Humboldt State played Western Oregon for the final time on Saturday, falling 45-24 in Monmouth, Ore.
The home team never trailed in this one, but were also unable to shake the Jacks until the final few minutes, scoring a pair of late touchdowns to pull away.
Penalties and turnovers cost the Jacks, who found themselves two touchdowns down midway through the second quarter and could never quite close the gap after that.
The Jacks started the second half the stronger of the two teams, pulling within four points of the home team on an 89-yard Tyree Marzetta TD run, his second TD of the day.
Back-to-back scores saw the Wolves stretch the lead back to 14 early in the fourth, before the Jacks answered yet again, this time on a 33-yard TD pass from quarterback Joey Sweeney to Kaleo Garrigan.
That, however, was as close as the Lumberjacks would get, as they fell to 1-4 in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference and 1-6 overall.
Sweeney finished the game 23-of-39 passing for 284 yards, two touchdowns and two picks, while Marzetta had 140 yards rushing on 14 carries and 21 yards receiving.
Garrigan also had a big day, with 145 yards on eight catches.
“We are a team that doesn’t know how to win yet,” HSU head coach Damaro Wheeler said. “We take ourselves out of games with penalties and costly mistakes. Without those, it’s a different game.”
Penalties haunted HSU in the loss as the team was flagged 10 times for 132 yards.
The Jacks put together their best offensive performance of the season with 426 yards and a season-best 284 passing yards.
Moses Finau led the way on the defensive side of the ball with nine tackles, including two for a loss, and a sack.
Teammate Kyle Martorella also had a big game with a forced fumble and a sack.
HSU hosts Central Washington next weekend.