Cookus, Lumberjacks show off big plays in spring game

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — The Northern Arizona football team closed out the spring practice season with the annual NAU Football Spring Game on Saturday afternoon at the J. Lawrence Walkup Skydome in Flagstaff.

The Lumberjacks held a 60-minute practice session/scrimmage that featured a number of different type of practice periods for the fans in attendance including approximately 25 minutes of full-contact 11-on-11 action, 1-on-1 drills between various position groups and 7-on-7 passing drills.

The team also competed in a spirited score drill which consisted of the offense and the defense battling it out in a physical goal-line type situation at midfield.

Junior quarterback Case Cookus had a solid performance in both the 11-on-11 and 7-on-7 periods. Cookus connected with sophomore Justis Stokes for a 50-yard completion on the opening play of the 7-on-7 and then he hit senior Emmanuel Butler for a 70-yard scoring strike on a well-run post pattern on the first play of the initial 11-on-11 scrimmage session.

Cookus finished 3-of-5 overall through the air with two touchdown passes in the full team period.  Sophomore quarterback Connor Leavens was a perfect 6-of-6 on his pass attempts, but the Lumberjack defense limited those completions to just a total of 12 yards.

The defense also showed its mettle in limiting the offense to a total of 26 yards on nine rushing attempts.  Sophomore nickel back Brian Barry led the defense with three tackles. Carson Taylor, Taylor Powell, Tristan Vance and Elijah Orr each recorded a pair of stops.  Taylor and Maurice Davison each registered a sack in the 11-on-11.

Butler caught a pair of passes for a total of 72 yards and a touchdown, while Stokes scored the Lumberjacks’ lone other offensive touchdown on a 25-yard corner route from Cookus. Sophomore Luke Nguyen made a team-high four receptions for 13 yards.

The Lumberjacks open the 2018 season on Saturday, Sept. 1 at UTEP before hosting Eastern Washington in the home opener on Sept. 8 at the Skydome.

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