Football Report: Historic Day For SFU's Bo Palmer
Lemar Durant (23) and Bo Palmer (10) celebrate earlier this season after a touchdown.  They had plenty reason to celebrate last Saturday as the Clan beat Azusa Pacific 66-38.
Lemar Durant (23) and Bo Palmer (10) celebrate earlier this season after a touchdown. They had plenty reason to celebrate last Saturday as the Clan beat Azusa Pacific 66-38.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

PORTLAND, Ore. - Last Saturday was a historic day for Simon Fraser running back Bo Palmer who led the Clan to a 66-38 Great Northwest Athletic Conference home football victory against  Azusa Pacific.

First of all, Palmer rushed for 186 yards on 16 carries, scoring on runs of 12, 5 and 67 yards.  He also had 113 yards on five pass receptions including a 75-yarder for a touchdown as SFU improved to 3-3 on the season (2-3 in the GNAC).

His 299 all-purpose yardage total was the second highest in GNAC history, trailing only a 322-yard effort by CWU’s Nat Conley (all rushing) against Humboldt State on Oct. 27, 2001.

His 75-yard pass reception from quarterback Trey Wheeler equaled the 15th longest in GNAC history and his 67-yard touchdown run equaled the 16th longest. 

Those two plays came during a 92-second span of the fourth quarter.  He also became the first player in GNAC history to score four or more touchdowns in back-to-back games as he had four rushing touchdowns on Sept. 29 in a 41-28 win over Dixie State.   

Palmer moved into third place on the NCAA Division II national charts in scoring.  He's scored 11 touchdowns in Simon Fraser's six games this fall.

He also helped SFU move into 22nd place nationally in scoring (37.2), 17th in total offense (467.0) and 16th in passing offense (308.7).

Three other keys to the pass offense rank have been quarterback Trey Wheeler, who leads the GNAC in passing and ranks 15th nationally averaging 303.8 yards per game, along with wide receivers Lemar Durant and Bobby Pospischil.

Durant and Pospischil rank third and fourth nationally in receptions averaging 9.2 and 9.0, respectively.  Durant also ranks fifth in receiving yards averaging 116.3 yards per game.

Also ranked in the Top 10 in this week's NCAA national statistical report is Humboldt State running back Nick Ricciardulli, Western Oregon punter Alexander Bradt and Central Washington defensive back Cedrique Chaney.  Ricciardulli is ninth in rushing averaging 135.3 yards per game.  Bradt is averaging 43.3 yards per punt and ranks eighth, while Chaney ranks 10th in interceptions with four.

In team categories, Humboldt State ranks seventh in passing defense (153.0) and pass defense efficiency (95.5).  Simon Fraser ranks eighth in punt returns (20.2).

SFU travels to Ellensburg this Saturday to face first-place Central Washington. in a 1 p.m. contest  The Wildcats (4-2, 4-1) currently have a one-game lead over defending champion Humboldt State (4-2, 3-2), Dixie State (3-3, 3-2) and Western Oregon (3-3, 3-2) in the conference race.  Simon Fraser (3-3, 2-3) is two back of the Wildcats.

In addition to the game in Ellensburg this Saturday's schedule also sends Humboldt to winless Azusa Pacific (0-6, 0-5) for a 6 p.m. game, while Dixie State plays at Western Oregon.  Kickoff at Monmouth will be 1 p.m.

NATIONAL STATISTICS (Through Oct. 7): Team (Top 30):        Scoring Offense – 22. Simon Fraser 37.2.  Total Offense – 17. Simon Fraser 467.0.  Rushing Offense –  27. Central Washington 206.8.    Passing Offense – 16. Simon Fraser 308.7.  Passing Defense – 7. Humboldt State 153.0. Pass Efficiency Defense – 7.  Humboldt State 95.5.  Kickoff Returns – 17. Central Washington 25.1. Punt Returns – 8. Simon Fraser 20.2.  Punting – 24. Simon Fraser 36.7. Individuals (Top 30): All-Purpose – 25. Nick Ricciardulli, HSU, 152.7.  Total Offense – 19. Trey Wheeler, SFU, 301.7. Rushing – 9. Nick Ricciardulli, HSU, 135.3; 24. Demetrius Sumler, CWU, 111.0.   Scoring – 3. Bo Palmer, SFU, 11.0; 22.  Nick Ricciardulli, HSU, and Demetrius Sumler, CWU, 9.0.  Receptions – 3. Lemar Durant, SFU, 9.2; 4. Bobby Pospischil, SFU, 9.0.  Receiving Yards – 5. Lemar Durant, SFU, 116.3. Punting – 8. Alexander Bradt, WOU, 43.3.  Kick Returns – 22. Cache Morgan, DSC, 27.3. Punt Returns – 29. Victor Spencer, HSU, 11.5. Interceptions – 10. Cedrique Chaney, CWU, 0.67.   Sacks – 16. Alex Markarian, HSU, 1.00. 

THE PASSING GAME:  Azusa Pacific and Simon Fraser combined to throw for 832 yards and had 1,128 yards in total offense as the Clan tied a GNAC single-game record for points scored in a conference game in their 66-38 win.  Azusa QB Nick Owens had a GNAC-season high 425 passing yards, while SFU had 407 yards, including 378 by Trey Wheeler.  Both QBs had four touchdown passes ... Three receivers had 100 or more yards including Palmer (113), APU’s Nick Perez (3-112) and SFU’s Lemar Durant (7-106).  Both Durant and Perez scored two touchdowns.  Durant has had five 100-yard receiving games this fall, three shy of the GNAC single-season record of eight set by CWU’s Johnny Spevak in 2008 ... Two different Dixie State quarterbacks threw for 200 yards in the Red Storm’s win over Central Washington. Griff Robles completed 12 of 19 for 244 yards and Kaleo Nawahine had 234 yards on 16 completions in 31 attempts.  Dixie gained 585 yards as it ended a eight-game losing streak to the Wildcats ...  Humboldt State’s Alex Rump had his string of passes without an interception end at 136 (134 this year) early in the first quarter of the Lumberjacks’ 42-14 loss to Western Oregon.  Rump, who had tied a GNAC record by going five consecutive games without an interception, later left the game with an arm injury after completing 12 of 20 for 91 yards. 

RECORD-TYING INTERCEPTION: Kevin Puckett equaled the GNAC record with a 100-yard interception return in the third quarter of Central Washington’s loss at Dixie State Saturday.  CWU’s Jerome Williams set the record against Western Oregon on Oct. 17, 2009.  It will be a record that can never be broken as under NCAA rules all returns in the end zone are measured from the goal line.  CWU has the three longest returns in conference history including a 97-yarder by Brandon Kennedy against Western Oregon on Oct. 1, 2005.  No one else has had a return longer than 73 yards ... CWU quarterback Ryan Robertson became the sixth player in GNAC history to surpass the 6,000-yard mark in career offense and passing offense in the contest.  Robertson completed 11 of 29 passes for 174 yards and rushed for 11 yards and  has now thrown for 6,032 career yards and has 6,120 yards in total offense.

ROAD WARRIORS: Central Washington, which is scheduled to host Simon Fraser this Saturday, has played  on the road  in six consecutive weeks.  Two of those games were played at Pop Keeney Stadium in Bothell due to poor air quality in the central Washington area due to wild fires.  Under NCAA rules those games count as neutral site contests. Ten of CWU’s last 11 games have been played away from Ellensburg.  The only home game during that stretch was on Nov. 12, 2011 against Dixie State.  The Wildcats won that contest 42-14. 

GAME RECAPS

Dixie State 29, Central Washington 21 (at Saint George):  Dixie State scored the game’s final 19 points, including 13 in the final 4 ½ minutes as the Red Storm earned its first win against Central Washington in nine all-time meetings ... Dixie led 10-7 at halftime before CWU used two interceptions early in the third quarter to go ahead 21-10 ... First defensive back Kevin Puckett had a 100-yard return with 10:45 left in the third quarter to put his team ahead 14-10.  Moments later linebacker John Koopman had a 14-yard return to set up a 40-yard, five-play drive that culminated with a 22-yard touchdown run by Demetrius Sumler.  Sumler also scored on a 33-yard pass from quarterback Ryan Robertson for CWU’s only first-half touchdown.  Sumler had 149 all-purpose yards, rushing for 96 on 21 carries and catching three passes for a team-high 52 yards ...  Dixie dominated the remainder of the game as Matt Porrazzo caught a 56-yard touchdown pass from Griff Robles with 3:18 left in the third quarter.  Then with 4:23 remaining in the final period, A.J. Johnson scored from one yard to finish off a 12-play, 99-yard drive and put the Red Storm up 22-21.  Dixie converted two third down plays on the drive and a fourth-down – a 19-yard pass from Robles to Mitch Frei to the CWU two-yard line right before the touchdown.  Frei finished the contest with a game-high six receptions for 95 yards ... Dixie’s clinching score was a two-yard run by Robles with 1:39 remaining ...  CWU had a chance to tie the game with a touchdown and two-point conversion, but Robertson was intercepted in the end zone on a first-down pass from the 40 by Nick Porrazzo ...Robles (12-19-0, 244 yards) and Kaleo Nawahine (16-31-2, 234 yards) combined to complete 28 of 50 passes for 478 yards.  Zack Fox had four catches for 120 yards, while Andre Aron had five for 98.  Dixie finished the game with a 585-297 advantage in total offense converting on 10 of 20 third-down plays ...Puckett led Central’s tacklers with 14, including 10 solos.  Linebacker Stan Langlow had 11 and also broke up two passes ... Nose tackle Kris Williams had seven tackles to lead the Red Storm.

Western Oregon 42, Humboldt State 14 (at Arcata, CA): Quarterback Cody VonAppen rushed for 90 yards and three touchdowns and had 187 yards of total offense as the Wolves snapped Humboldt State’s home win streak at eight with a 28-point win ... The Lumberjacks hadn’t lost at home since falling to Western Oregon 26-24 on Nov. 6, 2010 ... The Wolves used a eight-yard touchdown interception return by 330-pound defensive lineman Sipili Tuigamalala – the first interception this season off HSU QB Alex Rump - before adding touchdowns on a 15-yard run by Joe Harris and on a three-yard pass from VonAppen to Lucas Gonsalves to go ahead 21-0 after one quarter ... After Nick Ricciardulli got the ‘Jacks on the board in the second quarter on a 12-yard run, VonAppen scored on runs of 16 and three yards to give his team a 35-7 lead midway through the second period . . .Western Oregon outgained Humboldt State 347-230 in total offense, including 250-57 rushing.  Harris had 126 yards on 17 carries, including a long of 61 yards.  Ricciardulli had 78 yards on 18 carries for Humboldt, failing to rush for 100 for the first time in six games this season ...Rump completed 12 of 20 passes for 91 yards before leaving the game with an arm injury.  Casey Mintz, a redshirt freshman, finished up completing eight of 24 for 82 yards ... Defensive end Kraig Akins led the WOU defense with seven tackles, including two of the Wolves’ five sacks.  Tackle Gustave Benthin had six, including 2 ½ for losses of six yards.  Nose tackle Sean McDonald led the HSU defense with 12 tackles.  Defensive end Alex Markarian had nine, including a sack.

Simon Fraser 66, Azusa Pacific 38 (at Burnaby): Simon Fraser had a pair of 20-point quarters including 20 in the second period and 28 in the fourth in outscoring Azusa Pacific at Terry Fox Field ... The Clan outgained the Cougars 654-474 producing the most yards in a GNAC game since Western Oregon gained 684 against Simon Fraser on Sept. 18, 2010 ... The two teams combined for 1,128 yards including 832 passing.   Simon Fraser rushed for 247 yards as Bo Palmer had 187 on 16 rushes.  The Clan had 407 passing yards, 378 by Trey Wheeler who completed 32 of 47, four for touchdowns.  Palmer had 113 receiving yards on five catches and finished with 299 all-purpose yards, the second most in GNAC history.  He had two of the longest scoring plays in GNAC history – just 92 seconds apart in the fourth quarter.  His 75-yard touchdown reception equaled the 15th longest in conference history.  Moments later Palmer, who had four touchdowns for the second game in a row, ran 67 yards for a TD, equaling the 16th longest rush in GNAC history ... SFU’s Bobby Pospischil had 12 receptions for 95 yards.  Four times this season, Pospischil has had 10 or more catches in a game.  Lemar Durant had seven receptions for 106 yards, scoring on catches of 14 and 37 yards.  He has had five 100-yard receiving games this fall ...APU’s Nick Owens had GNAC season highs for total offense (462) and passing (425).  His total offense figure is the fourth highest in conference history.  Owens completed 26 of 40, including two touchdowns to Nick Perez (3 catches-112 yards) and one each to Mike Martens (4-52) and David Trifeletti.  Erik Johnson had six receptions for 73 yards ... Safety Nick Grunsky had 13 tackles to lead the Cougar defense, while cornerback Silas Goma had six tackles, an interception, a blocked kick and three pass breakups.  DB Casey Chinn led Simon Fraser with eight tackles, two for losses of six yards.