No. 14 Northern Arizona sapped the momentum from North Dakota with a fake field goal to end the first half and went on to post a 48-27 victory on Saturday in Big Sky play at the Walkup Skydome. NAU (7-2, 5-1 Big Sky) picked up its all-important seventh win of the season, while UND (2-7, 1-5 Big Sky) dropped its fourth straight.
Leading 21-14 with three seconds to go in the half, NAU head coach Jerome Sauers called for a fake field goal and third-string quarterback Jordan Perry took the snap as the holder and raced in for the Lumberjacks' fourth touchdown of the opening half.
NAU's third rushing touchdown of the stanza gave the home team a 28-14 edge and UND could not get within 20 points in the second half despite a record-setting aerial attack by redshirt freshman Ryan Bartels and sophomore wide receiver Kenny Golladay.
After falling behind 14-0, Bartels came off the bench and kept UND in the game in the first half, leading a pair of touchdown drives that ended in scoring tosses to Golladay. The second came with only 54 seconds to play in the half and put UND within 21-14 of the Jacks, but NAU back-up signal caller Kyren Poe drove his team down on a 10-play, 75-yard drive to get that touchdown right back and build the home team's lead to 14 again.
"Ryan came in and gave us a spark," UND head coach Chris Mussman said. "He started completing some passes, making first downs and you could see our offense starting to build some confidence. That fake field goal really hurt us though. It was a great call by their head coach. A gutsy one, but it worked and we just could not get anything going in the third quarter and that proved costly."
Bartels and Golladay would get together again for two more scoring connections in the second half as Golladay finished with a UND single-game record 17 catches for 134 yards, but the NAU offense also scored a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns to keep the Green and White at bay.
Golladay also tied the school record for touchdown receptions with his four in the contest. Jesse Smith was the only other UND receiver to haul in four scoring grabs in a game, doing so in UND's run to the Division II national title in the 2001 playoffs vs. Winona State.
Bartels, who came in as planned after UND's second series, easily established season highs with 39 completions, 367 yards and those four touchdown passes to Golladay. Bartels' 39 completions and 367 passing yards are both UND freshman records.
Senior Greg Hardin added eight catches for 118 yards to finish with his 14th career 100-yard receiving game and drew three pass interference calls on NAU defensive backs.
NAU opened the scoring when starting quarterback Chase Cartwright engineered an efficient opening drive for the home team, connecting with five different receivers to march his squad 81 yards Cartwright capped the drive with a 12-yard scoring strike to Alex Holmes.
NAU went ahead 14-0 on a 2-yard quarterback scamper by Poe after the drive was extended by an offside penalty on UND when the Jacks' were lined up to try a 30-yard field goal.
Bartels remained in the game for UND and led his team on a nine-play, 75-yard scoring drive to answer the second Lumberjacks' touchdown. The redshirt freshman went 5-for-6 on the drive, capping it with a 27-yard scoring strike to Golladay.
NAU's All-American running back Zach Bauman, who had 15 carries for 150 yards in the opening 30 minutes, scored the third touchdown of the half for NAU on a 14-yard carry. That put the home team back ahead by 14 at 21-7, but once again Bartels and Golladay connected on a 22-yard scoring pass with under a minute to play to breathe life back into the visitors' sideline.
Bauman finished with 162 rushing yards and a touchdown and continued to moved into fourth place on the Big Sky all-time rushing list with 4,831 yards. He also went over the 1,000-yard rushing mark for the season in the game becoming just the ninth player in FCS history to do that in all four seasons of his career.
Safety Will Lewis led UND in tackles with a career-high 11 stops. Both offenses put up over 400 yards in a game that saw only four punts, but the two teams combined for 21 penalties, amounting for 211 yards.