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Former Hawk Gardner earns GNAC honors
JaQuan Gardner rushed for 168 yards and three TDs in Humboldt States season-opening victory. - photo by ROB RUBEN/Crossview Studios

Central Valley High School grad Ja'Quan Gardner earned Great Northwest Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Week honors for the eighth time during his football career at Humboldt State.

The announcement was made in a press release posted online at on Sept. 11.

Gardner, a senior running back, was rewarded for his outstanding play at Azusa Pacific on Sept. 9.

Ja'Quan racked up 200 all-purpose yards during the Lumberjacks' season-opening 30-19 road upset of the No. 8 Cougars.

Gardner rushed for 168 yards and three touchdowns on 31 carries.

He also caught two passes for 18 yards.

Ahead by just four points, Ja'Quan helped Humboldt State secure the victory with a 3-yard TD run at the 1:59 mark of the final period.

Gardner filled a major role as the Lumberjacks snapped the Cougars' nine-game win streak against GNAC teams and eight-game home unbeaten streak.

Gardner will break former Azusa Pacific running back Terrell Watson's conference record if he's named GNAC Offensive Player of the Week for a ninth time this season.

Ja'Quan and Humboldt State (2-0) will compete at Western Oregon (1-2) on Sept. 23 at 1:05 p.m.

Gardner and the host Lumberjacks topped visiting Simon Fraser 72-14 on Saturday.

Ja'Quan gained 112 yards and scored one touchdown on just 12 carries.

He did the majority of his damage in the opening quarter, totaling 103 yards and barreling his way into the end zone from the 1-yard line.

Gardner's TD increased the Lumberjacks lead to 14-0.