Simonton, Beavers Break N. Arizona, 45-10

Nov 17, 2001

AP Sports Writer

CORVALLIS, Ore. - Jonathan Smith broke the Oregon State career passingyardage record, throwing for 281 yards and three touchdowns as the Beaversrouted Division I-AA Northern Arizona 45-10 Saturday.

Smith, a senior who walked on in 1997 and helped transform a perennial loserinto a Fiesta Bowl champion, needs 110 yards to move past John Elway into thirdplace on the Pac-10 career list.

Ken Simonton added 151 yards rushing for the Beavers (5-5), who haverecovered from a 1-3 start. They still must win at No. 7 Oregon in the CivilWar on Dec. 1 to become eligible for a third straight bowl, and to avoid givingDennis Erickson his second losing season in 16 years as a college head coach.

Northern Arizona (8-3) was badly overmatched, but the Lumberjacks might beatOregon State to the postseason. They're 5-2 in the Big Sky, and likely willearn an at-large berth in the 16-team I-AA playoffs when the pairings areannounced next Sunday.

Smith needed 247 yards to break the school passing mark, set by Erik Wilhelmbetween 1985-88. Smith surpassed it on a 31-yard pass to James Newson in thethird quarter that made the score 38-0.

Smith also eclipsed Wilhelm's school record of 51 career touchdown passes.Smith has 54, to go along with 8,961 yards.

Wilhelm greeted Smith with a high-five as he came off the field, and thesellout crowd gave Smith an ovation that didn't begin to cover all that the5-foot-11 overachiever has accomplished for the program.

The Beavers were 3-8 the year Smith redshirted, but they're 24-13 with himas the starter. Last year he helped the team win a school-record 11 games anddefeat Notre Dame 41-9 in the Fiesta Bowl.

Simonton reached his own milestone Saturday. With the 6-yard gain on hisfirst carry, he moved past Marcus Allen into second place on the all-timePac-10 list. He has 4,960 yards, record-holder Charles White is far out ofreach at 6,245 yards.

Simonton needs 113 yards to become the first Pac-10 player - and fifth inNCAA history - to gain 1,000 yards four times.

It took Oregon State just 1:21 to take a 7-0 lead. Smith lobbed a strikeover the middle to Seth Trimmer for a 56-yard score.

Simonton ran for a 17-yard touchdown, and backup tailback Steven Jacksonscored from 6 yards out. Smith and Newson then connected on a 42-yardtouchdown, with Newson diving full-out for the pass.

Newson, who had seven catches for a career-high 190 yards, made anotherspectacular play on Smith's last touchdown. With two defenders nearby, Newsonkept his feet in at the back of the end zone and hauled in the high-arcingthrow.

The Lumberjacks' only touchdown came in the third quarter, when Roy Holmesreturned a fumble 8 yards. But Jackson took the kickoff back 89 yards for thescore and a 45-7 lead.

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