Bearcats on Collision Course With Linfield; Face Lewis and Clark on Saturday to Stay Atop NWC

SALEM: While the Willamette University football team (6-2, 3-0 NWC) won’t be looking past Lewis and Clark (3-4, 1-2 NWC) on Saturday, the Bearcats need one more win to set up a season-ending battle with Linfield for supremacy in the Northwest Conference.

Both Willamette and Linfield are undefeated in league play and face two of the lower ranked teams in the NWC this weekend. While the Bearcats travel to Lewis and Clark for their Saturday afternoon confrontation, Linfield takes on Whitworth.

On paper, it looks like its all Bearcats.

Willamette comes into the game with the league’s top ranked defense, allowing 298 yards per game. Led by Marcus Boards (#1 in the NWC with four interceptions, Trebor Struble (7.8 tackles per game) and Logan Lord (7.2 tackles per game), the Bearcats boast the league’s stingiest passing defense (156 yards per game) and the second best rushing defense (142 yards per game).

Lewis and Clark is last in the NWC in rushing defense (245 yards per game) and total defense, giving up 464 yards a game. The Bearcats have the No. 1 rushing offense in the league (322 yards per game) and are No. 2 in total offense (411 yards).

Last week Linfield defeated Lewis and Clark 55-0 as the Bearcats were defeating PLU, 36-27.

In that game, running back Greg Reed rushed for 183 yards in 17 carries, good for three touchdowns. Reed earned NWC offensive player of the week honors for his outburst, including a 73-yard touchdown run.

Quarterback Tyler Gaspard has a solid game, completing 12 of 17 passes for 185 yards and two touchdowns, both to Brett Meyer (9 receptions, 150 yards).