Two 70-Yard Scoring Plays Lift Bearcats to NWC Win Over UPS

TACOMA: Willamette’s University’s running attack came out on top in a battle of the trenches Saturday as the visiting Bearcats racked up 318 yards on the ground — including a 79 yard run by Calvin Keyser-Allen — in defeating the University of Puget Sound, 31-21, in a Northwest Conference game.

Greg Reed rushed for a game high 172 yards on 14 carries as the Bearcats (5-2, 2-0 NWC) also got a pair of touchdown passes from Tyler Gaspard (6-11-150 yards).

Gaspard got the Bearcats off early when he connected with wide receiver Brett Meyer on a 70-yard touchdown pass 1:23 into the game.

The game see-sawed in the first half with UPS (0-5, 0-3) scoring a pair of touchdowns sandwiched around a Fred Perryman 26-yard field goal capping a 9 play-49 yard drive. Perryman’s field goal gave the Bearcats a 10-7 lead at the end of one quarter.

It was 14-10 UPS, after a touchdown pass from Andy Carlson to Stephen Graves. Then Reed, in his first game back from injury, busted loose on a 19-yard touchdown run to put the Bearcats back on top.

Gaspard hit Meyer for a 21 yard TD pass as the Bearcats took a 24-13 lead into the second half.

UPS pulled within three in the third quarter when Graves scored on a one-yard touchdown run and Carlson rushed for the extra points.

With 9:39 to play, Keyser-Allen iced the game when he took a handoff around the left side for his 79 yard scamper.

The Bearcats won the battle of the trenches on both sides of the ball. On defense, the Bearcats limited the NWC’s second best rushing offense to 245 yards, 50 yards below their average.

Meanwhile the Bearcat rushing offense was just below their season average of 334 yards against the Loggers’ league-leading run defense (allowing only 83 yards per game on the ground).

Each team had one turnover, and the Loggers dominated time of possession 37:58 to 22:02. Puget Sound had 20 first downs to 18 for the Bearcats.