Football: Showdown For First Place at Arcata
Nick Grunsky (right) sealed Azusa Pacific's win Saturday wutg a last-minute interception.
Nick Grunsky (right) sealed Azusa Pacific's win Saturday wutg a last-minute interception.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

PORTLAND, Ore. - Two of the three teams tied for first place in the GNAC will square off Saturday at Arcata to highlight this week's Great Northwest Athletic Conference football schedule.

Humboldt State, Central Washington and Western Oregon are all tied with 5-2 records.  All three will play each other the next three weeks, beginning this Saturday when CWU takes on Humboldt State (6 p.m.). 

Elsewhere Saturday, Azusa Pacific, fresh off its first win of the season, will play at Western Oregon (1 p.m.) and Dixie State will entertain Simon Fraser (1 p.m.).

Western Oregon, which has won five straight to rebound from a 0-3 start, will play next Saturday at Central Washington before concluding its home season Nov. 10 by hosting Humboldt State.

Sumler National Leader in Scoring

Central Washington running back Demetrius Sumler is the national leader in scoring in this week's NCAA Division II national statistical report.  Sumler has scored 16 touchdowns, four shy of the GNAC single-season record of 20.

Humboldt State running back Nick Ricciardulli also appears prominently in this week's national report.  He is ranked third in rushing, averaging 158.6 yards per game and also ranks seventh in all-purpose running averafing 182 yards per contest.

Other players ranked in the Top 10 this week include receivers Bobby Pospichil and Lemar Durant of Simon Fraser and Western Oregon punter Alexander Bradt.

Pospichil ranks third in receptions averaging 8.8 per game, while Durant ranks 10th in receptions (7.9) and ninth in receiving yards (108.5).  Bradt ranks 10th in punting (43.2).

In team categories, Humboldt State is ranked fifth in pass efficiency defense (95.0) and Simon Fraser is ninth in punt returns (17.7).


Azusa Pacific 24, Central Washington 17 (at Glendora):  Kyle Dravis scored on a 53-yard pass from Nick Owens with 49 seconds remaining as Azusa Pacific broke a 17-17 tie to win its first game of the season ... The Cougars had built a 17-3 lead scoring a pair of quick-strike touchdowns in the third quarter. Running back Terrell Watson scored from 14 yards early in the period to finish off a four-play, 79-yard drive.  Later in the period Ronald Douglas scored from 73 yards ... CWU, however, got two touchdowns from Demetrius Sumler, the nation’s leading Division II scorer with 16 touchdowns, in the fourth quarter.  Sumler scored from one yard with 8:55 remaining, then caught a nine-yard pass from Ryan Robertson with 7:01 left on the clock ...  After Dravis’ TD, the Wildcats took advantage of a short kickoff, an 18-yard return  by Louie Bruketta and a 14-yard run by Robertson to take the ball down to the Azusa 18.  But after two incomplete passes, Robertson was intercepted by strong safety Nick Grunsky, sealing the win for APU ... Azusa finished the contest with a 401-364 advantage in total offense.  The Cougars had 201 yards rushing – 82 by Watson, 78 by Douglas and 42 by Nick Owens – and 200 passing as Owens completed nine of 18.  Dravis had three receptions for 131 yards ... Robertson completed 18 of 36 passes for 253 yards to lead Central.  Anthony Spain had nine receptions for 162 yards.  Sumler netted 73 yards on 24 carries ... Defensive back Tyler Thornton led APU’s defense with 14 tackles, including six solos.  Grunsky had eight tackles.  DB Cory Burk and linebacker Stan Langlow each had eight tackles for the Wildcats.

Humboldt State 57, Dixie State 18 (at Arcata): Nick Ricciardulli had 289 all-purpose yards – the third highest total in GNAC history – to lead Humboldt State to a 57-18 victory ... Ricciardulli rushed for 206 yards and two touchdowns and also caught four passes for 83 yards.  He now has three 200-yard rushing games this season and has had seven games of 100 or more yards.  He is the first running back in GNAC history to rush for 200 yards three times in a season and his seven 100-yard games ties the GNAC record ... All three of Ricciardulli’s touchdowns (on runs of 13 and 16 and on a 60-yard pass reception from quarterback Casey Mintz) came in the first quarter when Humboldt built a 28-9 lead ...The Jacks finished the contest with 685 yards in total offense, 369 rushing and 316 passing ... Daniel Wyatt rushed for 95 yards on 10 carries and scored three touchdowns (from three, 10 and 60 yards), while Bryson Hodges had 76 yards on 11 carries.  Mintz completed 17 of 24 passes for 311 yards and was not intercepted.  Ricciardulli (83 yards), Victor Spencer (76 yards) and Marquise Deadwiler (48 yards) all had four catches, while Tommy Darcey had three for 95 yards ...Dixie quarterback Griff Robles completed 20 of 50 passes for 262 yards and also rushed for a team-high 62 as the Red Storm netted 412 yards in total offense ... HSU kicker Matt Bruder converted on field goals from 41, 26 and 44 yards and also converted six extra points.  His seventh PAT try was blocked ending his consecutive PAT streak at 78, the second longest in conference history ... Defensive back Jerry Maluia led Humboldt’s defense with eight tackles and also broke up three passes.  Linebacker Matt Tanuvasa had 11 tackles for Dixie, including its only quarterback sack.

Western Oregon 20, Simon Fraser 17 (at Burnaby, BC): Kelly Morgan kicked a 35-yard field goal with 14:55 remaining to snap a 17-17 tie as the Wolves extended their win streak to five to move into a tie for first place with Central Washington and Humboldt State ... Later in the fourth period WOU defensive tackle Gustave Benthin blocked an 18-yard field goal attempt that would have tied the game with 6:30 left ... Prior to Morgan’s go-ahead kick, Simon Fraser scored on a 15-yard pass from quarterback Trey Wheeler to wide receiver Lemar Durant to go ahead 17-10 with 4:46 remaining in the third quarter.  But, Western Oregon then drove 83 yards in seven plays, getting the final 25 on a run by Joe Harris with 1:49 left in the period ... Simon Fraser finished the contest with a 400-304 advantage in total offense and a 6-2 advantage in takeaways.  Wheeler led the Clan offense completing 27 of 50 passes for 283 yards and two touchdowns, while Bobby Pospischil had 11 catches for 102 yards, including a nine-yard reception which took the ball to the one right before Benthin’s block.  Durant had six receptions for 110 yards, scoring twice. Durant has had six 100-yard reception games this season, two shy of the GNAC single-season record ... Western Oregon was led by running back Kenneth Haynes with 87 yards on 26 catches.  Harris carried the ball only five times for a net 25 yards, but found the end zone twice including from two yards in the opening quarter.   Quarterback Trey Shimabukuro completed 14 of 26 passes for 152 yards ... Defensive back Patrick Tepea had eight tackles to pace the Wolves defense.  DB Bryce Peila had a 49-yard interception return and was one of four players – along with DB Coulter Mastenbroek, Benthin and linebacker Scotland Foss – with seven tackles.  Peila’s interception was his GNAC-leading fifth of the season and the 20th of his career, leaving him two shy of the GNAC career mark. He now has 436 interception return yards, extending his own GNAC record ... Defensive back Casey Chin led the Clan with 12 tackles, including 2 ½ for losses totaling 13 yards.  Adam Berger had two of SFU’s six takeaways, recovering a fumble and also intercepting a pass.

GNAC Red Lion Players of the Week