Piros is NWC Special Teams Student-Athlete of the Week

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Willamette University free safety Grant Piros (Sr., Newberg, OR/Newberg HS) has been selected as the Northwest Conference Football Special Teams Student-Athlete of the Week for games played on Saturday, Oct. 25. Piros was directly involved in two key special team plays in Willamette's 52-28 victory at Linfield College.

Both of the plays occurred in the first quarter and helped the Bearcats build a 28-7 lead during the period.

The first play was a touchdown by Piros on a 23-yard blocked punt return. Linfield gained only six yards on its first three plays before Dan Egan's punt was blocked by WU's Harmon Bruno (Fr., OLB, Danville, CA/San Ramon Valley HS). Piros grabbed the ball on a knee-high bounce and dashed to the end zone, as Willamette took a 7-0 lead.

Later in the first quarter, Egan was unable to control a high snap with Linfield in punt formation. Piros recovered the ball at Linfield's 11-yard line. Willamette recorded its fourth touchdown of the quarter on the very next play, as Deon Horne (Jr., TB, Issaquah, WA/Liberty HS) scampered to the goal line.

Piros also earned an assisted tackle on a kickoff return and registered on assisted tackle on defense. This season, he has achieved 12 tackles, while recovering two fumbles and blocking one kick.

Willamette, ranked #11 in the D3Football.com Top 25 released on Sunday, Oct. 26, is 8-0 overall and 4-0 in the NWC. It is WU's best start since the 1997 team went 13-0 before losing to Findlay University (Ohio) in the NAIA Championship game. Willamette currently competes in NCAA Division III.

The Bearcats are off this coming weekend, but will return to action on Saturday, Nov. 1, when they host the University of Puget Sound at McCulloch Stadium. Game time is slated for 2 p.m. (PDT).

Grant Piros returned a blocked punt 23 yards for a touchdown against Linfield.

Grant Piros returned a blocked punt 23 yards for a touchdown against Linfield.