FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Maurice Davison returned an interception 51 yards for a touchdown late in the third quarter and Northern Arizona turned back independent North Dakota 31-16 on Saturday in the season finale for both teams.
The Lumberjacks (4-6) grabbed a 14-0 lead in the first quarter on Aramis Aldredge’s 9-yard TD run and Brandon Porter’s 30-yard scoring strike to Emmanuel Butler on back-to-back possessions. Porter’s TD toss came after Wes Sutton intercepted a pass from Nate Ketteringham and returned it 22 yards to the North Dakota 31-yard line. Luis Aguilar booted a 37-yard field goal early in the second quarter to push the Lumberjacks’ lead to 17-0. But the Fighting Hawks (6-5) used Ketteringham’s 21-yard scoring strike to Noah Wanzek and a 35-yard Brady Leach field goal to pull within 17-10 at halftime.
Leach kicked a 43-yard field goal midway through the third quarter to cut the Hawks’ deficit to four points, but Davison’s pick-6 came with 3:50 left in the third to push the Lumberjacks’ advantage to 24-13. Leach’s third field goal pulled North Dakota within 24-16 just nine seconds into the final quarter. NAU wrapped up the victory when Cory Young scored on a 1-yard run with 61 seconds left to play.
Young and Aldredge combined for 129 of NAU’s 184 yards rushing.