Quarterback carousel keeps turning for Lumberjacks


By Cody Bashore

NAU’s Chase Cartwright throws the ball against Fort Lewis College during the first home football game Saturday Sept. 15 at the Sky Dome. The Lumberjacks won the game 69-0. (Photo by Sean Ryan)

The Lumberjacks made their home debut against the Fort Lewis College Skyhawks and produced an impressive 69–0 victory a little more than two weeks after their disappointing results in Tempe against ASU. The outcome against the Skyhawks, a Division-II program, became even more interesting when sophomore backup quarterback Chase Cartwright left the game with a leg injury seconds before halftime. Cartwright, starting in place of injured senior Cary Grossart, hurt his leg after he took a hit scrambling for a first down.

Kyren Poe makes a move

Redshirt freshman Kyren Poe found himself in a new role against the Skyhawks, having moved from quarterback to wide receiver in the week leading up to the game.

“He is such a gifted athlete; it’s hard to have him not near the ball,” said head coach Jerome Souers. “He’s a winner; he comes from a state championship team; he was MVP of the state championship his senior year after playing one year at quarterback.”

Poe, who was named Offensive Scout Team Player of the Year after his redshirt year this past season, won three state championships from 2008-2010 while at Hamilton High School in Chandler. He had 2,133 yards and 17 touchdowns through the air while adding 891 yards and 15 TDs on the ground. His dual-threat ability prompted the Lumberjacks to find a way to get him on the field, even though the quarterback position is currently filled.

“I’ll tell you what he did tonight, he blocked. He blocked: He broke a couple touchdowns runs out there,” Souers said of Poe, who also added a catch for five yards. “He is a very athletic young man, and as a redshirt freshman, we need to get him on the field somehow, some way.”

Next in line at quarterback

While Grossart continued to recover from a right knee injury he suffered against ASU, Cartwright earned his second career start for the Lumberjacks. However, his second start would not wind up as perfect as his first career start in the upset at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas. After Cartwright was carried off the field by a pair of trainers, redshirt freshman Jordan Perry entered the game. Perry’s first snap at quarterback would double as his first career touchdown pass when senior running back Covaughn DeBoskie-Johnson took a screen pass 31 yards for the touchdown. Perry finished the game 7-of-9 for 74 yards and two touchdowns.

“You can always tell the quality of a program top to bottom by how your depth plays and how it develops,” Souers said. “We ended up going to our third quarterback, Jordan Perry. He stepped in and showed the kind of confidence that he should have; he’s a great quarterback.”

Depending on the severity of Cartwright’s injury, Perry could be looking at taking over the backup quarterback job going forward. Souers said the team expects Grossart to be back for the upcoming game at the University of Montana. Souers added that Poe could return to quarterback if needed for depth.


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