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Conference Teams Hope Home Is Where The Wins Are
Humboldt State welcomed over 4,000 fans for its last-ever home opener, a 38-13 loss to Western Oregon.
Humboldt State welcomed over 4,000 fans for its last-ever home opener, a 38-13 loss to Western Oregon.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

In many ways, there is no place like playing in front of your home crowd.

For Central Washington, the excitement of returning home means coming back to a dramatic makeover. The Wildcats host West Texas A&M on Saturday in a newly renovated Tomlinson Stadium. The $6 million renovation includes the installation of an artificial turf surface, removal and relocation of the track and, for the first time, lights and night games.

The Wildcats have done well on the road, entering the game with a 3-1 record. The mark includes a home game on Sept. 15 in Yakima, a 49-0 shutout of Humboldt State.

Home for Simon Fraser meant struggling with the elements. For much of the second quarter, Terry Fox Field was shrouded in a heavy blanket of fog. Such events are not uncommon at the top of Burnaby Mountain, which sits 1,214 feet (370 meters) above the Fraser Valley.
The fog seemed to help Central Washington, which scored three touchdowns in the stanza en route to the 63-10 victory. The scoring included a one-yard scoring run by Winterhawk Leighton, a freshman offensive lineman.

For Humboldt State, home last Saturday was bittersweet as it was the last home opener for the Lumberjacks. Over 4,000 came out to support the home team in a 38-13 loss to Western Oregon, which won its first game of the season.

The home field has not been kind to the Wolves, who have lost all three home games played this season at McArthur Field. Two of those have been close losses, including a 28-17 loss to Azusa Pacific on Sept. 15.

Western Oregon will play its fourth home game of the month this Saturday, hosting Simon Fraser. The Wolves will then play five of its remaining six games on the road, broken up only by an Oct. 20 contest in Monmouth against Humboldt State.

Azusa Pacific will be happy to be back home at Citrus Stadium, where the Cougars are 2-0 this season. The Cougars took a hard 37-35 loss at North Alabama last Saturday, losing on a 38-yard field goal as time expired. Azusa will host Humboldt State on Saturday and then will host Central Washington on Oct. 6 to complete a start that saw APU play four of its first six games in the Southland.

THIS WEEK'S GNAC PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
OFFENSIVE
Tyrone Williams, Jr., Azusa Pacific
QB • 6-4 • Sophomore • Merced, Calif.

Williams completed 22 of 34 passes for 401 yards and five touchdowns as the Cougars fell just short in a 37-35 loss at Division I-FCS North Alabama. He completed six passes or longer, including passes of 56 yards, 66 yards and a 75-yard touchdown pass a minute into the contest.

Ty Currie, Western Oregon
QB • 6-4 • Junior • Yreka, Calif.

Currie completed 24 of 34 passes for 334 yards and four touchdowns and rushed 12 times for 23 yards and a fifth touchdown in the Wolves’ 38-13 win at Humboldt State. Three of those touchdowns came in the first half, including a 35-yard scoring pass to Tujuan Prince.

Also Nominated: Michael Roots (Central Washington), Justin Sieber (Simon Fraser).

DEFENSIVE
Adrian Shocks, Azusa Pacific
LB • 6-1 • Senior • Federal Way, Wash.

Shocks led the Azusa Pacific defense with 12 tackles, which included a key sack and tackle for loss late in the game.

Also Nominated: BJ Hawthorne (Central Washington), Nathaniel Proctor, Jr., (Western Oregon).

SPECIAL TEAMS
Jacob Hall, Azusa Pacific
K/P • 6-2 • Senior • Greenville, Ill.

Hall punted four times in the Cougars’ 37-35 loss to North Alabama, averaging 42.5 yards per punt, which included a season-long punt of 64 yards. He also went 3 for 3 on point-after attempts and improved to 16 for 16 on the season.

Also Nominated: Chase DeMoor (Central Washington).

AROUND THE GNAC
AZUSA PACIFIC
LAST WEEK: Sept. 22: Lost at North Alabama, 37-35
THIS WEEK: Sept. 29: Hosts Humboldt State, 6:30 p.m.

• Azusa Pacific saw a late fourth-quarter comeback fall just short as Division I-FCS North Alabama kicked a 38-yard field goal as time expired as the Lions sent the Cougars home with a 37-35 loss.

• The Cougars trailed 34-20 with 8:48 to go before sophomore quarterback Tyrone Williams, Jr., found sophomore wide receiver Brandon Jackson for a pair of touchdowns, including one with 1:16 that was coupled by a two-point conversion, to put APU up 35-34.

• Williams was selected as the GNAC Co-Offensive Player of the Week after he completed 22 of 34 passes for 401 yards and five touchdowns. He opened the game with a 75-yard touchdown reception to senior wide receiver Weston Carr and also had a 66-yard touchdown strike to junior wide receiver Darrell Adams, Jr., to open the second half. Williams leads the GNAC and is 15th in Division II with 1,139 passing yards. He is also 18th in Division II with 284.8 passing yards per game. His pass efficiency rating of 175.9 is ninth in Division II while his 12 passing touchdowns ranks sixth.

• Jackson had a big receiving game for the Cougars, catching nine passes for 129 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Jackson enters the week seventh in the GNAC with 43.5 receiving yards per game. Carr, meanwhile, was limited to just two catches, but both went for touchdowns as he finished with 97 receiving yards. Carr continues to lead the GNAC and is 10th in Division II with 115.1 receiving yards per game. His seven receiving touchdowns are second in Division II.

• Senior linebacker Adrian Shocks was named the GNAC Defensive Player of the Week after he led the Cougars with 12 tackles, including seven solo tackles. He also had a big sack and tackle for loss on North Alabama’s final drive that likely prevented a touchdown. Shocks is tied for sixth in the GNAC with 6.5 tackles per game.

• Senior kicker Jacob Hall earned GNAC Special Teams Player of the Week honors after he punted four times, averaging 42.5 yards per punt, and went 3 for 3 on point-after attempts. Hall is now 16 for 16 on point-after attempts and leads the GNAC in punting with 43.1 yards per punt.

• With the loss, Azusa Pacific dropped out of the AFCA Division II Coaches Poll after ranking 24th last week. The Cougars are the first team listed among those receiving votes with 69 points.

• Azusa Pacific enters the week leading the GNAC and is 22nd in Division II with 291.8 passing yards per game. The Cougars are second in the GNAC with 444.2 yards of total offense per game. Defensively, APU is tied for sixth in Division II with six fumble recoveries and 21st with six interceptions.

• Azusa Pacific returns to conference play this weekend, hosting Humboldt State on Saturday.

CENTRAL WASHINGTON
LAST WEEK: Sept. 22: Beat Simon Fraser, 63-10
THIS WEEK: Sept. 29: vs. West Texas A&M, 6 p.m.

• Central Washington didn’t let a foggy field hinder its offensive efforts, racking up nine touchdowns and 601 yards of total offense in a 61-10 rout of Simon Fraser.

• Despite the victory, Central Washington dropped two spots to No. 14 in this week’s AFCA Division II Coaches Poll.

• The Wildcats finished with 315 rushing yards in the victory spread among six different players. Sophomore running back Michael Roots led the way as he carried 18 times for 186 yards and a touchdown. Senior running back Christian Cummings carried 14 times for 72 yards and three touchdowns. Roots currently leads the GNAC with 79.8 rushing yards per game and is third with 101.2 all-purpose yards per game.

• Senior quarterback Reilly Hennessey completed 16 of 23 passes for 263 yards and a touchdown while also rushing for 32 yards and a pair of scores in the victory. Hennessey enters the week ranked third in the GNAC with 203.5 passing yards per game and 236.2 total offense yards per game. Hennessey is also tied for 26th in Division II with 60 points responsible for.

• The Central Washington defense blocked a field goal attempt for the fourth consecutive game. This time it was senior defensive lineman Chase DeMoor blocking a 35-yard attempt late in the first quarter. DeMoor and sophomore defensive back Chaz McKenzie are tied for first in Division II with two blocked kicks apiece while the Wildcats are second as a team with four blocked kicks.

• Central Washington enters the week leading the GNAC and ranked eighth in scoring offense with 43.8 points per game. The Wildcats lead the GNAC and rank 15th in Division II with 244.5 rushing yards per game and is 19th in Division II with 466.3 yards of total offense per game.

• Central Washington is home at Tomlinson Stadium for the first this time season on Saturday, hosting West Texas A&M. It is the debut for a newly renovated stadium that includes a new artificial turf surface and the first-ever lights for the facility.

HUMBOLDT STATE
LAST WEEK: Sept. 22: Lost to Western Oregon, 38-13
THIS WEEK: Sept. 29: at Azusa Pacific, 6:30 p.m.
 
• Humboldt State was limited to 266 yards of total offense and to just 27 minutes of possession as the Lumberjacks took a 38-13 home loss to Western Oregon.

• The Lumberjacks finished with 156 passing yards, which was divided between two quarterbacks and seven different receivers. Sophomore quarterback Andrew Tingstad completed 11 of 21 passes for 136 yards and a touchdown. Senior wide receiver Gary O’Leary turned quarterback for one play, completing a 20-yard touchdown pass to Tingstad in the fourth quarter. Tingstad, who played in his second game of the season, is averaging 89.5 passing yards per game.

• Junior wide receiver Kaleo Garrigan led the Humboldt State receiving corps, catching two passes for 38 yards. Junior Isaiah Hall made two catches for 35 yards and also led the Lumberjacks in rushing with 62 yards in 15 carries. Hall is 10th in the GNAC with 59.7 all-purpose yards per game and 48.7 total offense yards per game.

• Freshman linebacker Moses Finau led the HSU defense with 14 tackles, which included four solo tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss. Finau enters the week ranked eighth in the GNAC with 6.3 tackles per game.

• Humboldt State enters the week averaging 283 yards of total offense per game and is third in the GNAC with 129.7 rushing yards per game. The Lumberjacks continue to rank 29th in Division II in time of possession at 32:27 per game and also rank 12th in pass return defense with 1.00 allowed per return.

• The Lumberjacks are back on the road on Saturday, playing at Azusa Pacific.

SIMON FRASER
LAST WEEK: Sept. 22: Lost to Central Washington, 63-10
THIS WEEK: Sept. 29: at Western Oregon, 1:05 p.m.

• A 230-yard passing day was not enough for Simon Fraser to overcome Central Washington’s potent offense in a 63-10 loss at Terry Fox Field.

• Freshman quarterback Justin Sieber took most of the snaps in the contest, completing 20 of 33 passes for 186 yards and a touchdown. Senior Miles Richardson completed 5 of 9 passes for 44 yards. Richardson is fourth in the GNAC in passing at 149 yards per game while Sieber is now fifth at 108 yards per game.

• The passing production was spread between eight different receivers. Freshman tight end Liviano Canil led the way, making four catches for 56 yards. Junior running back Jason Nelson caught six passes for 50 yards and had the Clan’s only touchdown, a 13-yard strike from Sieber in the second quarter.

• Senior cornerback Jaryn Bailey led the SFU defense with seven tackles, six of them solo efforts. Freshman linebacker Isaac Muckian forced the game’s lone fumble, which was recovered by freshman Robert Meadors, which eventually led to a field goal attempt.

• Simon Fraser enters the week third in the GNAC in scoring offense with 26.5 points per game. The Clan is second in the league in passing with 259.2 yards per game and also with 89 first downs. Defensively, the Clan is tied for fifth in Division II with six fumbles recovered and 21st with 10 turnovers gained.

• Simon Fraser takes to the road this weekend, playing at Western Oregon on Saturday.

WESTERN OREGON
LAST WEEK: Sept. 22: Beat Humboldt State, 38-13
THIS WEEK: Sept. 29: Hosts Simon Fraser, 1:05 p.m.
 
• Western Oregon saw its offense click for the first victory of the season Saturday, finishing with 453 yards of total offense and 334 passing yards in a 38-13 win at Humboldt State.

• Junior quarterback Ty Currie shared GNAC Offensive Player of the Week honors after he completed 24 of 34 passes for 334 yards and four touchdowns while also rushing for 23 yards and a fifth touchdown. All five scores came in a string of 38 points scored by the Wolves over the first three quarters. Currie is second in the GNAC with 261.8 total offense yards and 233.2 passing yards per game. He is 18th in Division II with nine passing touchdowns and tied for 26th with 60 points responsible for.

• Junior wide receiver Tyjuan Prince caught six passes for 61 yards and two touchdowns, which included a 35-yard touchdown reception from Currie in the second quarter. Prince is second in the GNAC with 59.5 receiving yards per game and is fourth with six points scored per game. Freshman wide receiver Anthony Bradley caught four passes for 77 yards.

• Junior running back Nico Jackson led the rushing attack, carrying 11 times for 77 yards. Jackson ranks seventh in the GNAC with 43.8 rushing yards per game.

• Defensively, Western Oregon had three sacks and six tackles for loss in the contest. Senior linebacker Brian Sarbeck led the way with nine tackles, including a sack and tackle for loss, while junior linebacker Nathaniel Proctor, Jr., finished with eight tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss and a forced fumble.

• Western Oregon enters the week averaging 361.5 yards of total offense per game and is third in the GNAC with 233.2 passing yards per game. The Wolves are 13th in Division II in punt return defense, allowing 1.50 yards per return.

• Western Oregon will play its fourth home games this month on Saturday, hosting Simon Fraser. The Wolves will end the season with five of six games on the road.

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