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CV grad performs at elite level once again
JaQuan Gardner

Slowed by an ankle injury for part of the 2016 season, Central Valley grad Ja'Quan Gardner still performed at a high level while starring on Humboldt State's football team.

The junior running back was recognized in a vote by the Great Northwest Athletic Conference's head coaches on Nov. 15.

Gardner earned first-team all-conference honors for the second year in a row.

"Ja'Quan had a great year by anybody's standards," Lumberjacks coach Rob Smith said. "He has well over 4,000 yards in his career with one more year to go. He also caught 40 balls out of the backfield, which was a big improvement for us offensively."

Ja'Quan led the GNAC in rushing yards (1,300), rushing touchdowns (18) and all-purpose yards (1,759).

He also caught 42 passes for 324 yards and one TD.

"It's a tremendous honor to get recognized for the work you do," Gardner said. "I just like to play the game and have fun."

The Lumberjacks compiled a 6-5 overall record and placed third in the conference standings (3-5).

Gardner had 96 yards of total offense as Humboldt State dropped its final game, 37-30, at Central Washington on Nov. 12.

Ja'Quan rushed for 52 yards on 25 carries.

Gardner hauled in seven passes for 44 yards.

"Coming into the season, we had high expectations," Ja'Quan said. "We want to get back to the level we know we can play at."