Plank's Kick Returns Key Bearcat Victory Over Lewis and Clark

SALEM, OR — Michael Plank rolled up 123 yards in kick returns in the first quarter alone, setting up the first three Bearcat touchdowns, as the Willamette University football team crushed Lewis and Clark 55-6 in the Northwest Conference game Saturday night.

Plank (pictured left) also threw a fourth quarter touchdown pass to tight end Tony Davis, good for 49 yards. Even defensive tackle Patrick Fejaran got into the scoring column, tipping a pass to himself and then rumbling 19 yards with the interception early in the fourth quarter.

The Bearcats go to 2-0 in conference (4-2 overall). The Pioneers drop to 1-4 overall and 0-1 in the NWC.

Plank returned the opening kickoff 39 yards to the Pioneer 37-yard line. Quarterback Cameron Walton got a key first down on a fourth and 2 before Ryan Hernandez scored the first touchdown on a one yard run.

Plank had the first of two long punt returns late in the first quarter when he returned punter Todd Hinderman’s kick 55 yards to the Pioneer two-yard line. Quentin Brock took it in on the next play and the Bearcats were up 14-0 with 4:14 to play.

Plank did it again on the Pioneer’s next punt, returning a punt 39 yards to the Pioneer 18-yard line. This time, it was a Jeff Liepman 6-yard run that put the Bearcats up 21-0 at the end of the first quarter.

The Bearcats tacked on 21 points in the second quarter. Josh Barker scored on a 17-yard run. Brock got his second touchdown on a seven-yard run. CJ Washington closed out the scoring in the first half with a five-yard TD jaunt.

After a scoreless third quarter, the Bearcats got on the scoreboard again when defensive tackle Patrick Fejeran tipped a pass to himself and returned it 19 yards for a 49-0 Bearcat lead.

The Pioneers finally scored in the fourth quarter when back-up quarterback Scott Moyer threw his first career touchdown, hitting Libor Jany with a 35-yard touchdown pass to make it 49-7.

The Bearcat defense held Lewis and Clark to ten first downs in the game and 248 yards in total offense. Meanwhile, the Bearcats were racking up 431 yards in total offense, including 310 yards in 50 rushing attempts.

Fourteen different Bearcats had at least one carry. Steve Wilbon and Walton led each had 62 yards on the ground. Brock had 48 yards.

Walton was 3-6 passing for 56 yards. Plank was 3 for 4 passing with one touchdown and 65 yards. Brock had two catches for 36 yards. Davis had one catch for 49 yards and a touchdown.

Michael Plank

Michael Plank