Idaho State football has early advantage, but falls to ranked foe


FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — Zach Bauman found his extra gear in the second half, leading Northern Arizona to a 39-30 victory over Idaho State on Saturday night.

Bauman, who finished with a career-best 266 rushing yards on 28 carries, carried five times on a six-play, 85-yard scoring drive in the third quarter to give the Lumberjacks (5-2, 3-1 Big Sky Conference) their first lead at 19-14.

Northern Arizona, ranked 19th in the Sports Network FCS poll, was cruising home, ahead 39-14 in the final quarter, when the Bengals (3-4, 1-3) charged back with two late touchdowns and two 2-point conversions.

Justin Arias, who totaled 390 passing yards, threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to Broc Malcom to make it 39-22. Idaho State recovered the ensuing onside kick, and Arias quickly struck on a 20-yard scoring pass to Cameron Richmond.

ISU, seeking its first win in Flagstaff since 1984, had an early 14-6 lead after a Xavier Finney 4-yard TD run and a 15-yard connection from Arias to Richmond. NAU’s Chase Cartwright found Nick Cole for a 22-yard score shortly before halftime, and the failed 2-point attempt gave the Lumberjacks a 14-12 deficit at the break.

Arias was 30-of-57 passing without an interception, and Luke Austin (Skyview High) had eight catches for 100 yards. But the Bengals lost their 42nd straight road game, and their 22nd in a row to a ranked foe.

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