Monday, September 10, 2012
PORTLAND, Ore. - Humboldt State climbed six places and is ranked 11th in this week’s AFCA Division II national football poll.
The Lumberjacks defeated Azusa Pacific 42-17 in their conference opener last Saturday to improve to 2-0 on the season. The ‘Jacks host Simon Fraser this Saturday at 6 p.m.; their third straight home game to begin the season.
That game is one of three on Saturday's schedule. Elsewhere Dixie State plays a 6 p.m. game at Azusa Pacific and Central Washington travels to Western Oregon for a 1 p.m. contest.
‘Jacks Fifth in Pass Efficiency Defense
Humboldt State has allowed just 245 passing yards in two contests to rank 12th nationally in fewest yards allowed. The ‘Jacks are even stingier in pass defense efficiency ranking fifth nationally with a 74.8 ranking.
That category combines pass percentage, yards per completion, interception percentage and touchdown percent. Humboldt has allowed just one touchdown, while leading the conference with four interceptions.
Also in the Top 10 is Simon Fraser which ranks fifth in punt returns with a 29.7 average; that, however, is a small sample. The Clan have had just three returns.
Individually, the top ranked GNAC players are both defenders. Humboldt’s Alex Markarian ranks fourth in sacks (2.25 per game). Central Washington linebacker Stan Langlow is sixth in tackles for loss (3.00 per contest).
Central Washington didn’t punt against Simon Fraser in a 56-28 win Saturday, becoming just the third team in GNAC history to go a game without booting the ball away. The Wildcats kept their punter off the field by converting on nine of 11 third down situations and scoring eight touchdowns.
Western Oregon accomplished that feat against Humboldt State in 2002 and Western Washington didn’t punt against Montana Western in 2001. The last time the Wildcats played a game without punting was Oct. 21, 2000 in a Columbia Football Association contest against Humboldt State.
Game Recaps for Sept. 8
Humboldt State 42, Azusa Pacific 17 (at Arcata): Nick Ricciardulli had his second consecutive 100-yard rushing game netting 108 yards on 28 carries as Humboldt State built a 28-0 first-half lead and coasted to a 25-point home win against Azusa Pacific before a crowd of 5,360. . .Ricciardulli, who ranks 14th nationally in rushing with 267 yards, also scored his third and fourth touchdowns of the young season on runs of two and eight yards. . .Humboldt led 28-7 at halftime, then added a touchdown on a 62-yard fumble return by Jeremiah Maluia early in the third quarter to go ahead 35-7. . .The ‘Jacks finished the contest with 328 yards, including 212 rushing as Bryson Hodges added 44 yards on nine carries. Quarterback Alex Rump completed 11 of 22 passes for 116 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Victor Spencer had 84 yards, 30 on four receptions and 54 on four punt returns. Spencer scored the game’s opening touchdown on a 26-yard pass from Rump on the second play following a 36-yard fumble return by linebacker Chris Peterson as HSU got on the board just 1:53 after the opening kickoff. Jeremiah Maluia forced the turnover stripping the ball from Azusa running back Terrell Watson. . .In addition to his third-quarter touchdown, Maluia also set up Humboldt’s final second quarter score with a 25-yard interception return down to the Azusa 28-yard line. In all the ‘Jacks had a 4-1 takeaway advantage as Marcus Graves also had an interception on the next to the final play of the game. . .Azusa had 273 yards of offense. Watson had 76 yards on 13 carries, including a five-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. QB Tyler Tuiasosopo completed 13 of 28 passes for 132 yards. . .Colton Russi led Humboldt’s defense with 15 tackles, including 2 ½ for losses of five yards. Jake Henderson had a team-best 12 tackles for Azusa.
Dixie State 24, Western Oregon 10 (at St. George): Dixie State scored a pair of third quarter touchdowns to snap a 10-10 tie and defeat Western Oregon before 3,855 fans at Hansen Stadium. . . .Quarterback Griff Robles scored on a 22-yard run to cap off a seven-play, 77-yard touchdown drive with 8:38 left in the period. Later Zack Fox caught a 23-yard pass from backup QB Kaleo Nawahine to finish off a 32-yard six-play drive following a fumble recovery by Tana Woodard at the 32-yard line. That was one of six takeways – three fumble recoveries and three intercepetions – by the Red Storm. Six different players accounted for the six. . ..Running back A.J. Johnson rushed for 119 yards to lead the Dixie offense which produced 352 yards. Robles completed just 11 of 33 for 110 yards. One of the completions was a 16-yard first-quarter touchdown pass to Conor Sklarsky. . .Western Oregon’s lone touchdown was a 29-yard pass from QB Cody VonAppen to Joe Harris that tied the game at 10-10 with 3:31 left in the first half. . .Dixie’s defense held the Wolves to just 239 yards, 64 on the ground. Kenneth Haynes netted 53 yards on 14 carries, while VonAppen completed six of 18 passes for 105. . .Defense dominated as the two teams completed just 33 percent of their passes. WOU was 11 of 35, while Dixie was 14 of 40. . .Cache Morgan, Daniel Moffett and Nick Porazzo all had interceptions for Dixie. In addition to his fumble recovery, Woodard also had four tackles, including two for losses of 18 yards. Cameron Greene led the Red Storm with six tackles. K.J. Boyer and Nick Largent also had recoveries. .Sipili Tuigamalala had a game-high nine tackles for Western Oregon. Bryce Peila had Western Oregon’s lone takeaway, a 14-yard interception return. Peila now has 16 career receptions for 365 yards and ranks second in GNAC history in both categories. .WOU’s Alexander Bradt averaged 47.4 yards on five punts, including a 73-yarder, a yard shy of the GNAC record.
Central Washington 56, Simon Fraser 28 (at Burnaby): Running backs Demetrius Sumler and Johri Fogerson combined for 257 yards and a GNAC-record tying six rushing touchdowns as Central Washington won its conference opener against Simon Fraser. . .Fogerson scored four touchdowns on runs of 11, 3, 22 and 10 netting 103 yards on just 13 carries, while Sumler finished with 154 yards on 22 totes. He scored on runs of 30 and five yards. . .The six touchdowns enabled the Wildcats to tie the GNAC single-game record for rushing touchdowns set by Western Washington against Montana Western in 2001 and equaled by Humboldt State against Simon Fraser in 2010. . .Fogerson’s four TDs was one short of the conference record of five set by Humboldt’s Lyndon Rowells against Simon Fraser in 2010. . .CWU also became just the third team in conference history not to punt in a game. Simon Fraser’s Earl Anderson, meanwhile, matched the conference record for most kickoff returns, bringing back eight for a total of 145 yards. . .Central finished the contest with 529 yards of total offense, rushing for 316 and adding 213 yards through the air as quarterback Ryan Robertson completed 16 of 23 for 208 yards, including a 18-yard TD pass to Tavoy Moore on CWU’s first possession of the game. . .Simon Fraser had 426 yards as Trey Wheeler completed 28 of 36 passes for 285 yards. Bobby Pospischil had 11 receptions for 108 yards and Lemar Durant had 10 for 114. . .Defensively, Stan Langlow and Kevin Puckett paced Central with 13 tackles. Casey Chin led Simon Fraser with 15, including 10 solos.