will host Western Oregon on Saturday before playing at Colorado Mesa on Nov. 12 to end the season.

Humboldt State made it two wins in a row with a big 47-9 win over Simon Fraser. The Lumberjacks finished with 546 yards of total offense, led by a 301-yard passing performance by Robert Webber.

The Clan, meanwhile, made progress by scoring its first offensive touchdown since Oct. 1 with Jalen Jana scoring on a 39-yard run with 9:46 to go in the game.

The Lumberjacks will play in its final non-conference game and home game of the season on Saturday, hosting Western State. Simon Fraser is on the road at Central Washington.

THIS WEEK'S GNAC PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
OFFENSE
Weston Carr, Azusa Pacific
WR • 6-1 • 195 • Freshman • Benecia, Calif.

Carr finished with 189 receiving yards and four touchdowns on nine receptions, leading Azusa Pacific in its GNAC title clinching 44-7 win over Central Washington. His night included a long 45-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter.

Also Nominated: Robert Webber (Humboldt State).

DEFENSE
C.J. Broussard, Azusa Pacific
CB • 6-0 • 198 • Senior • Clovis, Calif.

Broussard finished with five tackles for the Cougars and had two of Azusa Pacific’s three interceptions in the game in a 44-7 win over Central Washington. Broussard now has five interceptions on the season.

Also Nominated: Cameron Buell (Humboldt State).

SPECIAL TEAMS
Cameron Southward, Humboldt State
K • 6-1 • 200 • Senior • Auburn, Calif.

Southward made two field goals, including a long of 31 yards, and went 4 for 5 on PAT opportunities in the Lumberjacks’ 47-9 victory at home over Simon Fraser.

Also Nominated: Jacob Hall (Azusa Pacific).

AROUND THE GNAC
AZUSA PACIFIC
• Azusa Pacific’s clinched its third GNAC championship in four years Saturday, scoring the first 37 points of the contest en route to a 44-7 win over Central Washington at Citrus Stadium.

• With the win, Azusa Pacific moved up to No. 13 in the AFCA Division II Coaches Poll and retained the No. 6 ranking in the latest NCAA Super Region 3 Rankings.

• Wide receiver Weston Carr was named the GNAC Offensive Player of the Week. The freshman caught nine passes for 189 yards and had four touchdowns, including a 45-yard scoring reception in the fourth quarter. Carr enters the week ranked second in the GNAC with 86.1 receiving yards per game.

• Cornerback C.J. Broussard was named GNAC Defensive Player of the Week after finishing with five tackles and two interceptions in the win. Both interceptions led to touchdowns. Broussard leads the GNAC with five interceptions and is 13th in Division II with 0.6 interceptions per game.

• Quarterback Andrew Elffers completed 21 of 32 passes for 321 yards and four touchdowns in the win. Elffers is third in the GNAC with 191.1 passing yards per game and 215 total offense yards per game. In the NCAA stats, Elffers is fourth with a 175.3 pass efficiency rating and ninth with 9.34 yards per pass attempt.

• As a team, Azusa Pacific leads the GNAC in scoring (39.7 points per game), pass efficiency (170.6), scoring defense (13.0 points allowed per game), rushing defense (90.2 yards allowed per game), pass defense efficiency (104.7) and turnover margin (2.00) and field goals (9/14). The Cougars lead Division II with a .478 red zone defense percentage and 28.29 yards per kickoff return.

• The Cougars had four interceptions and returned three of them for touchdowns to set a GNAC single game record against Simon Fraser on Oct. 22. The previous record for interception touchdowns was two set by Central Washington in 2005 and matched in 2014. The effort also tied a NCAA Division II single game record set by many teams, but had not happened since Bloomsburg accomplished the feat vs. East Stroudsburg on Oct. 31, 1998.

• Azusa Pacific finishes its GNAC schedule on Saturday, hosting Western Oregon.

CENTRAL WASHINGTON
• Central Washington had trouble against the best defense in the GNAC, failing to find the endzone until the fourth quarter in a 44-7 loss at Azusa Pacific.

• The Wildcats finished with 321 yards of total offense, but went just 1 for 2 in red zone conversions and 9 of 17 on third down conversions. Quarterback JoJo Hillel led the way, completing 9 of 19 passes for 113 yards and a touchdown while also carrying 11 times for 69 yards.

• Starting quarterback Justin Lane completed 8 of 15 for 66 yards. He enters the week second in the GNAC with 227.8 passing yards and 232 yards of total offense per game. In the NCAA stats, Lane is 19th with 14.81 yards per pass completion.

• Defensive back Kevin Haynes led the CWU defense with 12 tackles, three tackles for loss for 10 yards and a half-sack. Haynes is second in the GNAC and 24th in Division II with an average of 10 tackles per game. He is seventh in Division II with 6.6 solo tackles per game.

• Defensive lineman Tovar Sanchez leads the GNAC and is eighth in Division II with two tackles for loss per game. He is also second in the GNAC and 19th in Division II with 0.94 sacks per game.

• As a team, Central Washington leads the GNAC in opponent first downs (144) and second in rushing offense (142.9 yards per game), pass offense (265.6 yards per game), total offense (408.5 yards per game), scoring defense (21.9 points allowed per game), total defense (335.6 yards per game), pass defense efficiency (128.4) and time of possession (29:52 per game). In the NCAA stats, the Wildcats are second in team tackles for loss (10.3 per game), sixth in fumbles lost (3) seventh in fourth down conversion defense (.188).

• Central Washington set a GNAC single game record by forcing Simon Fraser to punt 13 times on Oct. 1. That beat the previous record 12 set on five occasions, most recently by Western Oregon at Portland State on Sept. 26, 2015.

• The Wildcats play its final two games at home and will host Simon Fraser on Saturday.

HUMBOLDT STATE
• Humboldt State made it two wins in a row Saturday, finishing with 546 yards of total offense with a 47-9 home win over Simon Fraser.

• Quarterback Robert Webber led the HSU offense by completing 20 of 27 passes for 201 yards and three touchdowns. Wide receiver John Todd caught six of those passes for 88 yards and two touchdowns while Marjani Ellison caught seven passes for 99 yards and a touchdown.

• Webber leads the GNAC with 298.7 passing yards per game and 298.6 yards of total offense per game. In the NCAA stats, Webber is 10th with 2,688 passing yards and 12th in passing yards per game.

• Running back Ja’Quan Gardner led the Humboldt State ground attack, carrying 14 times for 96 yards and two touchdowns. Gardner leads the GNAC and is 21st in Division II with 103.9 rushing yards per game. He also ranks eighth in Division II with 17 touchdowns and 102 points scored.

• Kicker Cameron Southward was named the GNAC Special Teams Player of the Week after going 4 for 5 on point-after attempts and 2 for 2 on field goals, connecting on attempts from 19 yards and 31 yards. Southward is second in the GNAC in both field goals (0.78 made per game) and scoring on kicks (6.9 points per game).

• As a team, Humboldt State leads the GNAC in rushing offense (152.6 yards per game), pass offense (305.1 yards per game), total offense (457.7 yards per game), first downs (216), pass defense (232.1 yards allowed per game) and punting (35.9 yards per punt). The Lumberjacks are  fourth in blocked punts (4), 13th in block kicks (5) and 15th in Division II in rushing offense.

• On Sept. 24, Humboldt State set GNAC single game records with 44 pass completions and 24 first downs passing. In the same game, Robert Webber set GNAC single game records of 502 passing yards and 44 pass completions and tied a GNAC record with 64 pass attempts.

• Humboldt State plays its final home game of the season and its final non-conference game on Saturday night, hosting Western State.

SIMON FRASER
• Simon Fraser finished with 146 yards of total offense in its 47-9 road loss to Humboldt State.

• The Clan scored its first offensive touchdown since Oct. 1 in the game as Jalen Jana scored on a 39-yard touchdown run with 9:46 left in the fourth.

• Quarterback Miles Richardson led the SFU offense, completing 17 of 29 for 104 yards. Justin Buren was again the top target, catching four passes for 33 yards.

• Linebacker Jordan Herdman led the Clan defense with 15 tackles, one tackle for loss and sack and a fumble recovery. The senior leads the GNAC and is fourth in Division II with 12.2 tackles per game. Herdman also continues to add to his career records with a total of 413 total tackles and 216 assisted tackles.

• The defense continues to be the Clan’s strength. Simon Fraser is 11th in Division II in fumbles recovered with 11 and is 18th in tackles for loss with 10.3 per game. The Clan is also 11th in punt returns, averaging 17.50 yards per return.

• Simon Fraser set a GNAC record with 13 punts against Central Washington on Oct. 1, surpassing the mark of 12 set by five different teams, most recently Western Oregon vs. Portland State on Sept. 26, 2015. Punter Colin Cossette kicked the ball away all 13 games to surpass the individual single game record of 12 set three times, most recently Western Oregon’s Alexander Bradt against Western Oregon in 2015. Cossette averaged 30.8 yards per punt in the game.

• Simon Fraser plays its final road game on Saturday at Central Washington.

WESTERN OREGON
• Western Oregon enjoyed the final bye week for a GNAC team this season. The Wolves are in action on Saturday night at Azusa Pacific.

• In its last game, Oct. 22, Western Oregon saw a big fourth quarter comeback fall short in a nationally televised game as the Wolves lost 42-37 at home to Humboldt State. The Wolves led the game most offensive categories, finishing with 524 yards of total offense.

• Most of the offense came from quarterback Phillip Fenumiai, who completed 22 of 40 passes for 300 yards and three touchdowns and rushed 17 times for 145 yards and a 73-yard touchdown run. The junior is fourth in the GNAC with 212.1 yards of total offense per game, fourth in passing with 173.4 yards per game and sixth in rushing with 38.8 yards per game.

• Receiver Paul Revis enters the week leading Division II with 24.3 yards per punt return and sixth with 18.250 all-purpose yards per game. Revis leads the GNAC eith 102.4 receiving yards per game, 22.8 yards per kickoff return and 24.3 yards per punt return.

• As a team, Western Oregon leads the GNAC and is second in Division II with 23.31 yards per punt return.

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