FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — Zach Bauman found his extra gear in the second half, leading Northern Arizona to a 39-30 victory over Idaho State Saturday night.
Bauman, who finished with a career-best 266 rushing yards on 28 carries, carried five times on a six-play, 85-yard scoring drive in the third quarter to give the Lumberjacks (5-2, 3-1 Big Sky Conference) their first lead at 19-14.
Bauman scored a total of three touchdowns and tallied 324 all-purpose
yards. Quarterback Chase Cartwright completed 17 of 26 passes
for 157 yards to go along with three touchdown passes.
“It’s an individual performance, but those big runs and long passes,
that comes because the quarterback throws great balls and the receivers
blocking downfield,” Bauman said. “The offensive line is creating seams
for me to run, so
the record is a tribute to my team.”
NAU was cruising home, ahead 39-14 in the final quarter, when the Bengals (3-4, 1-3) charged back, scoring two late touchdowns and converting the two point try both times.
Justin Arias, who totaled 390 passing yards, threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to Broc Malcom to make it 39-22. Idaho State, which lost its 42nd straight road game, recovered the ensuing onside kick, and Arias quickly struck on a 20-yard scoring pass to Cameron Richmond, making it 39-30.
But the Lumberjacks recovered the next onside kick and held on for the win.
“That was an exciting Big Sky Conference football game,” NAU coach
Jerome Souers said. “First half, I thought Idaho State had a good game plan,
they forced us to do some adjusting. We went in at halftime and took care
of those adjustments that we needed to, and we
sprung Zach loose in the third quarter and played some good defense,
which got them off the field, and that enabled us to reposition ourselves
and regain control of the game.”