The EWU football team (1-1) soundly defeated Northern Arizona (1-1), 45-13 in Saturday’s game.
This was the first game in over 15 months that EWU would be playing on the red turf.
Senior quarterback Eric Barriere threw for 413 yards and three touchdowns and an early first quarter interception. He has now thrown for over 400 yards four times in his career.
Barriere is 21-0 on the red turf since starting early in the 2018 fall season.
Head coach Aaron Best said EWU played together against NAU.
“I think the [team] came together collectively and I think they put a full game together,” Best said.
Best said the team built on some of their mistakes from the first week against Idaho, and complemented EWU in all three phases on playing a complete game against NAU. He specifically cited how much better the team was on 3rd and 4th down.
Best commented on how it was a different experience without fans, and the crowd noise was missed in certain situations.
“It’s certainly different,” Best said. “Having 3,500 fans in the stands last week (at Idaho) compared to this week with zero fans in the stands is different … on 3rd down and 4th down when the fans really execute a decimal level to be able to help our defense.”
The game was tied at 3-3 at the end of the first quarter, but in the second quarter Barriere threw three touchdowns and extended EWU’s lead to 24-6.
Sophomore wideout’s Anthoney Stell Jr. and Freddie Roberson caught a touchdown each and 149 receiving yards between both of them. Both wideout’s are from Rainier Beach High School located in Seattle, WA, and both graduated high school from Rainier Beach in 2018.
Senior wide receiver Talolo Limu-Jones caught six balls for 87 yards, and junior receiver Andrew Boston caught eight balls for 120 yards.
Like Best, Boston said he felt the team played a full 60 mintutes.
“I thought we played a complete game in total,” Boston said. “I think we missed on a couple opportunities … when we go back to the film and check things out … we’ll come back next week and hit on those things.”
After not playing on the Red Turf in over 15 months, Boston said it was something he thought about everyday.
“It was great,” Boston said. “Personally I think about this game every single day… so every single day it was just about being prepared and staying ready … and eventually it was go time.”
Senior running back Tamarick Pierce led all rushers with 105 yards off 15 carries and two second half touchdowns. EWU outgained NAU (39-209) to (38-121).
Junior linebacker Chris Ojoh had 12 total tackles on the day, which led both teams, and junior defensive lineman Mitchell Johnson had two tackles for losses and 1.5 sacks.
EWU will play at Idaho State (1-1) on March 13.