Football Teams Get Their Kicks Against Texas Foes
Azusa Pacific's Jacob Hall earned GNAC Special Teams Player of the Week honors after he kicked a 25-yard field goal and made 3 of 3 PAT attempts at West Texas A&M.
Azusa Pacific's Jacob Hall earned GNAC Special Teams Player of the Week honors after he kicked a 25-yard field goal and made 3 of 3 PAT attempts at West Texas A&M.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

COUGARS, WILDCATS OPEN SEASON WITH TEXAS SIZED ROAD WINS: The 2017 football season could not have started better for defending GNAC champion Azusa Pacific and Central Washington, which both picked up critical Super Region IV victories on the road.

The Cougars never trailed in its game at West Texas A&M, opening scoring on Jacob Hall’s 25-yard field goal with 9:56 left in the first quarter. Azusa Pacific went on to hold off a second half West Texas A&M surge for a 24-13 win.

Central Washington trailed 10-0 to Texas A&M-Kingsville in the first quarter, but Reilly Hennessey’s nine-yard touchdown pass to Nate Rauda started a run of 34 unanswered points en route to a 34-10 victory.

Humboldt State, meanwhile, put up video game type numbers in an 83-14 exhibition win over CETYA Universidad of Mexico. The Lumberjacks jumped out to a 56-0 halftime lead while racking up a total of 637 yards of total offense.

Simon Fraser, meanwhile, came the closest it has since 2015 to a victory at Arizona Christian. The Clan closed to within a touchdown midway through the fourth quarter before Arizona Christian stopped the potential winning drive deep in its own territory to hand the Clan a 34-28. Quarterback Miles Richardson had an impressive performance, throwing for 434 yards and two touchdowns and rushing for two more scores.

Four of the GNAC’s five teams will turn their attention to conference play as the double round-robin portion of the schedule starts. Central Washington will host Western Oregon while Azusa Pacific will host Humboldt State. Simon Fraser will host Texas A&M-Kingsville, marking the first time in the Clan’s GNAC era that a Division II team has traveled to play in Burnaby.

Miles Richardson, Simon Fraser
QB • 6-3 • 220 • Junior • Burien, Wash.

Richardson put up career-high numbers for the Clan in a 34-28 loss at Arizona Christian on Saturday. He completed 28 of 55 passes for 434 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed for a pair of touchdowns on five-yard and 10-yard runs, accounting for all four SFU touchdowns. His 434 yards passing was the 10th best effort in Division II last weekend.

Also Nominated: Weston Carr (Azusa Pacific), Paul Revis (Western Oregon).

Jackson Huerta, Central Washington
DB • 5-10 • 194 • Senior • Covington, Wash.

Huerta led Central Washington defensively with 12 tackles (6 solo, 6 assists) and had a fourth quarter interception return for 96 yards that set up a touchdown in the Wildcats’ 34-10 win at Texas A&M-Kingsville.

Also Nominated: Adrian Shocks (Azusa Pacific), Tyler Johnson (Western Oregon).

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

Hall connected on a 25-yard field goal and went 3 of 3 on PAT attempts in the Cougars’ 24-13 win at West Texas A&M on Saturday. He also punted five times for an average of 41.2 yards per punt, which included one inside the 20-yard line. The field goal capped APU’s opening drive that opened scoring as the Cougars never trailed in the contest.

Also Nominated: Jonathan Kuhn (Central Washington).

LAST WEEK: Won at West Texas A&M 24-13
THIS WEEK: vs. Humboldt State, Saturday, 6:30 p.m.

• Azusa Pacific never trailed in its contest at West Texas A&M, taking a 10-0 halftime lead on a 25-yard field goal by Jacob Hall in the first quarter and a three-yard run by Gavin McDaniel in the second quarter. Both teams finished with 317 yards of total offense, with Azusa Pacific racking up 236 passing yards.

• With the in-region win, the Cougars jumped five spots to No. 8 in the AFCA Division II Coaches Poll and one spot to No. 13 in the Poll.

• Hall was selected as the GNAC Special Teams Player of the Week with the one field goal and a 3 for 3 performance in PAT attempts. He also punted five times, averaging 41.2 yards per punt. The junior ranks among the Division II leaders with a 1.000 field goal percentage.

• Running back Weston Carr carried nine times for 161 yards and scored on a 27-yard touchdown pass from Andrew Elffers in the third quarter. Carr enters the week second in the GNAC and seventh in Division II in receiving yards.

• Elffers completed 15 of 22 passes for 236 yards for the Cougars. That ranks third in the GNAC while his 15.73 yards per completion is 20th in Division II.

• Azusa Pacific enters its GNAC opener with Humboldt State on Saturday as the conference leader in pass efficiency (164.2), pass defense (94 yards allowed per game), punt return average (21.0 yards per return) and punting (41.2 yards per return). The Cougars are 13th in Division II in net punting 16th in passing yards allowed and 27th in team sacks.

• Azusa Pacific enters Saturday’s game having won nine straight games against GNAC opponents and eight straight at Citrus Stadium.

LAST WEEK: Won at Texas A&M-Kingsville 34-10
THIS WEEK: vs. Western Oregon, Saturday, 1 p.m.

• Central Washington trailed 10-0 after one quarter, but the Wildcats scored the final 34 points of the game to collect a key in-region victory. The performance gave the Wildcats the first Red Lion/GNAC Team of the Week award of the season.

• Defensive back Jackson Huerta was honored as the GNAC Defensive Player of the Week after he led the Wildcats with 12 tackles (6 solo, 6 assists). He also had a fourth quarter interception at the CWU one-yard line, which he ran back 96 yards to set up a three-yard touchdown run by Austin Pernell.

• Quarterback Reilly Hennessey had a good debut in a Wildcats’ uniform, completing 12 of 25 passes for 144 yards and a touchdown. He also rushed 14 times for 87 yards. Central Washington outgained the Javelinas on offense 374 to 312, with 182 of those yards passing.

Justin Peterson was the top target in the passing game, catching three passes for 62 yards. Kyle Self and Nate Rauda each had touchdown catches, with Self finishing with 49 yards on three receptions.

• Central Washington picked up 33 points with the win, moving up to sixth among teams receiving votes in the AFCA Division II Coaches Poll.

• Central Washington leads the GNAC in scoring at 34 points per game and rushing at 192 yards per game. The Wildcats also lead the GNAC and ranks 27th in scoring defense with 10 points allowed per game. Central Washington is second in Division II 3rd down conversion defense (.071) and third in team sacks (5.00 per game).

LAST WEEK: Beat CETYS 83-14 (exhibition)
THIS WEEK: at Azusa Pacific, 6:30 p.m.
• Humboldt State opened the 2017 season with an exhibition contest against CETYS Universidad of Mexico. The contest proved a rout with the Lumberjacks outgaining the Zorros on total offense 637 to 208. Humboldt went into halftime with a 56-0 lead.

• Quarterback Robert Webber led the Humboldt offense as he completed 4 of 6 passes for 131 yards and a touchdown. In all, three quarterbacks combined to complete 9 of 12 for 343 yards and four touchdowns. Malcolm Hale led the receiving corps with two catches for 157 yards, both for touchdowns in the first half.

• The Lumberjacks spread the wealth on the ground with 11 different players carrying for a total of 294 yards. Jabar Byrd led the way with 88 yards, all on touchdown run in the second quarter. Isaiah Hall had 10 carries for 75 yards and a touchdown and Ja’Quan Gardner opened the season with 63 yards and two touchdowns on three carries.

• Defensively, the Lumberjacks picked off Zorros quarterbacks five times. Safety Lucas Miller led the balanced defensive effort with five tackles, including for solo tackles.

• The 83 points, 12 touchdowns and 11 PATs made were the most ever by a GNAC team, but do not qualify for the record book with the game being an exhibition contest.

• Humboldt State picked up 18 more points for 20 in the most recent AFCA Diviison II Coaches Poll.

LAST WEEK: Lost at Arizona Christian, 34-28
THIS WEEK: vs. Texas A&M-Kingsville, Saturday, 1 p.m.

• Simon Fraser fell just short in its season opener at Arizona Christian, coming with 34-28 with 7:13 left before the Clan’s final drive was stunted at the ACU 19-yard line.

• Quarterback Miles Richardson was named the GNAC Offensive Player of the Week after completing 28 of 55 passes for 434 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed for a pair of touchdowns. The performance was the fourth best in Division II last week and 12th best single game performance in GNAC history.

• Wide receiver Gavin Cobb caught eight passes for 183 yards while Nathanel Durkan caught eight passes for 115 yards and a touchdown. Simon Fraser outgained Arizona Christian in total offense 460 yards to 376. Cobb enters the week ranked first in the GNAC and 20th in Division II with 200 all-purpose yards per game and is fifth in Division II with 183 receiving yards.

• Linebacker Jordan Leech led the Simon Fraser defense with nine tackles (four solo) while linebacker Trevor Kemp and defensive back Brendan Lowry each had eight tackles. The Clan had five tackles for loss for a total of 35 yards.

• Simon Fraser enters the week leading the GNAC and ranked fourth in Division II in passing offense at 434 yards per game. The Clan also leads the GNAC with 460 yards of total offense per game.

• Saturday’s game against Texas A&M-Kingsville marks the first time a Division II non-conference opponent has played in Burnaby since Simon Fraser joined the GNAC in 2010. Simon Fraser will play all five on its home games this season on campus at Terry Fox Field.

LAST WEEK: Lost at Idaho State, 37-6.
THIS WEEK: at Central Washington, Saturday, 1 p.m.
• Western Oregon went into the locker room with a 6-0 lead thanks to a pair of Adrian Saltana field goals, but the Bengals roared back to score 37 unanswered points in the second half. The Wolves were limited to 148 yards of total offense in the final 30 minutes, 70 of those coming on the final drive.

• Quarterback Nick Duckworth had a good season debut, completing 27 of 55 for 288 yards and an interception. Phillip Fenumiai played limited time and connected on 3 of 4 passes for 14 yards.

• Wide receiver Paul Revis finished with 137 yards on 13 catches and also picked up 43 yards on a pair of kick returns. The offensive performances moved Revis up to No. 4 on the GNAC career list with 3,053 receiving yards. The senior enters the week ranked third in Division II in receptions and leads the GNAC with 21.5 yards per kick return.

• Defensive back Nathan Jones and linebacker Tyler Johnson each had eight tackles to pace Western Oregon defensively. Bo Highburger and Nathaniel Proctor each picked up seven tackles, with Proctor adding 1.5 tackles for loss for nine yards. The Wolves enter the week ranked second in Division II with five sacks, seventh with two interceptions and 27th with nine tackles for loss.

• Western Oregon opens the season with four of its first six games on the road. The only home game in the six-week stretch is a Sept. 23 matchup in Monmouth against Humboldt State.