Central Valley High School grad Ja'Quan Gardner made his playoff debut with Humboldt State's football team last week.
The sophomore running back ran for 246 yards and two touchdowns during the fourth-seeded Lumberjacks' 45-31 victory over No. 5 Augustana (9-3) in the NCAA Division-II Super Region Three bracket.
"We haven't hosted a playoff game in over 50 years," Ja'Quan said. "We wanted to put on a show for our fans. The community around here was definitely excited."
Humboldt State improved to 10-1 on the year this past week collecting its first playoff win in 47 years.
The Lumberjacks won the Great Northwest Athletic Conference title outright with a perfect 6-0 mark thanks in large part to Gardner's dominance on the gridiron.
"I'm just playing football and having fun," he said. "The main focus is winning ball games."
Gardner currently ranks first in the nation in rushing yards (2,242), rushing touchdowns (25), rushing yards per game (203.8.6) and all-purpose yards per game (213.3).
The Lumberjacks will face top-seeded Northwest Missouri State (11-0) on the road this Saturday.