Late TD lifts NAU past Portland State

PORTLAND, Ore. — Chase Cartwright raced across the goal line from the 3 with four minutes left as Northern Arizona constructed a late scoring drive to defeat Portland State 21-17 Saturday night.

Cartwright finished with 222 yards passing as the Lumberjacks (4-3, 2-1 Big Sky) rallied after losing a halftime lead. Portland State (2-5, 1-2) surged ahead when Steven Long ripped a 62-yard touchdown run on first down early in the third quarter, followed by a 31-yard Jonathan Gonzales field goal. Long gained 253 yards on 16 carries. Nate Tago scored the game-opening TD but was stuffed on two tries from the 1 late in the game.

"When you’re on the road in the Big Sky Conference you need contribution from all three phases of the game," NAU coach Jerome Souers said. "I’m really proud of the team. I thought there were some great plays out there. It’s tough to come into venues on the road and get a win. The players didn’t panic and neither did the coaches. We were able to earn the win today."

NAU drove 83 yards in 11 plays for the winning TD aided by back-to-back first downs on two Vikings penalties.

"We stuck with the plan and we were able to score," Cartwright said of the game-winning drive. "We were definitely proud of our guys for being able to execute that drive."

Scores on back-to-back series — a Cartwright pass to Casey Jahn and a 67-yard pick-six by Marcus Alford — boosted NAU to a 14-7 halftime lead.