Bearcats Enter D3Football.com Poll at #25

By Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6110

SALEM, ORE. -- The Willamette University football team, currently 3-0 on the season, has moved into the D3Football.com Poll at #25 in the nation. This week's poll was released on Sunday, Sept 21, following Willamette's 31-23 victory over Southern Oregon University at McCulloch Stadium on Saturday.

Traditional NCAA Division III powerhouse Mount Union College is ranked #1 after receiving 21 of 25 first place votes. Defending national champion the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater is #2 with the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor at #3. Willamette is the only Northwest Conference team in the Top 25. NWC rival Linfield College received votes in this week's poll.

Willamette has scored more than 30 points in every game so far this season. The Bearcats are led on offense by senior flanker Merben Woo (Salinas, CA/North Salinas HS/Hartnell College), who has rushed for 291 yards on 34 carries (8.6 avg.), and by senior quarterback Grant Leslie (Bainbridge Island, WA/Bainbridge HS), who has completed 23 of 40 passes (57.5%) for 232 yards.

On defense, the Bearcats have received a team-high 38 tackles from senior inside linebacker Tommy Grove (Moccasin, CA/Sonora HS/Butte College). Grove has recorded team highs for solo tackles (12) and assists (26). Willamette has forced opponents into five interceptions and seven fumbles lost.

The Bearcats will return to action on Saturday, Sept. 27 at the University of La Verne in La Verne, Calif. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. (PDT). It will be the first meeting in football between the Bearcats and the Leopards.

Merben Woo has rushed for 291 yards on 34 carries this season, while earning six pass receptions for 98 yards.

Merben Woo has rushed for 291 yards on 34 carries this season, while earning six pass receptions for 98 yards.