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HSU Captures Team Of The Week After Big Road Win
Gardner finished the day with 200 all-purpose yards and three touchdowns. The running back was also awarded this week's GNAC Football Offensive Player of the Week.
Gardner finished the day with 200 all-purpose yards and three touchdowns. The running back was also awarded this week's GNAC Football Offensive Player of the Week.

Monday, September 11, 2017

PORTLAND, Ore. – An impressive 30-19 road win at defending GNAC champion Azusa Pacific on Saturday has earned Humboldt State Lumberjacks football this week’s Red Lion/GNAC Team of the Week honors.

The Lumberjacks opened the season with its first conference game against then ranked No. 8 Azusa Pacific. The victory snapped the Cougars’ nine-game GNAC win streak and also ended their eight-game home winning streak.

"What a gutty effort by the 54 players that made the trip," said head coach Rob Smith. "I think there is something special about this group and it was affirmed tonight. They were confident, even when things didn't go their way. Offensively, we put some nice drives together and defensively we got some nice stops."

Humboldt outgained the Cougars in total offensive yards 456-405. Ja’Quan Gardner rushed for 168 yards on 31 carries and added three touchdowns, helping him claim the GNAC Football Offensive Player of the Week award. Quarterback Robert Webber threw for 214 yards on 19-26 passing, which included a 23-yard strike to Chase Krivashei early on to cap an eight-play, 75-yard opening drive.

Battling back and forth, Azusa Pacific took the lead just two minutes into the second quarter, 13-7. The Lumberjacks fought back however, scoring touchdowns with 5:08 remaining in the first half and 7:27 left in the third quarter to take a 20-13 lead.

After a failed Cougars’ extra point with 1:54 left in the third quarter, the Lumberjacks rattled off 10-unanswered points. A 24-yard field goal by Jose Morales increased Humboldt’s advantage 23-19 just 3:09 minutes into the fourth quarter. Gardner’s final touchdown of the day came late with 1:59 remaining in the game, capping his stellar 200 all-purpose yard effort.

Jon Todd led Humboldt State with 58 receiving yards on three catches, while Krivashei ended the day with 36 yards and a touchdown.

The ‘Jacks defense forced two fumbles and limited Azusa Pacific to 4 of 10 on 3rd down conversions and 0 of 2 on 4th down attempts. James Benedix led the Jacks with eight total tackles. Curtis Willams totaled seven tackles while Jeff Shott recorded six.

"The defense did bend, but not break. We are an undersized group and we are not a physical group," said Smith. "We have 11 guys that play with high-energy and high-emotion. They held a really good Azusa team to just 19 points."

With the win, Humboldt State finds itself top of the list among teams receiving votes in the AFCA Division II Coaches Poll. The Lumberjacks trail No. 25 Slippery Rock by just four points.

Humboldt State continues its conference slate next weekend, hosting Simon Fraser on Sat., Sept. 16 at the Redwood Bowl. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m.

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