By Sharrod Richard
It was a cold night physically and literally speaking. The Humboldt State Lumberjacks have been undefeated in the Redwood Bowl in Arcata for two years consecutively. So when the Cougars of Azusa Pacific University (Pasedena) came to town Sept. 10, most if not all of the Humboldt state fan base thought that the Lumberjacks would get the job done.
HSU athletics camera man Joey Marmolejo, a senior, said that this was one of the most heartbreaking losses he has seen in a long time.
” I was so happy going into this game thinking that Jaquan and our team would just beat the crap out of APU,” Marmolejo said. “But after the first interception in the fourth quarter by Robert Webber, I just knew it was over and felt pressure in my chest from the heart felt loss.”
Coming into this 2016 football season, HSU had a lot to boast about being that they were returning two D2footbal.com preseason All-Americans in Jaquan Gardner (First Team) and Alex Cappa (Second Team) and returning six offensive starters from the 2015 GNAC Champion team. That’s why HSU fans were so sure that the Lumberjacks would win at home Saturday, September 10 on that cold night.
The Azusa Pacific Cougars and Humboldt State University Lumberjacks are not new opponents. The two teams has shared a rivalry since APU joined the GNAC in 2011. The two teams are the only two football teams standing in Division 2 football which is crucial in recruiting season. A lot of the two teams players know each other from high school or junior college so the rivalry is thick.
Juwuan Murphy, Redshirt Freshman(#6), said that he knows a couple of the guys on the other team so the social media tension was high before the game. He doesn’t even want to check his social media outlets for a while.
” I went to school with Scooby, you know the running back, in high school so I knew he was smiling ear to ear,” Murphy said. ” I told him on Twitter that we would beat them by 20 points or better, but we ended up losing 38-27 , so look who had the last laugh.”
Coach Rob Smith looked disgusted after the game and rushed to the locker room right after being interviewed by ESPN radio, Lumberjack newspaper and then HSU athletic website. The Flapjack crew was not able to catch up with him in the tense and sad moments. But we were able to get a quote from him on the school’s website.
“We’ll learn from this loss,” said Smith. “That’s the great thing; we will be better through these tough games, and there is a ton of football still to be played. We are going to be in every game we play, I promise everyone that. We have to find a way at the end of these close games to make plays. Last week we did, this week we weren’t as fortunate. It stings and it hurts, but we will come back.” ( Quarters, B.)
Quarters, B. (n.d.). Turnovers Prove Costly as Cougars Top Jacks. Retrieved September 14, 2016, from http://www.hsulumberjacks.com/news/2016/9/11/football-turnovers-prove-costly-as-cougars-top-jacks.aspx