The Lumberjacks traveled to Eastern Washington University to take on the No. 7 ranked Eagles Saturday. The Eagles came into this game undefeated at home while the Lumberjacks have failed to win a road game this year. NAU’s defense could not find a way to stop Eastern Washington’s offense, allowing 706 total yards and giving up 66 points, the most scored against the Lumberjacks all year. The streaks for both teams continued as NAU fell to Eastern Washington 66-38.
The Lumberjacks offense successfully found the end zone early. NAU scored on its first two drives with a 36-yard touchdown from senior running back Joe Logan and an 8-yard pass from senior quarterback Case Cookus to redshirt junior Brandon Porter.
Eastern Washington’s offense also had early success, scoring on their first offensive play of the game. Redshirt junior quarterback Eric Barriere hit redshirt junior Talolo Limu-Jones for a 75-yard touchdown pass.
From then on the Eagles dominated the Lumberjacks with 24 unanswered points, scoring on their first five offensive possessions — a 27-yard field goal from redshirt freshman Seth Harrison and three rushing touchdowns from senior running back Antoine Custer Jr.
After the Lumberjacks had three straight possessions without scoring, Logan capitalized a 7-play drive with a 2-yard touchdown, but NAU's defense could not find an answer to Eastern Washington’s offense. Senior running back Tamarick Pierce’s 9-yard touchdown gave the Eagles their sixth consecutive scoring offensive drive.
With only four seconds left in the second quarter, NAU junior kicker Luis Aguilar launched a 22-yard field goal to send both teams into the locker room for halftime. NAU’s defense allowed 460 offensive yards in the first half and trailed 38-24.
Eastern Washington started the third quarter right where they left off. Barriere drove the ball down 75 yards on nine plays and found the end zone on a 19-yard run.
NAU answered with a touchdown of its own on fourth-and-11 as Cookus passed to Porter for a 22-yard TD. This was Cookus’ 100th touchdown of his career making him one of two players to reach the mark in FCS history.
The Lumberjacks were able to hold the Eagles offense making them punt for the first time in their eight offensive possessions.
Just when NAU seemed to have an opportunity to get back into the game, Logan fumbled the ball diving for the first down, which was recovered by the Eagles defense. This was the first turnover of the game by both teams.
With great field position, the Eagles scored their eighth touchdown of the game with a 3-yard pass from Barriere to senior redshirt tight end Jayce Gilder.
NAU’s offense drove the ball to the Eagles 5-yard line, but their struggles continued as a bad snap to Cookus was recovered by Eastern Washington’s redshirt senior linebacker Andrew Katzenberger who ran the ball back for a touchdown.
Logan then scored his third touchdown of the game with a 2-yard run on the Lumberjacks' next offensive possession. However, the Eagles answered once again with a 22-yard touchdown pass from Barriere to redshirt senior wide receiver Jayson Williams.
With eight minutes left in the game, the Eagles took out their starting quarterback and replaced him with redshirt sophomore quarterback Gunner Talkington. The Eagles ran the clock without extending their lead until the game came to a close.
The Lumberjacks return home next week to face the No. 2 ranked Sacramento State University. The Hornets are the top ranked team NAU will play at home all season while attempting to defend its undefeated 4-0 record at the Walkup Skydome.