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Undefeated Teams Square Off In Ellensburg Saturday
Central Washington running back Christian Cummings ran for 183 yards against Simon Fraser last week, accounting for 32 percent of the Wildcats' 570 yards of offense.
Central Washington running back Christian Cummings ran for 183 yards against Simon Fraser last week, accounting for 32 percent of the Wildcats' 570 yards of offense.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

UNDEFEATEDS GO HEAD-TO-HEAD ON SATURDAY: The GNAC’s two undefeated and nationally-ranked teams meet this weekend with the driver’s seat in the GNAC championship race on the line.

No. 16 Central Washington and No. 19 Humboldt State will close the first half of their conference seasons on Saturday in Ellensburg. The Wildcats enter the contest with a 5-0 overall record while the Lumberjacks are 4-0 entering the contest.

Both teams are coming off big victories in week five of the season. Central Washington limited Simon Fraser to just 25 yards of total offense and picked off the Clan four times en route to a 62-0 shutout. The Wildcats finished with 570 yards of total offense, limited the Clan to a GNAC record five first downs and had the ball for just short of 38 minutes.

Humboldt State closed its non-conference schedule by scoring early and often, scoring three first-quarter touchdowns and five in the first half to pad a 56-13 win over Chadron State. The defense came up big in the game with five interceptions. Defensive back Davaeon Johnson was named the GNAC Defensive Player of the Week after he tied GNAC records with three interceptions and 112 interception yards.

Western Oregon will play at Simon Fraser to close the first half of their GNAC schedules. The Wolves are looking for their first GNAC win of the season after taking a 48-17 loss at Azusa Pacific. The loss was closer than it looks as the game was tied at 17-17 before the Cougars scored 31 unanswered points to close the game.

The Clan, meanwhile, is looking to snap a lengthy losing skid and hopes to get the offense rolling once again on Burnaby Mountain.
Azusa Pacific closed the first half of the GNAC schedule with a 2-2 record thanks to the victory over Western Oregon. The Cougars will close a string of four home games in the first six games of the season with a non-conference matchup against Colorado Mines.

THIS WEEK'S GNAC PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
OFFENSE
Kurt Scoby, Azusa Pacific
RB • 5-8 • 180 • Junior • Coppell, Texas

Scoby carried 14 times for 161 yards and scored three touchdowns in the Cougars’ 48-17 win at home over Western Oregon. He scored on a 59-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter and put APU ahead for good with his 1-yard touchdown run late in third quarter before adding a 47-yard touchdown run in the fourth.

Also Nominated: Reilly Hennessey (Central Washington), Robert Webber (Humboldt State), Paul Revis (Western Oregon).

DEFENSE
Davaeon Johnson, Humboldt State
DB • 6-1 • 185 • Sophomore • Antelope, Calif.

Johnson tied GNAC single-game records with three interceptions and 112 interception return yards in the Lumberjacks’ 56-13 win over Chadron State to go along with four tackles. He returned his second interception 48 yards for a touchdown.

Also Nominated: Adrian Shocks (Azusa Pacific), Sean Elledge (Central Washington), Bo Highburger (Western Oregon).

SPECIAL TEAMS
Jacob Hall, Azusa Pacific
K/P • 6-2 • 195 • Junior • Greenville, Ill.

Hall earned his third selection of the season after he went 6 of 6 on point-after attempts and 2 of 2 on field goal attempts in the Cougars’ 48-17 win over Western Oregon. His two field goals were from 37 yards and 38 yards.

Also Nominated: Adrian Saldana (Western Oregon).

AROUND THE GNAC
AZUSA PACIFIC
LAST WEEK: Sept. 30: Beat Western Oregon 48-17
THIS WEEK: Oct. 7: vs. Colorado Mines, 6:30 p.m.

• The Cougars bolted away from a 17-17 tie to score 31 unanswered points in the second half en route to a 48-17 GNAC victory over Western Oregon.

• Running back Kurt Scoby was named the GNAC Offensive Player of the Week after he rushed for 161 yards and three touchdowns on 14 carries. He scored the Cougars’ first touchdown on a 59-yard run early in the second quarter and put APU ahead for good with his 1-yard scoring run with 2:21 left in the third. Scoby, who has only played in two of APU’s five games thus far, is averaging 167 rushing yards per game.

• Kicker Jacob Hall was named the GNAC Special Teams Player of the Week for the third time. He went 6 for 6 on point-after attempts and 2 for 2 on field goal attempts, connecting from 37 yards and 38 yards. Hall enters the week second in the GNAC in field goals (1.2 per game) and leads the league in punting (42.8 yards per punt).

• Quarterback Andrew Elffers completed just 18 of 32 passes for 262 yards and two touchdowns. Elffers enters the week averaging 206.6 passing yards per game and is third in the GNAC in both total offense (264.8 yards per game) and rushing (58.2 yards per game). His 9.39 yards per pass attempt is 11th in Division II.

• Wide receiver Weston Carr was Elffers’ top target, catching 11 passes for 174 yards and two touchdowns. Carr enters the week second in the GNAC and 10th in Division II with 117.2 receiving yards per game. He also ranks ninth in Division II with 586 receiving yards and is tied for 24th with five receiving touchdowns.

• Defensively, Azusa Pacific is 22nd in Division II with seven interceptions after picking off three more passes over the weekend. Kenny Norton, Quentin Frazier and Drew Kaufusi had the three picks while Adrian Shocks led the defense with nine tackles.

• Azusa Pacific enters its non-conference game with Colorado Mines averaging 416.4 yards of total offense per game. The Cougars lead the GNAC and is 23rd in Division II in scoring defense (16.8 points allowed per game). Azusa Pacific also leads the league in pass defense (174.6 yards allowed per game), pass defense efficiency (99.3), turnover margin (1.40), punt return average (8.6 yards per return) and punting (41.4 yards per punt).

CENTRAL WASHINGTON
LAST WEEK: Sept. 30: Beat Simon Fraser, 62-0
THIS WEEK: Oct. 7: vs. Humboldt State, 1 p.m.

• Central Washington brought the Simon Fraser offense to nearly a complete halt, holding the Clan to 26 yards of total offense while racking up 570 yards of its own en route to a 62-0 shutout.

• The win allowed the Wildcats to climb three more spots to No. 13 in the AFCA Division II Coaches Poll. Central Washington will host No. 17 Humboldt State on Saturday.

Reilly Hennessey tied the Wildcats’ Division II era record with five touchdown passes. He completed 21 of 30 passes for 188 yards. Hennessey enters the week averaging 192.6 passing yards per game and is 23rd in Division II with a .641 completion percentage.

• Wide receiver Nate Rauda was Hennessey’s top passing target, catching six passes for 72 yards, three of which were for touchdowns.

• Running back Christian Cummings accounted for 32 percent of the Wildcats’ offensive yardage, carrying 18 times for 183 yards. Cummings enters the week second in the GNAC with 101.1 rushing yards per game.

• The defense provided a balanced effort in limiting Simon Fraser to 25 yards, which included 12 tackles for loss for 54 yards, six sacks and four interceptions. Sean Elledge led the Wildcats with six tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, a half-sack and an interception for 28 yards. Bo Banner had three of those sacks and ranks 12th in Division II with 1.00 sacks per game. Tyler Hasty had one interception and is tied for 14th in Division II with 0.6 interceptions per game.

• Defensively, Central Washington is third in Division II in team sacks (4.20 per game), 11th in tackles for loss (9.8 per game) and 24th in turnovers gained (12).

• Central Washington leads the GNAC and is 13th in Division II in rushing offense with 253.8 yards per game. The Wildcats are second in the GNAC and 14th in Division II with 40.2 points per game and second in the GNAC and 28th in Division II in total offense at 455 yards per game.

HUMBOLDT STATE
LAST WEEK: Sept. 30: Beat Chadron State, 56-13
THIS WEEK: Oct. 7: at Central Washington, 1 p.m.
 
• Three first-quarter touchdowns proved the right start for Humboldt State as the Lumberjacks surged to a 56-13 win over Chadron State. Humboldt finished with 525 yards of total offense and held onto the ball for 35 minutes.

• With the win, Humboldt State climbed two more spots to No. 17 in the latest AFCA Division II Coaches Poll. The Lumberjacks will meet No. 13 Central Washington on Saturday.

• Defensive back Davaeon Johnson was named the GNAC Defensive Player of the Week after he tied GNAC single-game records with three interceptions and 112 interception return yards. He brought back his second pick 48 yards for a fourth-quarter touchdown. Overall, Humboldt State finished with five interceptions.

• Quarterback Robert Webber had another solid game, completing 15 of 22 passes for 338 yards and four touchdowns. He enters the week leading the GNAC and ranked 25th in Division II with 283.8 total offense yards per game. Webber leads Division II with 17.06 yards per completion and 12.05 yards per pass attempt. His 277.2 passing yards per game is second in the GNAC and 20th in Division II.

• Running back Ja’Quan Gardner carried 20 times for 135 yards and had a third-quarter touchdown. Gardner enters the week leading the GNAC and 11th in Division II with 187.25 all-purpose yards per game and is first in the GNAC and fifth in Division II with 150 rushing yards per game.

• Wide receiver John Todd caught just two passes but did so for 123 yards and a touchdown. One of those was an 86-yard touchdown reception from Webber. Todd enters the week third in the GNAC with 116 receiving yards per game and leads Division II with 35.69 yards per reception.

• Humboldt State leads the GNAC and is second in Division II in scoring offense, averaging 51.8 points per game. The Lumberjacks also lead the league and are third in Division II with 534.8 yards of total offense per game. Humboldt State leads Division II with a team pass efficiency rating of 213.39 and is second with a .539 third down conversion percentage.

SIMON FRASER
LAST WEEK: Sept. 30: Lost to Central Washington, 62-0
THIS WEEK: Oct. 7: vs. Western Oregon, 1 p.m.

• Simon Fraser was limited to just 25 yards of total offense by Central Washington on Saturday as the Clan fell to the Wildcats 62-0.

• Quarterback Miles Richardson completed just 8 of 23 passes for 51 yards and was intercepted four times. Dionte Simon was Richardson’s top target, making four catches for 26 yards.

• Defensive backs Shea Carstens and Brendan Lowry led the Simon Fraser defense with nine tackles apiece. Both players also had a half-tackle for loss. Linebackers Luca Bellini and Jaryn Lowery each added eight tackles.

• Wide receiver Gavin Cobb was limited to kick return duties on Saturday, returning five for 67 yards. Cobb enters the week leading the GNAC with 21.1 yards per kick return and ranked fourth in Division II with 548 combined kick return yards. Cobb is also 19th in Division II with 166.2 all-purpose yards per game.

• Simon Fraser enters the week averaging 249.4 total offense yards per game and is fourth in the GNAC in passing offense with 216.6 yards per game. The Clan is second in the GNAC with 19.5 yards per kick return.

WESTERN OREGON
LAST WEEK: Sept. 30: Lost at Azusa Pacific, 48-17
THIS WEEK: Oct. 7: at Simon Fraser, 1 p.m.
 
• Western Oregon went toe-to-toe with Azusa Pacific for three quarters before the Cougars closed the game by scoring 31 unanswered points to hand the Wolves the 48-17 loss in Glendora, Calif.

• Western Oregon finished the game with 334 yards of total offense, which included 175 passing yards. The Wolves were hampered by penalties, taking five for 66 yards.

• Quarterback Nick Duckworth completed 17 of 38 passes for 175 yards but was intercepted three times. Duckworth enters the week leading the GNAC and ranked 19th in Division II in passing with 284.4 yards per game. He is also second in the GNAC and 28th in Division II with 277.2 yards of total offense per game.

• Wide receiver Paul Revis led six Western Oregon receivers, making nine catches for 101 yards. It was his fifth 100-plus receiving yard performance in as many games. He also had three kick returns for 68 yards and two punt returns for 25 yards. Revis leads the GNAC and is fourth in Division II with 132.2 receiving yards per game. He is also second in the GNAC and 14th in Division II with 180.8 all-purpose yards per game.

• Linebacker Bo Highburger led the Western Oregon defense with 13 tackles (4 solos) with two tackles for loss and a half-sack. Linebacker Andrew Weber finished with nine tackles.

• Western Oregon leads the GNAC and is 15th in Division II in passing, averaging 297.4 yards per game. The Wolves also rank 23rd in Division II with 3.00 team sacks per game.

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