A third-quarter rally fell short for the Humboldt State football team on Saturday, as the Jacks lost 36-17 at UT Permian Basin in Texas.
The home team jumped out to a 15-0 lead in the opening quarter behind a career-day from quarterback Taylor Null.
The freshman put the Falcons on the board with a 57-yard touchdown pass, and the home team extended its lead with an 11-yard touchdown run by Adrian Walker five minutes later.
HSU (1-5) managed just two first downs in the opening quarter, but a change under center sparked the Green and Gold.
Joey Sweeney relieved starter Andrew Tingstad with under two minutes remaining in the half. Sweeney led the Lumberjacks on scoring drives in each of their first three possessions of the second half and brought them within striking distance at 22-17.
Sweeney connected with Kaleo Garrigan on a pair of long touchdown plays, for 30 and 40 yards.
UT Permian Basin, however, scored 14 unanswered in the fourth quarter to put the game away. Null finished with 430 passing yards and four touchdowns.
“We dug ourselves in a hole early,” said HSU head coach Damaro Wheeler. “We fought back and gave ourselves a chance going into the fourth quarter, but we wore down at the end.”
For the second consecutive week, Evan Camarena and Demetrick Watts were the leaders for the HSU defense. Camarena picked off Null twice, and Watts led the Green and Gold with 15 tackles.
Sweeney finished the game with 192 passing yards, two touchdowns and a pair of interceptions.
The junior connected with Garrigan four times for 88 yards and he completed 50 percent of his passes.
Another offensive standout was running back Tyree Marzetta, who finished with 102 rushing yards on 12 carries.
Next week the Jacks travel to play Western Oregon.