Grove Chosen NWC Defensive Student-Athlete of the Week

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Senior inside linebacker Tommy Grove (Moccasin, CA/Sonora HS/Butte College) of Willamette University has been named Northwest Conference Defensive Student-Athlete of the Week. Grove made nine tackles and provided the key defensive play as Willamette defeated Whitworth University, 32-23, on Saturday, Oct. 4 to improve to 5-0 on the season (1-0 NWC).

With the score tied at 17-17, Grove intercepted a pass at the midfield stripe and returned it 30 yards to the Whitworth 20-yard line with 12:24 remaining in the game. The Bearcats scored the go-ahead touchdown five plays later on a 1-yard run by Deon Horne (Jr., TB, Issaquah, WA/Liberty HS).

Grove is Willamette's leading tackler this season with 53 total tackles. He also ranks first on the team with 24 solo tackles and 29 assisted tackles.

The Bearcats are off to their best start since the 1997 team opened the year 13-0 before losing to Findlay University (Ohio) in the NAIA Championship game. Willamette will return to action on Saturday, Oct. 11, when the Bearcats host Lewis & Clark College at McCulloch Stadium in a Northwest Conference game at 1:30 p.m. (PDT).

Tommy Grove has achieved 53 tackles in WU's first five games this season.

Tommy Grove has achieved 53 tackles in WU's first five games this season.