Northern Arizona suffered its first loss of the spring football season on Saturday afternoon, falling 45-13 to Eastern Washington.
It was an aerial attack for the Eagles, as EWU quarterback Eric Barriere threw for 413 yards and three touchdowns. Eastern Washington never trailed in its home opener against the Lumberjacks.
“We’re young and we didn’t have Brenndan Johnson in there today. We have a couple other guys that are hurt or out,” said NAU head coach Chris Ball. “We knew that was going to be an issue moving forward coming into this season. We’ve just got to continue to get better, we’ve got good talent back there, we are just young.”
Offensively, the only Lumberjack touchdown came on a 38-yard burst from running back George Robinson in the fourth quarter. He broke through for a score and into the end zone. In the first half, NAU had two scoring drives that resulted in Luis Aguilar field goals.
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Defensively, NAU also forced three first half turnovers, but Eastern Washington was able to hold on to the lead and kept the Lumberjacks off the scoreboard for most of the game.
At quarterback, Keondre Wudtee and Jeff Widener split time under center. In the second half, Widener, a freshman, played the rest of the way. He finished going 16-24 for 132 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions.
Ultimately, Eastern Washington, who has been a consistent winning program in the Big Sky, proved to be too much to handle on Saturday. With a young team looking to build and grow under Ball, the Lumberjacks will get back to work this week in practice.
Up next, NAU is back at home next Saturday, March 13 for a matchup against Idaho at 1 p.m. in Flagstaff.