NAU tops Portland State for fourth straight win

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Cary Grossart had 262 yards passing and two touchdowns, Zach Bauman ran for 92 yards and a score and Northern Arizona maintained its momentum Saturday, beating Portland State 24-10 for its first four-game winning streak since the 2009 season.

“There was some concern after the victory over Montana that we would
have a drop-off this week,” said coach Jerome Souers, who won his
80th career game at NAU. “I was really proud of our team. They came out
with a great deal of energy and intent. It was a very physical game. It
came down to the team that played the best defense and had the fewest
mistakes.”

The Vikings scored first on a 41-yard field goal by Nick Fernandez, but Bauman answered for the Lumberjacks (4-1, 2-0 Big Sky) with a 7-yard run on the ensuing possession, capping a 75-yard drive. Earlier on the drive, Bauman had become the fourth NAU running back to reach 3,000 yards rushing for his career.

Later in the first quarter, Grossart, who was 24 of 34, found Beau Gardner for a 1-yard score. He then hit Drew Emanuel from 30 yards out midway through the third. Grossart completed passes to 11 different receivers.

Kieran McDonagh ran for the Vikings’ (1-4, 0-2) only touchdown but threw for just 154 yards and was intercepted twice. Portland State’s Nevin Lewis led all receivers with 83 yards.

NAU held Portland State to 85 total yards in the first
half, building a 17-3 advantage over the first 30 minutes.

The  scored on its first possession of the second half to cut the lead to 17-10, but Grossart’s second touchdown pass of the game extended the NAU lead to 24-10, and Portland State got no closer.

“I think the turnovers gave us an advantage and gave us an opportunity to score,” said Souers. “Our offense did a great job of mixing just enough pass to keep them off balance. … I am proud of our team.”

NAU, ranked 22nd in the Football Championship Subdivision, has a bye next week before returning to action at North Dakota on Oct. 13.