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Humboldt State Wins 2012 GNAC Championship
Lumberjacks celebrate after winning first conference football title.
Lumberjacks celebrate after winning first conference football title.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Lyndon Rowells rushed for 246 yards - equaling the second highest single-game total in GNAC history - and Humboldt State had a conference record seven interceptions in a 37-7 win over Western Oregon before a crowd of 6,012 Saturday at the Redwood Bowl in Arcata.

The win earned the Lumberjacks (9-1, 7-1) their first-ever GNAC football title and their first conference title since 1995 when they won the Northern California Athletic Conference championship. It was also their 10th title overall.

Rowells set two GNAC records and tied another in the contest. He set the conference single season rushing record finishing the regular campaign with 1,417 yards breaking the old record of 1,327 by Nat Conley of Central Washington in 2001.

Rowells also set the GNAC record for most 100-yard career rushing games (14) and tied the single-season record of seven.

Humboldt built a 30-0 lead after three quarters in avenging its only loss of the season (40-24) three weeks ago in Monmouth.

Quarterback Mike Proulx and wide receiver Kevin Miles hooked up for two first-quarter touchdown pass plays of 20 and 19 yards. Brian Blumberg then kicked field goals of 36 and 40 yards to extend HSU's lead to 20-0 at halftime.

In the third quarter, Alex Hiebert caught a nine-yard pass from Proulx and Blumberg connected from 44 yards.

Western Oregon scored its only touchdown in the fourth quarter on a 18-yard pass from Cory Bean to Royce Spencer before Rowells scored on a three-yard run to complete the scoring.

Humboldt ended up with 483 yards of total offense as Proulx completed 19 of 30 passes for 236 yards. Miles had eight receptions for 97 yards.

Western Oregon managed just 177 yards of offense, 42 rushing and 135 passing. Casey Sarvinski and Jona Faraimo each had eight tackles for the Lumberjacks. Faraimo had the 'Jacks only sack.

Jeremiah Maluia had three of Humboldt's seven interceptions tying the conference record set by HSU's Duval Seamster against Saint Mary's in 2003 and equaled by Bret Hughes of Western Oregon against Western Washington in 2004 and 2005 and Stan Langlow of Central Washington last season against Simon Fraser.

HSU's seven interceptions broke the team record of six set by Central Washington last year against Simon Fraser. Manu King led WOU's defense with nine tackles.

Central Washington 42, Dixie State 14

Ishmael Stinson rushed for 129 yards and Levi Taylor added 126 yards as Central Washington used its ground game to cruise past Dixie State 42-14 Saturday at Tomlinson Stadium.

The Wildcats (4-6, 4-4) led 28-0 at halftime and built its lead up to 42-0 before the Red Storm (1-10, 1-7) got on the board in the fourth quarter on a 80-yard punt return by Cache Morgan and on a five-yard pass from backup quarterback Kaleo Nawahine to Darren Carter in the game's final minute.

CWU also had a punt return of 63 yards for a touchdown by Dominique Gaisie in the first quarter, then went ahead 14-0 in the period on a 20-yard pass from Jose Mohler to Justin Helwege.

Taylor, who had all but one of his 27 carries in the first half, scored twice in the second quarter on short runs of 2 and 3 yards . In the third quarter, Helwege scored again on a 37-yard pass from Mohler.

Stinson then raced in from 17 yards in the opening minute of the fourth quarter to stretch CWU's lead to 42-0.

Central, which had its fewest number of pass attempts (12) in a game in 23 years and its lowest passing total (80) in 11 years, outgained Dixie 363 to 196, including 283 to 5 on the ground.

Stefan Cantwell completed 17 of 38 passes for 158 yards to lead the Red Storm. Tight end Joe Don Duncan caught eight for 75. Helwege had three catches for 63 yards to lead CWU.

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