Cal Poly deals NAU second straight loss
NOV 17, 2012 8:04p ET
No. 17 Cal Poly (9-2, 7-1 Big Sky) grabbed a share of the conference title with Eastern Washington and Montana State. However, Eastern Washington claims an automatic playoff spot as the result of tiebreakers. Cal Poly and Montana State could earn at-large berths, but NAU (8-3, 6-2) might find itself on the outside looking in after dropping its last two conference games.
“We are disappointed in the outcome,” said Souers. “We had a chance to control our own destiny and be part of the championship. We did not play well enough to accomplish that. We will wait for a day to see how the tournament committee sees it and whether we are going to be part of it. That is all we can do before we assess where we go from here.”
No. 15 NAU pulled to within 42-34 on a 35-yard touchdown pass from Cary Grossart to Jesse Brantley with 1:33 left, but the Lumberjacks ran out of time.
Broadus completed just 6 of 9 passes for 180 yards. Two of those connections went for TDs, 51 yards to Cole Stanford and 5 yards to Willie Tucker.
“I am proud of the effort of our players tonight,” said NAU coach Jerome Souers. “Both teams played hard. It had a crazy feel with the changes in momentum and turnovers early that both teams were trying to avoid.”
The Football Championship Subdivision field will be announced on ESPNU at 11:30 p.m. Arizona time Sunday morning. The Lumberjacks (8-3, 6-2) are looking to make the playoffs for the fourth time in school history.
Grossart finished 23 for 36 for 274 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions. Tight end R.J. Rickert led the receivers with a game-high eight catches for 66 yards.
Running back Zach Bauman, who missed part of the game with an injury, had 14 carries for 44 yards. Freshman Casey Jahn added eight carries for 44 yards and a touchdown.
Defensive end Jarret Bilbrey had a career-high 14 tackles, while safety Lucky Dozier added a career-high 13 and linebacker Brandon Phillips recorded a career-high 12. Phillips added a 61-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown to open the scoring for the Lumberjacks.
The eight regular-season wins are the most for the program since the 2003 season, the last time NAU advanced to the FCS playoffs.