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Tight end Andrew Vollert secures the ball and gains yardage at the game versus Northern Arizona at Weber State University on Nov. 5. (Abby Van Ess / The Signpost)

Weber State University’s football team was unable to ring the victory bell at home for the first time this season as they lost 20–33 to the Northern Arizona University Lumberjacks on Saturday.

The Wildcats are now 5–4 on the season and 4–2 in conference play. Weber State lost two consecutive games after their five-game winning streak snapped at North Dakota last week.

On Northern Arizona’s side, they improve to 5–4, and their coach, Jerome Souers, took sole possession with the most career wins as a coach in the Big Sky Conference with 112 victories.

Weber State fell behind early in the game as the Lumberjacks jumped out to a quick 10–0 start in the first quarter. Their lead was eventually extended to 17–0 in the second quarter.

“We didn’t show up,” senior linebacker Tre’von Johnson said of the defense. “We gave up the 17–0 start, and it’s hard to come back from that against a good team. Credit to NAU, but we’ve got to come out faster … It’s hard to make those comebacks in the Big Sky.”

The Wildcats did make a comeback effort and were able to get the score within six points with 5:47 left in the game, but the Lumberjacks sealed the deal with a 61-yard touchdown rush on the ensuing position.

Although Weber State was able to pull of an unlikely comeback earlier in the season at Southern Utah University, this time the effort came short.

“We believed we were going to come back just like the last few … We just weren’t able to come back. Sometimes you just can’t execute,” senior quarterback Jadrian Clark said.“We weren’t able to execute when it mattered … We have to do better — I put that on myself.”

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Wide receiver Darryl Denby breaks past Northern Arizona with the ball Nov. 5. (Abby Van Ess / The Signpost)

Coach Jay Hill has seen slow starts as an issue this season. The last three games have seen the Wildcats trail going into the fourth quarter, two of which have led to a loss.

“If we’re going to do that often, it’s probably not going to turn out good. That’s the dilemma we’ve had. Slow starts in the last couple games have been our Achilles heel,” said Hill.

Injury woes continued for the Wildcats when a rough tackle in the fourth quarter sent junior wide receiver Cameron Livingston off the field on a stretcher.

Coach Hill is not quite sure what Livingston’s status is at this point. “I know they’re going to take him over for X-rays and see what exactly is going on … It’s a lower leg injury — I do know that.”

Weber State looks to avoid their longest losing streak of the season next week as California Polytechnic State University comes to Stewart Stadium.

Speaking of Cal Poly, Hill said, “We’ve got to be extremely assignment-sound. We’re going to have to be extremely physical. It’s going to be a war.”

On Nov. 12, the team will return to the field at Stewart Stadium to play their final home game of the season. Kickoff is at noon. The ’Cats will then hit the road to end the season at Idaho State on Nov. 19.

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A young girl cheers on the Wildcats during the home game against Northern Arizona University on Nov. 5. (Abby Van Ess / The Signpost)
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