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Northwest Notes December 7, 2010

| December 7, 2010 8:00 PM

UI's Cowan among WAC first-team honorees

MOSCOW - University of Idaho sophomore punter Bobby Cowan earned first-team all-Western Athletic Conference honors after leading the league and ranking 13th in the NCAA in punting average.

Joining him in earning post-season recognition from the conference are second-team choices Eric Greenwood, receiver; Daniel Hardy, tight end; Aaron Lavarias, defensive end, and Shiloh Keo, safety.

Nevada coach Chris Ault was named coach of the year and his quarterback Colin Kaepernick is the co-offensive player of the year along with Boise State's Kellen Moore.

Nevada running back Vai Taua was named to the all-WAC first team for the third year in a row.

Cowan, from Evergreen High School at Vancouver, Wash., averaged 45.14 yards per kick, which is the second highest in University of Idaho history. Combined with his freshman year average of 43.0, he has a school record average of 44.23 yards per kick.

Greenwood, from Edmonds-Woodway High School at Edmonds, Wash., led Idaho's receivers during his senior season with 46 receptions for 741 yards, which includes the dramatic 23-yarder to give the Vandals' their victory over San Jose State on Senior Night. He finished his career with 89 receptions for 1,246 yards.

Hardy, a Mackey Award semifinalist before breaking his arm after the Vandals' eighth game, still wound up as Idaho's second leading receiver. From Anchorage's West High School, he had 32 receptions for 545 yards to finish his career with 80 receptions for 1,364 yards.

Keo earned recognition on the preseason Thorpe Award Watch List and wound up as Idaho's fifth leading tackler with 45 solo stops and 16 assists for a total 61. He also had three interceptions and finished his Idaho career with 11 to tie for sixth all-time. His 358 tackles are fifth all-time for the Vandals.

Lavarias was third in the WAC and tied for 28th nationally in tackles for loss with an average of 1.27 per game, which equates to a team-leading 17 for 85 yards in losses. He concluded his Vandal career with 30 tackles for loss and 14 quarterback sacks - 10 of which were this season.

EWU expects a slugfest Saturday

CHENEY - Thanks to this week's foe, the Eastern Washington University football team gets to play yet again on the new red Sprinturf surface at Roos Field in Cheney, Wash.

North Dakota State, which upset fourth-seeded Montana State 42-17 last week in the second round of the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision Playoffs, plays the Eagles at Roos Field Saturday (Dec. 11) with kickoff at 12:35 p.m. Pacific time.

Because the Eagles are seeded fifth, Eastern earned another home game in the quarterfinals versus the unseeded Bison, who are 9-4. The Eagles are 10-2 after last week's 37-17 home win over Southeast Missouri State, but would have made the trek to Bozeman, Mont., instead had the Bobcats knocked off NDSU.

"There are lots of things we'll have to stop and shut-down, and there are some hurdles we have to get over," said Eastern head coach Beau Baldwin of the challenge ahead. "It's a very good football team coming in here."

Saturday's game will be the first-ever meeting between the Eagles and the Bison, with EWU making its eighth playoff appearance and NDSU its first. The Eagles are now 6-7 in the FCS Playoffs and will be making their fifth appearance in the quarterfinals, but are just 1-3 thus far in those games.

And it could be a record-breaking day for Eastern's Buck Buchanan Award candidate J.C. Sherritt. The senior linebacker enters the game with 391 tackles, just eight from the school record of 399. Sherritt ranks second in Big Sky history, with records dating back to 2000 when the NCAA began to recognize tackles as an official statistic.

The game will be produced by ESPN and syndicated to various regional sports networks and stations throughout the country. An announcement will be made later in the week with the complete listing of stations, but rights locally have been granted to SWX Digital 6.2 in Spokane. The game is being produced by Thomas Domer, the play-by-play announcer is Trey Bender and the analyst is Jon Berger.

- From wire and The Associated Press

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