S. Utah beats N. Arizona, earns Big Sky title, playoff berth

CEDAR CITY, Utah (AP) Ammon Olson tied a career high with five touchdown passes on Saturday to lead Southern Utah past Northern Arizona 49-41, clinching the Big Sky Conference title and securing a berth in the FCS playoffs.

Olson completed 33 of 59 for 430 yards. Mike Sharp had eight receptions for a career-high 169 yards and three touchdown while Jarom Healy rushed for two touchdowns - including a 70-yarder that put Southern Utah (8-3, 7-1 Big Sky) up 49-34 with 1:57 left.

Case Cookus connected with Hunter Burton on a 49-yard desperation pass to close the first half that put Northern Arizona (7-4, 5-3) up 24-14.

Olson hit Sharp for touchdown passes of 70 and 9 yards in the third quarter to put the Thunderbirds up, 35-31, for good.

Cookus finished with 350 yards passing and four touchdowns for Northern Arizona. Corbin Jountti had 113 yards rushing and one score.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide—from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Andy Staples, Grant Wahl, and more—delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.