Football Report: Markarian Ranks 3rd in Sacks
Humboldt's Victor Spencer tip-toes up sideline during a 51-yard punt  return for a touchdown last Saturday (HSU Photo)
Humboldt's Victor Spencer tip-toes up sideline during a 51-yard punt return for a touchdown last Saturday (HSU Photo)

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

PORTLAND, Ore. - Defensive end Alex Markarian of Humboldt State is the highest ranked GNAC player in this week’s NCAA Division II football national statistical report.

Markarian is ranked third in sacks with three.

He also ranks 16th in tackles for losses with the same number.

Other players ranked in the Top 10 include Earl Anderson of Simon Fraser, sixth in kick returns (43.0); Zach Fox of Dixie State and Tyrrell Williams of Western Oregon, eighth in receptions (10) and  Kelly Morgan of Western Oregon, ninth in field goals.

Humboldt State’s Nick Ricciardulli ranks 12th in rushing with 159 yards.

In team categories, Simon Fraser ranks third in kickoff returns (43.0) and seventh in punt returns (29.7). The Clan also ranks 15th in rushing defense (40.0) and turnover margin (2.00).

Humboldt State ranks 14th in passing defense (113.0) and pass defense efficiency (77.8).

In this week's AFCA national poll, the Lumberjacks jumped to 17th.

NATIONAL STATISTICS: Team (Top 30):  Scoring Offense – 17. Simon Fraser 51.0.  Scoring Defense – 28. Simon Fraser 14.0.  Total Defense – 27. Rushing Offense – 16. Simon Fraser 250.0.  Rushing Defense – 15. Simon Fraser 40.0; 24. Dixie State 55.0.  Passing Offense – 29. Dixie State 296.0.  Passing Defense – 14. Humboldt State 113.0.  Pass Efficiency Defense – 14.  Humboldt State 77.8  Kickoff Returns – 3. Simon Fraser 43.0.  Punt Returns – 7. Simon Fraser 29.7; 21. Humboldt State 19.3.  Turnover Margin – 15. Simon Fraser 2.00.  Individuals (Top 30): Rushing – 12. Nick Ricciardulli, HSU, 149.0.  Total Offense – 17. Cody VonAppen, WOU, 344.0; 27. Griff Robles, DSC, 311.0.  Scoring – 25. Victor Spencer, HSU; Nick Ricciardulli, HSU; Lemar Durant, SFU, and Bo Palmer, SFU, 12.0.  Receptions – 8. Zach Fox, DSC, and Tyrell Williams, WOU, 10.0.  Field Goals – 9. Kelly Morgan, WOU, 2.0; 18. Matt Bruder, HSU; Tiernan Docherty, SFU; and Michael Meyers, DSC, 1.0.  Punt Returns – 13. Victor Spencer, HSU, 19.3.  Kick Returns – 6. Earl Anderson, SFU, 43.0. Tackles – 12. Jake Duncan, DSC, 13.0; 29. Jeremiah Maluia, HSU, 12.0.  Sacks – 3. Alex Markarian, HSU, 3.00; 29. Matt Gorella, HSU, 1.50.  Tackles For Loss – 16. Alex Markarian, HSU, 3.00.  Interceptions – 11. Kevin Cooper, HSU; Nick Sharpe, HSU; and Janne Lehtinen, SFU, 1.0.

POLLS: AFCA (Sept. 5) – 17. Humboldt State. D2Football.Com (Pre-Season) – No GNAC team is ranked.

Game Recaps for Aug. 30-Sept. 1 

Humboldt State 38, Colorado Mesa 19:  Humboldt State got touchdowns from its defense and special teams along with a 74-yard touchdown by running back Nick Ricciardulli to cruise to a 19-point win over Colorado Mesa. . .Ricciardulli’s run,  which equaled the fifth longest in GNAC history, came right after a missed field goal by Mesa early in the third quarter extending HSU’s 21-7 halftime lead to 28-7. Mesa didn’t get closer than 15 points the remainder of the way. . .Ricciardulli finished with 159 of Humboldt’s 192 yards on the ground.  Meanwhile, quarterback Alex Rump was efficient in his first career start completing 16 of 23 passes for 168 yards and one touchdown and was not intercepted.  . .Wide receiver Victor Spencer had seven receptions for 96 yards and also had 58 yards on three punt returns, including a 52-yarder for a touchdown in the second quarter. Spencer also scored the game’s opening touchdown on a 36-yard pass from Rump. .The ‘Jacks defensive score  was a 22-yard interception return late in the contest by Nick Sharpe, 35 seconds after Matt Bruder had kicked a 43-yard field goal. . .Bruder also kicked five extra points extending his streak to 49.  That is the third longest in GNAC history, but just the second longest active streak behind Kelly Morgan of Western Oregon who has made 58 straight. . .In addition to Markarian (See Player-of-the-Week), Humboldt State was led defensively by DB Jeremiah Maluia with 12 tackles including a 13-yard tackle for loss, and LB Brian Sampson who had 10 tackles and also forced a fumble.

Simon Fraser 51, Pacific 14: Simon Fraser got a 84-yard punt return from Bobby Pospischil and rushed for 250 of its 378 yards of total offense in easily defeating Division III Pacific to open its 2012 season.  It was an impressive win for the Clan, which defeated the same team by just eight points last year and scored 40 or more points for just the second time in its three seasons in the GNAC.  SFU’s most productive offensive performance since joining the GNAC was 62 points in a three-overtime home win over Dixie State last season. . .Popischil’s punt return is the fourth longest in GNAC history.   He had 149 all-purpose yards, rushing for 28 on one carry and catching three passes for 37 yards. . .Ryan Blum had 67 yards on seven carries and Bo Palmer had 65 on 13 to pace the SFU ground game that produced four touchdowns, two by Palmer (both from two-yards out) and one each by Tarrance Crawford (13 yards) and Keynan Parker (4 yards).  Crawford had 48 yards on eight rushes and Parker netted 43 on nine totes. . .Quarterback Trey Wheeler completed 17 of 21 passes for 128 yards and two touchdowns and was not intercepted.  Lemar Durant had both TDS (2 and 7 yards), catching five total for 28 yards. . . .DB Kyle Miller had a team-best eight tackles for SFU while defensive lineman Andrew Marshall had six.

 UC Davis 41, Azusa Pacific 3:  UC Davis built a 27-3 lead and went on to defeat first-year GNAC member Azusa Pacific before 5,903 fans at Aggie Stadium. . .Azusa’s lone score came on a 31-yard field goal by freshman Jamie Cacciatore in the second quarter. . .The Cougars were limited to 218 yards, including 111 rushing and 107 passing.  The Aggies netted 384 yards, 176 rushing and 208 passing. . .Running back Terrell Watson had 144 yards on 17 carries, but the rest of the team had a net of minus 33 yards rushing.  Quarterback Nick Owens completed nine of 16 yards for 81 yards.  Watson also caught two passes for 38 yards. . .Defensively, safety Tyler Thornton and linebacker Sean Barber each had 14 tackles.  Thornton also has his team’s lone interception.

Adams State 17, Dixie State 9:  Dixie State held Adams State to 255 yards in total offense, but turned the ball over four times on offense, including twice inside the 10-yard line in a narrow eight-point loss. . .Red Storm quarterback Griff Robles, completed 26 of 43 passes for 296 yards.  He was  intercepted four times including on a third-and-goal play from the four-yard line in the first quarter and on a third-and-goal play from the one inside the final minute. . .Dixie outgained Adams State 419-255 in total offense as it also rushed for 123 yards.  Running back A.J.  Johnson had 63 yards on eight carries, 33 of it on his team’s only touchdown in the second quarter.  Dixie also scored early in the third quarter on a 22-yard field goal by Michael Meyers, after driving 71 yards in six plays. . .Zach Fox had 10 catches for 108 yards to lead the Red Storm receiving corps.  Andre Aron (51 yards) and Brock Johnson (27 yards) each had four catches. . .Linebacker Jake Duncan led Dixie’s defense with 13 tackles, including two for losses of 11 yards.

Texas A&M – Kingsville 35, Central Washington 7:  Central Washington outgained Texas A&M – Kingsville 352-309, but the Javelinas’ converted four turnovers into a total of 20 points  before a crowd of 9,638.  Three of the turnovers came in the third quarter when TAMUK scored touchdowns on its first two possessions of the period and added a field goal to extend a 12-7 halftime lead to 28-7. . .The second touchdown came after a fumble recovery and the field goal came after a 51-yard interception return to the CWU 11 by Steve Harris. . .Another interception then set up the only score of the fourth quarter – a 48-yard pass from TAMUK’s Nate Poppell to Jake Willingham. . .CWU’s lone score came with seven seconds left in the first half as Ryan Robertson drove the Wildcats 80 yards in seven plays, a drive that took just 73 seconds.  Robertson hooked up with Robert  Akeo-Orr twice for gains of 18 and 14 yards before finishing off the drive with passes of 23 and 15 yards to Tavoy Moore. . .Moore finished the contest with five catches for 74 yards.  Robertson completed 21 of 37 passes for 253 yards. . .Running back Demetrius Sumler netted 93 yards on 17 carries to lead Central’s 109-yard ground game. . .Defensively, CWU was led by linebacker Stan Langlow with 10 tackles, including 2 ½ for losses of 17 yards.

Grand Valley State 48, Western Oregon 20:  Grand Valley used big plays and two fourth-quarter touchdowns on interceptions to pull away from Western Oregon before 1,556 fans at McArthur Stadium. . .The Lakers took a 14-7 lead in the first quarter on a 90-yard punt return by Reggie Thomas and scored on 11 and 41-yard interceptions by Michael Hatcher and Matt Judon in the fourth-quarter as they outscored the Wolves 20-0 in the second half after leading just 28-20 at the break. . .Western Oregon’s final points came on a school-record 53-yard field goal by Kelly Morgan with 38 seconds left in the first half. . .Grand Valley had a narrow 380-374 advantage in total offense, but had a 89 to minus two advantage in punt returns and a 55-0 advantage in interception return yards. . .The Lakers outrushed the Wolves 221-102 getting 99 yards and two touchdowns from Chris Robinson, who also had 35 yards on three caches. . .Quarterback Cody VonAppen was sacked for losses of 35 yards, but did finish with a net 72 yards on 17 carries in addition to completing 28 of 44 passes for 272 yards.  He was intercepted three times. . .Tyrell Williams caught 10 of his passes for 105 yards. . .DB Bryce Peila led the Wolf defense with 11 tackles. 

GNAC Players-of-the-Week Recap

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