Bauman has career rushing record, NAU has nat’l ranking

<!-- AddThis Sharing Buttons above -->
                <div>
                    <a class="addthis_button" href="//addthis.com/bookmark.php?v=300" addthis:url='http://phxfan.com/2013/09/bauman-has-career-rushing-record-nau-has-natl-ranking/' addthis:title='Bauman has career rushing record, NAU has nat’l ranking'>
                        <img src="//cache.addthis.com/cachefly/static/btn/v2/lg-share-en.gif" width="125" height="16" alt="Bookmark and Share" style="border:0"/>
                    </a>
                </div>Zach Bauman owns the career rushing record for the Northern Arizona University football program.  Now he’s making sure the mark will be a tough one to beat for those coming […]<!-- AddThis Sharing Buttons below -->
                <div>
                    <a class="addthis_button" href="//addthis.com/bookmark.php?v=300" addthis:url='http://phxfan.com/2013/09/bauman-has-career-rushing-record-nau-has-natl-ranking/' addthis:title='Bauman has career rushing record, NAU has nat’l ranking'>
                        <img src="//cache.addthis.com/cachefly/static/btn/v2/lg-share-en.gif" width="125" height="16" alt="Bookmark and Share" style="border:0"/>
                    </a>
                </div>

Zach Bauman owns the career rushing record for the Northern Arizona University football program.  Now he’s making sure the mark will be a tough one to beat for those coming after him.

The senior running back from Hamilton High School in Chandler became the school’s rushing leader in the second game of the season against UC Davis.  He picked up four yards, exactly the number he needed to reach 3,795 for the record, as the first half closed and then went on to finish with 56.

He already owns the distinction of becoming the first player in NAU history to run for 1,000 or more yards in three consecutive seasons and is third on the all-time list for all-purpose yardage.

Bauman comes from high-profile football lineage.  His cousin is college football hall-of-famer and four-time NFL Pro Bowler Greg Pruitt.

Last week he began fortifying his NAU legacy by adding another 151 rushing yards against South Dakota.

The Lumberjacks will need every yard their talented back can produce this Saturday when they host No. 7 Montana in the Big Sky Conference Game of the Week.

NAU has also moved into the national rankings, albeit much farther down the ladder.  The Jacks are sitting at No. 22 in the NCAA Division-I FCS coaches poll and No. 24 in the Sports Network media poll.

After opening the season as the traditional sacrifice to a Pac-12 team (UofA beat them 35-0), the Jacks won their next two, beating UC Davis 21-10 and South Dakota last week, 22-16.

Their defense appears to be hitting its stride early.  The Jacks gave up just 84 yards to South Dakota as the Coyotes averaged just three yards per rush attempt.

And the senior corner back from Desert Vista High School in Phoenix, Anders Battle, was named the Big Sky Defensive Player of the Week after giving the Lumberjacks the early momentum in the South Dakota win by intercepting a pass in the first quarter and running it back 49 yards for a touchdown.  He was also responsible for three tackles and credited for three more pass break-ups.

The week before, senior safety Lucky Dozier was picked as the conference Defensive Player of the Week after scoring the game-winning touchdown after an interception, and also contributed four tackles to the win over UC Davis.

In the pre-season polls , NAU was picked to finish fifth in the Big Sky, despite closing out last season with a No. 20 national ranking.  The prediction was based, in large part, on the fact that the Jacks had to replace two-year starting quarterback Cary Grossart.

But Kyren Poe, a redshirt sophomore, has stepped in to lead the team to its 2-1 start and has thrown for 455 yards.

The decision by head coach Jerome Souers to name Poe as his starting QB had to be welcome news for Bauman because it re-united him with his former high school teammate from Hamilton.  The two worked together to win the 2008 state championship in Bauman’s senior year.

Now they’re trying to work the same magic at the college level.  But it will take more than slight-of-hand to get past Montana, a team the Jacks beat last year, 41-31, in Montana – but haven’t beaten in Flagstaff since 1987.

It will take a flawless game – and a big night from Zachary Jordan Bauman.

(Photo: NAU Athletics)