Willamette Holds at #9 in AFCA Coaches Poll

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Willamette University's football team remained #9 in this week's American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) NCAA Division III Poll. The new poll was released on Tuesday, Nov. 11. Willamette, which has clinched an NCAA Playoff berth and at least a tie for the Northwest Conference title, is 9-0 overall and 5-0 in the NWC.

Nine of the Top 10 teams in this week's poll were in the Top 10 last week. Mount Union College (Ohio), 9-0, retained first place with 999 points in the poll and 39 of 40 first place. Wabash College (Ind.) stayed at #2 in the poll, with a 9-0 record and 913 points. The first change this week was at #3, where North Central College (Ill.) moved up one spot with a 9-0 record and 893 points. Muhlenberg College (Pa.), 9-0, fell one position for the second week in a row to #4 with 879 points.

Millsaps College (Miss.) advanced one position to #5 with a 9-0 record and 803 points. Cortland State (N.Y.), 9-0, dropped a slot from last week to #6 with 800 points. The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor (Texas), 8-1, stayed #7 and received 746 votes. Defending national champion the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, held at #8 with an 8-1 record, 724 points and one first place vote.

Willamette, 9-0, continued at #9 with 679 points. Hardin-Simmons University (Texas), which defeated Linfield College 29-22 in the season opener, moved up one spot to #10 with a 9-1 record and 612 points.

There are 11 undefeated teams in this week's poll. Monmouth College (Ill.), the only team with a 10-0 record, is ranked #15 and will have an open date on Nov. 15.

Willamette has rushed for 255.6 yards per game (6.0 per carry) and thrown for 138.6 yards per game (16.0 per completion). Deon Horne (Jr., TB, Issaquah, WA/Liberty HS) leads the 'Cats in rushing with 647 yards and eight touchdowns on 93 carries (7.0 avg.). Quarterback Grant Leslie (Sr., Bainbridge Island, WA/Bainbridge HS) has completed 74 of 132 passes (56.1%) for 1,189 yards and 12 touchdowns.

The Bearcats will conclude the regular season on Saturday, Nov. 15, when they host Menlo College at McCulloch Stadium. Game time is scheduled for 2 p.m. (PST). The NCAA Division II Playoff sites and pairings for the first round will be announced on ESPNews on Sunday, Nov. 16 between 12 p.m. and 12:30 p.m. (PST).

Jose Green has provided WU fans with excitement on kick returns and has contributed on offense. He scored on a 39-yard catch against Puget Sound.

Jose Green has provided WU fans with excitement on kick returns and has contributed on offense. He scored on a 39-yard catch against Puget Sound.