Northern Arizona quarterback Case Cookus can scratch one passing record off his list. The Lumberjacks star signal caller broke Northern Arizona's all-time career touchdown passes record in dramatic fashion Saturday.
With the Lumberjacks tied with No. 4 Weber State on the road in Ogden, Utah, at 14-all and pinned with his back at Northern Arizona’s goal line, Cookus found Stacy Chukwumezie down the sideline for a 94-yard touchdown to break Jason Murrietta’s record of 94 career touchdown passes. Cookus, of course, flew down the field to celebrate with Chukwumezie -- and to take the ball from the referee.
“He’s a phenomenal player. Every time he’s in there we got a chance to win,” Lumberjacks head coach Chris Ball said of Cookus.
But the record-breaking day came as the defense struggled to contain Weber State on the ground in a 51-28 loss as the Lumberjacks let another road game get out of hand in the second half.
Northern Arizona had the game within two points early in the fourth quarter with chances to get off the field forcing Weber into a third-and-long situation, and later a fourth-and-short. Weber converted both, and after the latter, running back Kris Jackson went untouched from 5 yards out for a score.
Weber State ran for 443 yards, getting 328 and four touchdowns from Josh Davis alone in his monumental day, and Jackson added 113 yards and three TDs.
Northern Arizona fell to 3-4 overall and 1-2 in the Big Sky.
Cookus didn’t need a ton of time to tie the program’s all-time touchdown passes record either on a day when the weather was wet. Cookus’ first TD pass of the day came on a 63-yarder to Chukwumezie early in the first quarter.
Later on, after the defense forced a fumble and Eloi Kwete picked it up in Weber territory, Cookus took a bad snap with one hand, set his feet and threw a strike to freshman wide receiver Hendrix Johnson to tie Jason Murrietta’s all-time record of 94 touchdown passes. The score tied the game up at 14-all to answer Davis’ second touchdown run of the first half.
Cookus did as much as he really could to keep his team alive, going for 359 yards on 20-of-34 passing and four touchdowns. But Cookus could only do so much when Weber was able to assert its dominance in the ground game scoring all seven of its touchdowns via the rush.
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With the game basically over with under two minutes to play, Cookus left the game after he was sacked and limped off the field.
Ball said after the game that they probably shouldn’t have had Cookus out on the field on the final Northern Arizona drive.
Northern Arizona hosts Portland State (5-3, 3-1 Big Sky) in the Walkup Skydome for Homecoming. Kickoff is set for 4 p.m.
BIG SKY FOOTBALL ROUNDUP
PORTLAND ST. 38, N. COLORADO 30
GREELEY, Colo. (AP) — Sirgeo Hoffman ran for a career-high 221 yards with two touchdowns as Portland State ran up an early lead to beat Northern Colorado 38-30. Davis Alexander threw for 170 yards and a score and ran for another touchdown for the Vikings (5-3, 3-1 Big Sky Conference).
IDAHO 45, IDAHO ST. 21
MOSCOW, Idaho — Colton Richardson passed for two touchdowns and ran for another and the Idaho defense scored three TDs — including two by Lloyd Hightower — as the Vandals beat Idaho State 45-21.