Bashore’s Beat Avoiding the upset
by Cody Bashore
Riding high after their upset of the University of Nevada-Las Vegas (UNLV) Rebels, the Lumberjacks have now turned their attention to Sept. 15′s opponent. After two consecutive weeks playing the underdog role, Northern Arizona University (NAU) becomes the hunted as they try to avoid a letdown against the Division-II Fort Lewis Skyhawks.
“I guarantee you the team we play will be playing their best game of the year to-date, [how] I’m sure we looked to ASU then when we played against UNLV,” said head coach Jerome Souers. “The change in quality of play can improve in a hurry, if you’re motivated, and those guys will be motivated, so we anticipate them being better than they show on tape, being better than they were last year.”
While the level of competition the Skyhawks bring is different than ASU and UNLV, the Lumberjacks don’t plan on changing their preparation. The Skyhawks were blown out by the Lumberjacks 58-13 in 2011 and are coming off a 50-0 loss at home to New Mexico Highlands.
“We are focused on our own technique and ourselves,” Souers said. “If we take care of that you can let the chips fall where they may.”
On the injury side of things for the Lumberjacks, sophomore Chase Cartwright took the majority of the reps in practice Wednesday in place of senior Cary Grossart.
“That’ll be a game time decision; Cary’s had enough reps from last spring and through summer camp. We’re not going to make that decision until game time,” Souers said.
Cartwright led the Lumberjacks to victory against UNLV in his first collegiate start when he filled in for Grossart, who injured his right knee in the second quarter against ASU. After a 2-for-11 start, Cartwright finished 17-for-40 with 197 yards and no turnovers against UNLV.
“Chase is a quality QB and like anybody on our team, if the second guy needs to step in, we expect his quality of contribution will be at a level that doesn’t hold us back,” Souers said.
Sophomore wide receiver Dejzon Walker participated fully in practice for the Lumberjacks after missing the game in Las Vegas. The news isn’t so lucky for junior wide receiver Jeremy Dang, who left the UNLV game with a possibly severe knee injury.
“It appears to be serious; that’s all I’m prepared to say at this time,” Souers said. “It’ll be long-term it looks like; that’s all we know now.”