Thunderbirds Outlast Lumberjacks, Reclaim Grand Canyon Trophy

SUU Football vs NAU

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