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CV grad Gardner continues to excel on the gridiron
Former Hawk JaQuan Gardner rushed for 1,172 yards and 15 touchdowns through Humboldt States first seven games of the 2017 season. - photo by Photo courtesy of HSU Athletics

Central Valley High School grad Ja'Quan Gardner filled the stat sheet once again.

Gardner carried the ball a season-high 35 times for 215 yards and three touchdowns in leading the Humboldt State football team past visiting Western Oregon, 42-32, Saturday night at the Redwood Bowl.

Ja'Quan, a senior dual-threat running back, also caught two passes for 30 yards.

"He's only got a few more games wearing the green and gold, so these fans need to realize how fortunate they are to witness one of Division II's all-time best, I think. I'd put him in that category," Lumberjacks' head coach Rob Smith said while being interviewed by Eureka Times-Standard reporter Danny Penza following the game.

The second-place Lumberjacks improved to 6-1 on the year and 5-1 in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference.

Humboldt State trails Central Washington by half-a-game (8-0, 5-0) in the GNAC standings.

Gardner helped the Lumberjacks build a 28-17 lead in the opening half versus the Wolves (2-6, 1-5).

Ja'Quan raced 17 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter.

He scored on runs of 3 and 2 yards in the second quarter.

Gardner has eclipsed the 1,000-yard rushing mark for the third consecutive season.

Ja'Quan totaled 1,172 yards and 15 touchdowns through Humboldt State's first seven games.

A week earlier during Humboldt State's 52-49 Homecoming win over Azusa Pacific, Gardner made history by shattering a host of GNAC records.

He became the conference's career leader in touchdowns scored (67), points (402), all-purpose yards (6,366) and rushing yards (5,124). He tied the GNAC career record with his 63rd rushing TD.

Gardner set GNAC single-game marks with 446 all-purpose yards and six touchdowns, and tied another one with five rushing TDs.

Ja'Quan's record-breaking performance earned him GNAC Offensive Player of the Week honors for a record-tying ninth time.

Gardner and Humboldt State will travel to British Columbia this Saturday to compete against Simon Fraser.