2-0 Start Earns Humboldt State Votes in AFCA Poll
Freshman Ja'Quan Gardner leads the GNAC in rushing with 297 yards.
Freshman Ja'Quan Gardner leads the GNAC in rushing with 297 yards.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

PORTLAND, Ore. –   Humboldt State, coming off an 0-11 campaign, goes for its third consecutive win Saturday when it travels to Saint George, Utah for a non-conference game with Dixie State.  Kickoff is at 6 p.m.

That is one of three non-conference games matching GNAC teams on Saturday’s schedule.  Elsewhere Simon Fraser will visit Azusa Pacific (6 p.m.) and Western Oregon hosts Central Washington (1 p.m.).

South Dakota Mines, meanwhile, is at home to host Wisconsin – River Falls (6 p.m. Mountain).

Humboldt State, after opening its season with a 27-14 win at Texas A&M – Kingsville, upset 14th ranked Azusa Pacific 30-10 last Saturday before 5,998 fans at the Redwood Bowl.

That earned the Lumberjacks 11 points in this week’s AFCA national poll putting them into 38th place overall.  APU  dropped just out of the Top 25, placing 26th overall with 56 ballot points.

Humboldt has posted some impressive numbers in winning its first two games.

The Lumberjacks lead the GNAC in rushing offense, averaging 248.5 yards per game.  Freshman Ja’Quan Gardner ranks No. 1 averaging 148.5 yards per game and Nick Ricciardulli ranks third averaging 104.0.

On defense, the Lumberjacks  are the GNAC leaders in scoring defense (12.0), total defense (258.0), rushing defense (118.0) and pass efficiency defense (98.3).

Nationally, they rank 14th in total defense and 20th in scoring defense.

HSU hasn’t turned the ball over in its two contests as true-freshman QB  Robert Webber has completed 29 of 52 passes for 309 yards.

Dixie State comes into the contest as the GNAC’s No. 2 ranked offense averaging 437.5 yards though they were held to 235 by Central Washington last Saturday in a 48-14 loss.

CWU netted 581 yards in the contest as sophomore quarterback Jake Nelson had a career-high 299 yards passing.  Kent McKinney had five receptions for 140 yards.

Western Oregon, which leads the GNAC in scoring (38.0),  is led by quarterback Ryan Bergman.

Bergman leads the conference in passing averaging 330 yards per game and Paul Revis who is the conference leader in all-purpose yards (205.0) and receiving yards (100.5).

Azusa Pacific will look to bounce back after its loss against Humboldt State.  Terrell Watson has rushed for 253 yards in two games, but the Cougar passing game has produced just 174 yards and APU ranks last in the conference in scoring (18.0) and total offense (263.5).

Simon Fraser quarterback Ryan Stanford has passed for 647 yards in two games.  Wide receiver Lemar Durant caught 11 passes for 151 yards in the Clan’s season opener, but missed last week with an illness and is expected to be sidelined for three weeks.

South Dakota Mines leads the GNAC in total offense averaging 466.5 yards per game in losing its first two games of the season.