Northern Arizona holds off Southern Utah 42-39

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FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. -- Despite Southern Utah's furious fourth-quarter comeback attempt, Northern Arizona held off the Thunderbirds 42-39 Saturday in the Lumberjacks' home opener.

Southern Utah (1-2) scored 22 points in the fourth quarter after trailing 35-14 early in the third quarter, but NAU held on for the victory.

Henderson finished the game with 168 yards on 32 carries and added two rushing touchdowns. He also recovered his own fumble in the end zone for a third score.

The Lumberjacks (1-1) cruised in the first half, scoring four touchdowns in the game's first 20 minutes and jumped to a 28-7 lead.

The Thunderbirds cut it to 28-14 when quarterback Cade Cooper connected with Tysson Poots for a 25-yard score.

Trailing 42-24, Cooper hit running back Austin Minefee with two touchdown passes to get it to 42-39. The final one came on a 40-yard pass with 3:38 remaining in the game.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)