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Cookus propels Northern Arizona past Illinois State

(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Case Cookus threw for 380 yards and three touchdowns and caught a pass for another score as Northern Arizona stunned previously unbeaten Illinois State 37-16 on Saturday.

With the score knotted at 6-6 in the second quarter, Cookus moved the Lumberjacks (3-2) 75 yards in seven plays and capped the drive with a 32-yard scoring strike to Elijah Marks with 29 seconds left to give NAU a 13-7 halftime lead. On their first possession of the second half, Cookus drove the Lumberjacks 80 yards in five plays and connected with Wallace Gonzalez from 21 yards out for a 20-7 lead. NAU stretched the lead to 27-6 when Cookus caught a pass from Chance Brewington for a 23-yard score. Cookus added his final scoring pass in the fourth quarter, connecting with Cory Young from 23 yards out.

It was the third straight win for the Jacks, who beat a Missouri Valley Conference opponent for the first time since 2013.

Illinois State (4-1) had only allowed three touchdowns through its first four games and was the second-ranked defense in FCS in yards allowed at 166.5 per game. The Lumberjacks finished with 431 yards on offense, the fourth time in five game they’ve topped the 400 mark. Sean Slattery kicked field goals of 32, 51 and 38 yards for the Redbirds.

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