Northern Arizona wins big

Updated: October 20, 2003, 3:01 AM ET

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. -- A big game by Jason Murrietta added up to a big win for Northern Arizona.

The freshman rushed for two touchdowns and threw for two more Saturday as Northern Arizona beat Eastern Washington 54-31, topping the Eagles for only the second time in seven years.

The Lumberjacks (6-1) improved to 4-0 in Big Sky play and 6-0 against Division I-AA competition, remaining the conference's last unbeaten team.

Murrietta completed 21 of 36 passes for 360 yards, the third straight game he has eclipsed the 300-yard mark.

"We demonstrated good control of the game in general," NAU coach Jerome Souers said. "We saw some outstanding efforts on both sides of the ball."

Johnny Marshall (116 yards) and Clarence Moore (107 yards, 2 TDs) caught six passes apiece, and Roger Robinson rushed 26 times for 121 yards.

The crowd was announced at 10,654, a show of support that excited Robinson.

"That got us going," he said. "It's great that the community turned out the way it did. It makes us want to play that much harder."

NAU jumped to a quick 13-0 lead after two field goals by Paul Ernster and Murrietta's 9-yard scoring pass to Moore.

The Eagles (4-4, 1-3) answered with an 83-yard strike from Erik Meyer to Kyler Randall, but the Lumberjacks opened a 27-7 lead after Murrietta ran for two scores from short yardage.

Meyer fumbled in the closing seconds of the first half, and NAU took advantage. Murrietta's 36-yard pass to Tom Winn with six seconds left set up Ernster's 32-yard field goal and gave NAU a 30-14 lead at the break.

The Lumberjacks sealed the game early in the third quarter when Ryan Williams broke three tackles on the way to a 23-yard touchdown run and a 37-14 lead.

Northern Arizona held EWU, which was averaging 153.4 rushing yards per game, to 41 yards on the ground. The Lumberjacks rolled up 570 yards of total offense.

"We're not where we want to be yet, but we are making great strides," Souers said.

This story is from's automated news wire. Wire index