Bearcats Rout Lewis & Clark, 76-10, to Improve to 6-0

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

SALEM, ORE. -- The Willamette University football team routed visiting Lewis & Clark College, 76-10, on Saturday, Oct. 11 at McCulloch Stadium. WU tallied 27 points in the first quarter to take a commanding lead, then added 21 points in the second quarter and 28 in the third period. L&C recorded all of its points in the second quarter, but trailed 48-10 at halftime.

Jose Green (So., TB, Downey, CA/Warren HS) was Willamette's top scorer. He recorded two rushing touchdowns and also reached the end zone on a 75-yard kickoff return.

The Bearcats, ranked #18 by the American Football Coaches Association and listed #21 on the Top 25, improved to 6-0 on the season and to 2-0 in the Northwest Conference. Lewis & Clark fell to 1-4 overall, 0-2 in the NWC.

Willamette took advantage of a botched punt, a short punt and two interceptions to create a short field in the first quarter. The Bearcats needed just 59 total yards to build a 27-0 lead in a bit over 10 minutes at the start of the first quarter.

On the game's opening possession, L&C punter Ryan Kostecka mishandled a snap, then kicked at the ball as it rolled on the ground. He was credited with a 12-yard loss and a penalty for the illegal kick.

WU took over at the LC& 7 following the penalty and scored on the next play. Merben Woo (Sr., FL, Salinas, CA/North Salinas HS/Hartnell College) rushed for the touchdown and place-kicker Mitchell Rowan (Fr., PK/P, Cotati, CA/Rancho Cotate HS) kicked the extra point with 13:40 on the clock.

After the kickoff, Joevonte Mayes rushed for 16 yards to open the Pioneer's drive, but three plays later, on 3rd-and-7 at the L&C 45, quarterback A.J. Brown was intercepted by Jack Bevins (Sr., ILB, Park City, UT/Park City HS).

Bevins returned the pickoff 32 yards from the WU 43 to the L&C 25. On the third play after the turnover, Deon Horne (Jr., TB, Issaquah, WA/Liberty HS) scored from 22 yards out to give the Bearcats a 14-0 lead at the 10:32 mark.

A 26-yard punt by the Pioneers set up WU's third touchdown. The Bearcats used seven plays to drive 39 yards for the score. Green completed the drive with a 6-yard run. Willamette's conversion attempt was blocked with 5:59 remaining in the first quarter.

Two plays later, Brown was intercepted by WU defensive end Cory Lowe (Jr., Beaverton, OR/Beaverton HS) at the L&C 36-yard line. Lowe almost scored a touchdown on the return, but he was tackled by Shawn Evans at the sideline just two yards from the end zone.

After a delay of game penalty, Willamette quarterback Grant Leslie (Sr., Bainbridge Island, WA/Bainbridge HS) connected with Scott Schoettgen on a 7-yard scoring strike. Schoettgen made a stunning one-handed, diving catch near the left corner of the end zone. Rowan kicked the PAT for a 27-0 lead with 4:52 left in the period.

Andrew Foote provided L&C's first points with a 29-yard field goal at the 12:27 mark of the second quarter. The field goal ended a 17-play, 71-yard drive for the Pioneers.

Green tallied his second touchdown on a 2-yard run eight plays later. The extra point kick increased WU's advantage to 34-3.

The next time WU took possession, the Bearcats had the ball at their own 8-yard line. The back-up offense lost the ball with a fumble on the first play to set up Lewis & Clark's only touchdown. Brown threw an 8-yard pass to Mayes to start the short drive, then kept the ball himself on a 3-yard quarterback sneak for the score. Foote kicked the PAT with 7:24 left in the half.

Green hauled in the ensuing kickoff at the WU 25 and dashed 75 yards for his third touchdown of the game. For the season, Green is averaging 30.5 yards on 10 kick returns. Reserve tailback Sean Donahue (So., Palm Desert, CA/Palm Desert HS) provided WU's final touchdown of the half with an 82-yard run at the 3:49 mark.

WU tacked on four rushing touchdowns in the third quarter. Jonathan Feld (Sr., FB, Vacaville, CA/Vacaville HS) scored on a 15-yard run on the first play of the half after Walter Robinson returned a short kickoff 46 yards.

Tony Krikorian (Jr., FL, Costa Mesa, CA/Costa Mesa HS) added an 18-yard touchdown run, Jamiere Abney (Fr., TB, Bremerton, WA/Bremerton HS) scored on a 19-yard carry and Brandon Whitman (Jr., QB, Renton, WA/Charles Lindbergh HS) reached the end zone on a 7-yard run. Rowan converted extra points following the first three touchdowns of the second half, while Jorden Nielsen (Fr., PK/P, Williams, OR/Hidden Valley HS) kicked the final PAT.

Willamette ended the game one point shy of the school record for scoring, set against Lewis & Clark last season in a 77-17 victory in Portland, Ore. Prior to last year's win, WU's scoring record was 75 points in a shutout win over Whitman College in 1934.

The Bearcats amassed 440 yards of total offense in this year's match-up with the Pioneers. WU rushed for 382 yards on 42 carries, an average of 9.1 yards per carry. Willamette added 58 yards through the air, as Leslie completed 5 of 6 passes for 49 yards and Villanueva connected on his only pass for nine yards.

WU's top ground gainer was Donahue, with 84 yards on four carries. Horne rushed for 50 yards on five attempts and Abney totaled 42 yards on six carries. Eighteen different Bearcats each had at least one running play.

Lewis & Clark rushed for 125 yards on 53 carries. Mayes ran with the ball 28 times for 119 yards. In the air, Brown was 12of 30 for 124 yards and three interceptions.

Andrew Ross (Jr., ILB, Petaluma, CA/Petaluma HS) topped Willamette's defensive chart with seven total tackles, including two tackles for losses. Robinson achieved six total tackles, with five solo stops. Bevins, Lowe and Matthew Penrod (Jr., ILB, Brownsville, OR/Central Linn HS) each returned one interception for a combined 111 yards.

Kelly led L&C with eight tackles to go with one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. Danny Lockard provided six tackles (5 solo) for the Pioneers, while Disan Suarez contributed three solo tackles and three assists.

Each team had four turnovers during the game. All four of Willamette's turnovers were fumbles after the starting offensive backs were replaced in the second quarter. L&C threw three interceptions and lost one fumble.

Willamette will play at Pacific Lutheran University in NWC action next weekend. Game time at Sparks Stadium in Puyallup, Wash., is set for 1:30 p.m. (PDT). Last year, PLU held off the Bearcats for a 17-10 win.

Willamette University 76, Lewis & Clark College 10
Jose Green scored three TDs against Lewis & Clark.

Jose Green scored three TDs against Lewis & Clark.

Cory Lowe returned an interception and achieved a quarterback sack in WU's win over Lewis & Clark.

Cory Lowe returned an interception and achieved a quarterback sack in WU's win over Lewis & Clark.

Sean Donahue scored a touchdown on an 82-yard run.

Sean Donahue scored a touchdown on an 82-yard run.