Thunderbirds Outlast Lumberjacks, Reclaim the Grand Canyon Trophy
SUU picked up their third win of the season on Saturday after facing off against the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks. The T-Birds put up 31 to NAU’s 30. The game was close with the as both teams traded points steadily throughout the game.
After seven minutes of play, Manny Berz kicked a 24-yard field goal to make it 3-0 for SUU. Northern Arizona responded with a field goal of their own after five minutes to make it 3-3.
In the second quarter, NAU punched their ticket into the endzone first, scoring on a 31-yard pass.
SUU QB Chris Helbig was quick to respond, finding Thomas Duckett on a 44-yard pass to tie the game at 10. Touchdowns were traded once more before the half expired and the Lumberjacks kicked a field goal to make it 20-17 heading into halftime.
The Thunderbirds scored again on their first drive of the second half, taking the lead 24-20 after five minutes of play when Karris Davis ran 11 yards for a touchdown.
NAU struck again with a nine-yard run to retake the lead, but Thomas Duckett exploded with a 54-yard run after a handoff from Helbig to put SUU back on top, 31-27.
NAU picked up another field goal at the start of the fourth quarter and cut the lead to one, but it wasn’t enough.
The T-Bird defense activated hyperdrive during the fourth quarter, and never gave an inch to NAU, including a stop on their own one-yard line at fourth and goal.
Duckett was the leading star of the game, rushing for 130 yards and connecting with Helbig on 5 passes for 81 yards, totaling three touchdowns.
Helbig was 22-for-27 on completions, totaling 290 yards and one touchdown.
The Thunderbirds will wrap up their season with an away game against North Dakota on Saturday, Nov. 23. Kickoff is set for 12:00 p.m. MT, and you can watch the game on PlutoTV or listen to it on 97.7 FM.
Story by: Ryan Sunderman
Photo by Mitchell Quartz