Willamette Sloshes to 21-10 Triumph

ASHLAND OR — A dominating second half coupled with elusive quarterbacking enabled Willamette University to topple Southern Oregon University 21-10 in muddy field conditions at Raider Stadium today.

Junior quarterback Cameron Walton amassed 120 rushing yards, passed for 93 and scored twice to lead the Bearcats (5-2) to their fourth consecutive win and first away from Salem this season.

Meanwhile, Bearcat defenders yielded only 12 offensive yards after halftime and thwarted Raider hopes for a school-record-setting winning sixth straight winning season in the process.

SOU (3-5) held the Northwest Conference rushing leaders 30 yards under their season average (259) and for total offense (352), but the Bearcats never trailed as a result of three lengthy Walton-led
touchdown drives.

WU staked a 7-0 lead midway through the opening quarter and capped a seven-play, 80-yard drive when flanker Josh Barker broke several tackles on a 13-yard scoring scamper.
Southern cut the deficit in the quarter with a 37-yard Ryan Baker field goal, but Walton upped the margin to 14-3 38 seconds before halftime with a six-yard bootleg for a touchdown to cap a 10-play, 59-yard drive.

Operating in steady rain, Walton put the finishing touches on an 8-play, 61-yard drive with another six-yard touchdown with 11:34
remaining that also set up Southern’s lone second-half bright spot:
junior Chris Hill’s 85-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.

Led by senior linebacker Logan Lord’s eight tackles, Willamette held Southern to 178 offensive yards — a three-yard per-snap average.

SOU received a 13-for-24, 118-yard passing effort by senior quarterback Brandon Griffith, and senior receiver Bobby Poeltl moved within five grabs of cracking the school’s all-time top-five with six catches for 29 yards.

Senior linebacker David Zauher compiled a career-high 16 tackles (including three for losses) against WU’s “Fly” offense, and senior rover Toby Walker posted 11. Junior linebacker Chad Harrell racked up his third straight 10-tackle-or-better outing with 10 stops.

Walton finished with a 9-for-17 passing line, and senior receiver Brett Meyer had six catches for 70 yards.

The Bearcats play at Pacific Lutheran University nest Saturday in a key NWC match-up.