A third-quarter rally fell short as the Humboldt State football team lost to UT Permian Basin 36-17 Saturday evening, in Odessa, Texas.
The home team jumped out to a 15-0 lead through one quarter of play behind a career-day from quarterback Taylor Null. The freshman put the Falcons on the board with a 57-yard touchdown pass, and the home team extended its lead with an 11-yard touchdown run by Adrian Walker five minutes later.
HSU managed just two first downs in the opening quarter, but a change under center sparked the Green and Gold. Joey Sweeney relieved starter Andrew Tingstad with under two minutes remaining in the quarter. Sweeney led the Lumberjacks on scoring drives in each of their first three possessions of the second half and brought the North Coast team within striking distance at 22-17. Kaleo Garrigan and Sweeney connected for a pair of long touchdown plays, the first of which went 30 yards followed by a 40-yard scoring play.
UT Permian Basin scored 14 unanswered in the fourth quarter to put the game away. Null compiled 430 passing yards and four touchdowns in the win.
“We dug ourselves in a hole early,” Humboldt head coach Damaro Wheeler said. “We fought back and gave ourselves a chance going into the fourth quarter, but we wore down at the end.”
For the second consecutive week, Evan Camarena and Demetrick Watts were the leaders for the HSU defense. Camarena picked off Null twice, and Watts led the Green and Gold with 15 tackles.
Sweeney finished the game with 192 passing yards, two touchdowns and a pair of interceptions. The junior dialed up Garrigan four times for 88 yards and he completed 50 percent of his passes. Another offensive standout was running back Tyree Marzetta who finished with 102 rushing yards on 12 carries.
The Jacks travel to Monmouth, Ore., to meet Western Oregon on Saturday, Oct. 20. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:05 p.m.