Football Report: 3 GNAC Players in Top 25 in Rushing
Humboldt State's Nick Ricciardulli (with ball) has rushed for 100 or more yards in four consecutive games.
Humboldt State's Nick Ricciardulli (with ball) has rushed for 100 or more yards in four consecutive games.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

PORTLAND, Ore. - Two of the top rushing teams in the country – with virtually identical numbers - will square off this Saturday at Bothell when Central Washington hosts defending GNAC champion Humboldt State. Kickoff at Pop Keeney Stadium will be 6 p.m.  Both teams bring 3-0 conference records into the contest.

Humboldt State (4-0 overall), which is ranked ninth in this week’s AFCA national poll, ranks 21st in rushing averaging 228 yards per game, while Central Washington (3-1), which is among “others receiving votes” and is 32nd overall in the AFCA poll, ranks 22nd in rushing averaging 226 yards per game. 

The contest will also feature three of the Top 25 individual rushers in the country.  Humboldt’s Nick Ricciardulli leads the GNAC and is ranked fifth nationally with a 157.0 yards per game average.  CWU’s Johri Fogerson ranks 18th with a 115.3 per game average and Central’s Demetrius Sumler ranks 23rd with a 104.5 average.  Fogerson also is the national leader in scoring averaging 16 points per game.

Twice this season CWU has rushed for 300 yards including last Saturday when it gained 320 against Azusa Pacific. The Wildcats also rushed for 316 yards on Sept. 8 against Simon Fraser.  CWU  joined Humboldt State as the only team in GNAC history to rush for 300 yards twice in the same season. 

Humboldt State accomplished that feat three times during the 2010 campaign.  There have been only nine 300-yard team rushing games in GNAC history – five by CWU, three by HSU and one by Simon Fraser.

PASSING FOR 400: Simon Fraser quarterback Trey Wheeler threw for a GNAC season-high 404 yards in Saturday’s 20-16 loss at Western Oregon.  Wheeler’s total ranks 10th on the GNAC all-time single-game list and is only the 13th 400-yard game in conference history.  Wheeler has been efficient this fall, producing the top three passing percentage games including 81.0 percent against Pacific (17 of 21), 78.9 percent against Central Washington (30 of 38) and 78.3 percent against Western Oregon (36 of 46).

NO INTERCEPTIONS: Humboldt State quarterback Alex Rump hasn’t been  intercepted this fall in 94 pass attempts.   Rump’s four consecutive games without an interception is one shy of the GNAC record of five set by Scott Mitchell of Western Washington over a two-year span in 2001 and 2002.

HIGHEST RANKING:   Humboldt State’s No. 9 ranking in this week’s AFCA national poll is the highest national ranking in school history.  The Lumberjacks played in the 1960 Holiday Bowl for the national championship losing 15-14 to Lenoir Rhyne and in the 1968 Camelia Bowl for the West Region title defeating Fresno State 29-14.  But, both of those seasons pre-dated national polls.  They finished  39th in the final 2010 AFCA poll and 20th in last year’s final poll.  

NATIONAL STATISTICS (Through Sept. 22): Team (Top 30):     Scoring Offense – 9. Humboldt State 42.5. Scoring Defense – 21. Humboldt State 17.5.  Rushing Offense – 21. Humboldt State 228.0; 22. Central Washington 226.0.    Passing Offense – 25. Simon Fraser 283.2. Pass Efficiency Offense – 15. Humboldt State 162.0. Passing Defense – 18. Humboldt State 158.8; 25. Dixie State 170.2. Pass Efficiency Defense – 5.  Humboldt State 85.5.  Kickoff Returns – 24. Central Washington 25.4; 29. Dixie State 24.9. Punt Returns – 13. Simon Fraser 20.2.  Turnover Margin – 5. Humboldt State 2.00 (+8).  Individuals (Top 30): All-Purpose – 15. Nick Ricciardulli, HSU, 172.2.  Total Offense – 24. Trey Wheeler, SFU, 282.8. Rushing – 4. Nick Ricciardulli, HSU, 157.0; 18. Johri Fogerson, CWU, 115.3; 23. Demetrius Sumler, CWU, 104.5. Pass Efficiency – 18. Alex Rump, HSU, 161.1. Scoring – 1. Johri Fogerson, CWU, 16.0; 5.  Nick Ricciardulli, HSU, 12.0.  Receptions – 2. Lemar Durant, SFU, 9.8; 7. Bobby Pospischil, SFU, 9.0.  Receiving Yards – 7. Lemar Durant, SFU, 119.0. Punt Returns – 27. Victor Spencer, HSU, 13.0.  Punting – 5. Alexander Bradt, WOU, 44.6.  Kick Returns – 28. Cache Morgan, DSC, 27.9.     Sacks – 14. Alex Markarian, HSU, 1.25.  Tackles For Loss – 21. Stan Langlow, CWU, 2.00.  

WILDFIRES FORCE MOVE TO BOTHELL: For the second week in a row, Central Washington will play a “home game” at Pop Keeney Stadium in Bothell due to poor air quality in the central Washington area due to wild fires.  Kickoff will be at 6 p.m.  The Wildcats hosted Azusa Pacific at Bothell last Saturday.


Western Oregon 20, Simon Fraser 16 (at Monmouth): Linebacker Scotland Foss had two interceptions including one in the end zone with 24 seconds remaining to seal Western Oregon’s 20-16 home victory at McArthur Field. .  .Foss’ theft ended a Simon Fraser drive that started with seven straight completions by Clan quarterback Trey Wheeler bringing the ball to the WOU 14. . .Moments earlier, the Wolves had driven 69 yards in eight plays to take a 20-16 lead on a one-yard run by quarterback Cody VonAppen.  The big play of that  drive was a third-and-five 28-yard pass from VonAppen to Tyrell Williams, taking the ball down to the Clan 12.  On the next play, Kenneth Haynes ran to the 1 to set up the touchdown. . WOU’s winning drive was in response to a 82-yard, 7-play drive by Simon Fraser.  Lemar Durant caught a 33-yard pass from Wheeler with 5:25 left to put his team up 16-13. . .Wheeler had a GNAC season-best 404 yards passing, recording the 13th 400-yard passing game in GNAC history, completing 36 of 46. . .Durant (13-175) and Bobby Pospischil (10-71) each had their third double-digit receiving games of the season.  Durant currently ranks second in the nation in receptions (9.8 per game) and seventh in yards receiving (119.0) while Pospischil ranks seventh in receptions (9.0). . .The Clan outgained Western Oregon 496-347 in total offense.  VonAppen had 253 passing yards, converting on 19 of 32 passes.  Royce Spencer had six receptions for 117 yards, while Williams (63 yards) and Tyler Davis (47 yards) each had five catches. . .Defensive back Adam Berger led SFU’s defense with nine tackles.  DB Bryce Peila paced the Wolf defense with 11 tackles.

Central Washington 41, Azusa Pacific 17 (at Bothell):  Running backs Demetrius Sumler and Johri Fogerson combined for 274 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Wildcats to a 24-point win before a crowd of 2,297 fans at Pop Keeney Stadium in Bothell. . .Sumler had 148 yards on 21 rushes and scored three touchdowns, while Fogerson, who leads the nation in scoring with an averaging of 16 points per game (48 in three contests), had 126 on 26 rushes.  He found the end zone twice, once in the second quarter on a four-yard run and once in the fourth quarter on a 37-yard reception. . .CWU had 320 yards on the ground, reaching the 300-level for the second time this season and joining Humboldt State’s 2010 team as the only squad in GNAC history to have multiple 300-yard games in the same season. . .Central finished with 418 yards in total offense as QB Ryan Robertson completed eight of 12 passes for 98 yards.  Fogerson had 56 yards on two catches earning 182 all-purpose yards. . .Terrell Watson scored on a 65-yard run early in the second quarter and had 112 yards on 11 rushes to pace Azusa’s 338-yard balanced offensive attack (171 rushing, 167 passing). . .Azusa trailed by just 10 points (27-17) after a 54-yard pass from Everett’s Tyler Tuiasosopo to Mike Martens in the third quarter and a 43-yard field goal by Jamie Cacciatore on the first play of the fourth quarter,  But, Fogerson’s TD reception stretched the lead back to 17. . .Linebacker Sean Barber led APU with 12 tackles and safety Jake Mittel had 10. . .Kevin Puckett had eight tackles for CWU.   Lineman Jarrel Johnson had five, including two for losses of 12 yards.  He also forced and recovered a fumble.  Louie Bruketta and Cedrique Chaney had interceptions for the Wildcats.  Chaney’s came in the end zone, his third end-zone interception in two weeks.

Humboldt State 49, Dixie State 13 (at St. George, UT): Nick Ricciardulli posted his fourth consecutive 100-yard rushing game and scored three touchdowns as the Humboldt State ran their two-season winning streak to seven games before a crowd of 3,883 at Hansen Stadium. . .Ricciardulli, who ranks fourth nationally in rushing,  netted 157 yards, averaging 8.7 yards per carry.  He scored on a two-yard run in the first quarter, on a three-yard run in the second quarter and on a 24-yard tote in the third period. . .Humboldt had 451 yards in total offense, rushing for 235 yards and five touchdowns and netting 216 yards passing as starting quarterback Alex Rump completed 16 of 21 passes for 200 yards.  Rump wasn’t intercepted extending his string of attempts without an interception to 94.  . .Rump’s four consecutive games without an interception is one shy of the GNAC record of five set by Scott Mitchell of Western Washington over a two-year span in 2001 and 2002. . .Victor Spencer (55 yards) and Tommy Darcey (50 yards) each had four receptions. . .Dixie quarterback Griff Robles had 88 rushing yards on 10 carries and Myles Burton had 57 on three carries as the Red Storm had 193 yards on the ground.  But Dixie was limited to 80 yards passing on 10 completions in 28 attempts. . .HSU’s defense had eight tackles for losses including 2 ½ by linebacker Brian Sampson, who had a team-high eight tackles. . .Dixie linebacker Jake Duncan led his team with eight tackles. . .There was just one takeaway in the contest, a fumble recover by Humboldt defensive back Tanner Webb as the Lumberjacks increased their takeaway ratio on the season to plus 8.  Their 2.00 average ranks fifth nationally.

GNAC Players of the Week