Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Sun Devils Win 2016 Season Opener Against Lumberjacks

Mike Stockman
Phoenix Area Sports

ASU Kicker Zane Gonzalez tied for 19th all-time NCAA in career field goals.
TEMPE, ARIZONA (September 3, 2016) The Arizona State University Sun Devils started the 2016 football season with a 44-13 win over the Northern Arizona University Lumberjacks at Sun Devil Stadium, on Saturday evening, September 3, 2016.

For the first three quarters, the Lumberjacks led in total offense but trailed to the Devils 13-6. After three quarters, The Lumberjacks had 50 plays that totaled 316 yards to the Devils' 58 plays totaling 279.
The game finished with the Devils gaining 456 total yards to the Lumberjacks' 425.

After a slow and quiet start, Devils' red-shirt sophomore Manny Wilkins sparked the crowd with several runs late in the second quarter, leaping over defender on a 20 yard scramble, and then darting for another first down.

With five seconds left in the third quarter, ASU's junior running back Demario Richard bursts through the middle of the line for a two yard touchdown, making the score 20-6. From that point forward, the Devils played as expected, finishing the game with 456 total yards offense to the Lumberjacks 425.

For the Devils, junior kicker Zane Gonzalez scored 12 points, three field goals and three extra points. His 33 yard field goal at the end of the second quarter tied him for all-time NCAA career field goals with 74.  By the end of the game, he succeeded on two more attempts from 53 in the third quarter, and from 45 in the fourth quarter.
ASU QB Manny Wilkins led the Devils with 112 yards rushing

The Devils' Wilkins led the offense with 112 yards rushing and one rushing touchdown.  Other running backs contributing touchdowns included Demario Richard who had a two yard touchdown, Kalen Ballage scored on a 30 yard run, and N'Keal Harry had one run for a 34 yard touchdown.

The first field goal by Lumberjacks' Griffin Roehler of 25 yards, came early in the second quarter, making the score 7-3. He would later connect for another field goal in the third from 23 yards.

The Lumberjacks, ranked #18 in the STATS FCS, and led by reigning FCS STATS Freshman Player of the Year Case Cookus, racked up 369 yards passing with one touchdown to Elijah Marks that went for 87 yards early in the fourth quarter.

After the game, ASU's Coach Todd Graham stated "we were very simple, it's probably the least amount of pressure we have used in a game." He also mentioned "we were struggling.. I think the thing we gotta do is get our rhythm. It's always a good start when you're 1-0."

The Lumberjacks travel to Western Illinois for a game Saturday, September 10.

The Devils host the Texas Tech Red Raiders on Saturday, September 10 at Sun Devil Stadium. Game time is 7pm and will be covered on FoxSports1.

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