CEDAR CITY (AP) — Thomas Duckett scored the go-ahead touchdown on a 54-yard run late in the third quarter and Southern Utah held off Northern Arizona for a 31-30 victory on Saturday.
Duckett ran for 130 yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries and caught five passes for 81 yards and a score for the Thunderbirds (3-8, 2-5 Big Sky). His touchdown run at the end of the third gave Southern Utah a 31-27 lead.
Luis Aguilar kicked a 46-yard field goal early in the fourth to pull the Lumberjacks (4-7, 2-5) within a point. Northern Arizona drove from its own 19 to a first-and-goal at the Southern Utah 3 on its next possession, but the Thunderbirds held them out, including stuffing George Romero-Robinson’s run for no gain on fourth down from the 1.
"I'm just proud of the guys," SUU head coach Demario Warren said in a statement. "We've been trying to work on getting better each and every week. We knew how big this game was. We were 2-2 at home, we wanted to send the seniors off with a win at home and make sure the home crowd saw more wins than losses. Against unranked opponents we'd have a winning record now. I've got to take my hat off to NAU, those guys played their butts off. Case Cookus is one of the best quarterbacks in Big Sky history and it's been fun competing against him if it's his last year."
Southern Utah forced a punt after Northern Arizona went three-and-out on its next possession, and Duckett ran three times for a first down to allow the Thunderbirds to run out the clock.
Chris Helbig passed for 290 yards and a touchdown and Landen Measom caught six passes for 125 yards for Southern Utah.
Case Cookus threw for 325 yards and a touchdwon and Brandon Porter caught 10 passes for 151 yards and a touchdown for Northern Arizona.
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