FLAGSTAFF — The Northern Arizona University football team played through chilly temperatures, wind and rain during their spring game Saturday afternoon.
As the temperatures dipped into the high 30’s, a large crowd crammed into Lumberjack Stadium, braving the rain to watch the offense defeat the defense 62-53. The chilly crowd would see three different players in senior Kyren Poe, senior Jordan Perry and redshirt freshman Hunter Correll spend time at the quarterback position.
Of course, the potential leader in the race for this fall’s quarterback job wasn’t even on the field. Connor Brewer, the former Chaparral standout who made college stops at the University of Texas and University of Arizona, took in the game from the press box after transferring to NAU earlier this month. Widely expected to be the starter for the upcoming season, head coach Jerome Souers admitted Brewer’s arrival would change the quarterback competition.
“I thought at times we looked good today and at times I thought we made some errors that were costly,” said Souers. “I know Connor Brewer will make that position more competitive, pure, plain and simple. He’s a great competitor, a great talent and having him on our football team is going to make us better in every way you can imagine.”
On the field, a huge positive for the Lumberjacks was the performance of the wide receiving core. Senior Dejzon Walker, a former Basha High star, scored a touchdown in the second quarter from Jordan Perry and had a spectacular middle of the field spinning catch in the first half, as well. Sophomore Emmanuel Butler, who played high school ball at Mountain Pointe in Phoenix, hauled in several long catches, including a fourth quarter touchdown from Kyren Poe.
“We did a great job coming out in the rain…and adjusting to the weather,” noted Butler. “Coming into the spring with a new faster offense at 7,000 feet, we grew a lot and I’m expecting big things from the offense next year.”
Other standout performances included the running back tandem of senior Casey Jahn and sophomore Corbin Jountti. Jahn started the game strong for the Lumberjacks, taking the handoff on the first three plays, while Jountti scored a fourth quarter rushing touchdown. On the defensive side, redshirt freshman linebacker Jake Casteel had two big interceptions.
“This group has been working really hard the last four months and to see them finally on the field for 15 practices, it’s great to see that they are very ambitious,” said Souers. “They’re a talented group of young men and we have a lot of growth and development ahead of us.”