Ja’Quan Gardner, a 2014 Central Valley graduate who now plays football at Humboldt State University, was named the Great Northwest Athletic Conference’s Offensive Player of the Week, an honor he received five times last season.
Gardner, The Bee’s 2013 Player of the Year and also the Stanislaus District’s all-time leading rusher (6,014 yards), became the Lumberjacks’ career scoring leader with four touchdowns in Saturday’s 56-24 win over Simon Fraser.
Gardner carried the ball 19 times for 211 yards, including an 87-yard scoring run on Humboldt’s first play from scrimmage. The 5-foot-7, 205-pound junior leads the GNAC in rushing yards this season (508), rushing TDs (nine), scoring (54 points) and all-purpose yards (612). His rushing total is sixth best in the NCAA, regardless of division, this season.
As a sophomore, Gardner set a single-season rushing mark (2,266) for Humboldt State and the GNAC, and also established a new single-game mark (305) for the Lumberjacks. He was named to four different All-America teams, was the GNAC Player of the Year, and led the nation in rushing, rushing yards per game (188.8) and touchdowns (25). He finished second in the balloting for the Harlon Hill Trophy, widely regarded as the Division II version of the Heisman Trophy.