Dean and Hermes Earn NWC Player of the Week Honors

SALEM, ORE. Two Willamette University football players have earned Northwest Conference Player of the Week awards following the Bearcats' 41-35 victory over Menlo College on Saturday, Sept. 23. Senior fullback Kevin Dean (Weed, CA/Weed HS) earned Northwest Conference Offensive Player of the Week honors, and junior linebacker Taylor Hermes (Keizer, OR/Southern Oregon University) was named NWC Defensive Player of the Week.

Dean had the best game of his career on Saturday, rushing for 168 yards on 11 carries and scoring the Bearcats first three touchdowns in leading WU to its first victory of the season. Dean scored on runs of 34 and 29 yards in the first half and from 21 yards in the third quarter.

Hermes, making his first start of the year after transferring from Southern Oregon University this summer, led the Bearcats with seven total tackles, all solo, plus two sacks for a combined loss of 22 yards. He also broke up a pass and forced a fumble late in the game that led to a Bearcat field goal. Both of his sacks came in the fourth quarter, and his first one came on fourth down for Menlo at the WU 35-yard line, with the Oaks still in the lead, 35-30, and 9:50 left in the game. The Bearcats took over on downs and drove 55 yards on seven plays for the go-ahead touchdown.

Junior place-kicker Matt Bicocca (San Andreas, CA/Calaveras HS) earned Honorable Mention NWC Special Teams Player of the Week honors after kicking field goals of 25 and 33 yards in the win. Bicocca also went 3 for 3 on extra point kicks.

The Bearcats, 1-3 overall and 1-0 in NWC action, play at Linfield College on Saturday, Sept. 30. Kickoff in McMinnville, Ore., is set for 1:30 p.m. (PDT).