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Eastern Washington adds Northern Arizona to nonconference schedules in 2018 and 2020

UPDATED: Thu., Nov. 2, 2017, 11:07 p.m.

Eastern Washington quarterback Gage Gubrud runs the ball against Northern Arizona last year in Flagstaff, Arizona. (Jake Bacon / Associated Press)
Eastern Washington quarterback Gage Gubrud runs the ball against Northern Arizona last year in Flagstaff, Arizona. (Jake Bacon / Associated Press)

Eastern Washington will play Big Sky Conference football rival Northern Arizona in nonconference games in 2018 and 2020, athletic director Bill Chaves announced Thursday.

The first meeting will be in Flagstaff, Ariz., on Sept. 8, 2018, and the return game will come two years later in Cheney on Sept. 19, 2020.

“We are glad that we can continue to play NAU even in the years we are not scheduled through the Big Sky,” Chaves said.

Eastern leads the all-time series against NAU 20-12, with Eastern winning 50-35 in Flagstaff last year. The schools didn’t meet this year, though an FCS playoff matchup is still a possibility.

The last time EWU and NAU played in a non-conference game came in 1986 – the year before the Eagles joined the league.

Big Sky Conference schedules for 2018 and 2019 have been announced, but Eastern is still waiting to add a non-conference game to its schedule in 2018 before making an official announcement.

The same is true for 2019 when teams are allowed to play up to 12 games in the regular season, but EWU already has agreements in place with three non-conference opponents in 2020 (Florida, NAU and Jacksonville State).

Eastern leads the all-time series against NAU 20-12, with Eastern winning 50-35 in Flagstaff last Sept. 24 in a meeting between the fourth-ranked Eagles and the 26th-ranked Lumberjacks.

Eastern was also ranked fourth when the two teams met on Nov. 7, 2015, in Cheney, but EWU was defeated 52-30 to end its six-game winning streak.

The Lumberjacks also came from behind to win in Flagstaff in 2014. The Eagles have won 34 of its last 39 league games, and two of those losses were to NAU.


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