Late pick 6 dooms Lumberjacks in loss to North Dakota

GRAND FORKS, N.D. — Deion Harris returned an interception 40 yards with 2:43 to play and North Dakota rallied to defeat Northern Arizona 38-31 on Saturday for its ninth-straight win and a share of its first Big Sky Conference title.

The Fighting Hawks (9-2, 8-0) trailed 31-10 early in the third quarter after the Lumberjacks (5-5, 4-3) scored on an 11-yard pass from running back Kendyl Taylor to Jonathan Baldwin.

North Dakota 38, NAU 31

John Santiago’s 15-yard touchdown run in the third quarter started the comeback. Running back Brady Oliveira had a 2-yard pass to Luke Fiedler and Keaton Studsrud’s 10-yarder to Demun Mercer tied the game at 31 with 3:21 to play.

Northern Arizona, which had won four straight, reached the North Dakota 20 before turning the ball over on downs with 29 seconds left.

"It’s a tough game," NAU coach Jerome Souers said. "We made too many errors in the end and the turnovers killed us. We didn’t quit, but we can’t give teams like this any advantages and we did. The players played hard today and represented us well. I’m proud of them."

Kemp finished with 416 yards passing with three scores but was picked twice. Delshawn McClellon, Elijah Marks and Emmanuel Butler each surpassed 100 yards receiving.

Studsrud was 13 of 34 for 252 yards. Oliveira ran for 103, and Mercer had 10 catches for 137.