Bauman sets freshman rushing record
The Jacks’ running attack was on full throttle Saturday, gaining a combined 394 yards and four touchdowns in the 62-14 thumping of Portland State. Sophomore running back Giovannie Dixon led the Jacks’ efforts gaining 221 yards on 13 carries, scoring two touchdowns. Freshman running back Zach Bauman also had an impressive performance, carrying 14 times for 153 yards and two touchdowns.
Bauman set the NAU freshman single season rushing record for total yards (1,060) this season, breaking the previous school record held by Alex Henderson (1,014 yards) in 2006.
Bauman was excited, but thinks it is just a sample of what is to come.
“First, I know I need to stay humble and give thanks to God and my O-line,” Bauman said. “But I want to go for 2,000 next year, that’s my goal.”
Bauman came into the game with 907 yards, needing 93 for the milestone 1,000-yard mark.
“He’s the whole package,” head coach Jerome Souers said of Bauman. “A tough guy, he’s got great vision and great balance.”
The offensive line did a solid job creating gaps to run through and protection for quarterback Michael Herrick in his last game as a Lumberjack.
“Our O-line opened up holes and then our running backs finished,” Herrick said.
This running room allowed Dixon and Bauman to showcase their running abilities in space. “They showed what they could do in open field, which can be devastating,” Souers said. “That was something that was fun to watch.”
The competition at running back is something Bauman is not used to, but something that he thinks will help him.
“In high school you’re really just the back,” Bauman said. “In college you have someone push you every day so you don’t really have a position on lock.”
This battle for the starting spot has created a close friendship between Bauman and Dixon, who both think highly of each another.
“We have a great relationship and we always just motivate each other,” Dixon said. “But I always let him know I’m on his tail.”
Dixon was happy to finally break out for a couple of long runs, scoring touchdowns from 49 and 75 yards out, as he has been struggling to do so all season.
“I’m just happy to be able to finally get to show people what I got, show them my speed,” Dixon said.
Although Bauman and Dixon play the same position, they are far from the same type of player.
“I think both can be equally as effective so to have two guys like that in the backfield with a lot of years left bodes well for the NAU football program,” Souers said.
When Dixon broke loose for the 75 yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter Bauman was ecstatic on the sideline.
“He’s been trying to break them all year long and for him to break that, it was real happy, for me and for him,” Bauman said.