Willamette Moves to #18 in D3Football.com Top 25

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Willamette University has moved up three spots to #18 in this week's D3Football.com Top 25 released on Sunday, Sept. 27. The Bearcats, who have won three consecutive games, routed the University of La Verne, 52-7, on Saturday at McCulloch Stadium.

D3Football.com Top 25
Released on Sept. 27, 2009

Mount Union College (Ohio), 3-0, remained #1 in the nation with 23of 25 first place votes and 623 points. The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, 3-0, which lost to Mount Union in the NCAA Division III Championship game last season, is ranked #2 with two first place votes and 600 points. The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor (Texas), 3-0, stayed at #3 in the poll with 576 points. Wheaton College (Illinois), 3-0, remained #4 at 524 points, just one point in front of Wesley College (Mass), which continued to hold the #5 ranking at 4-0 and 523 points.

Northwest Conference opponent Linfield College moved up five spots from #13 to #8 after winning at Southern Oregon University, 37-22, on Saturday. Other West Coast teams listed in the poll were the University of Redlands (Calif.), 2-0, which advanced two spots to #21, and Occidental College (Calif.), 1-1, which stayed at #24.

Willamette's top rusher is Deon Horne (Sr., TB, Issaquah, WA/Liberty HS), with 58 carries for 316 yards (5.4 avg.) and one touchdown. Quarterback Brian Widing (Fr., Oregon City, OR/Canby Union HS) has completed 20 of 32 passes (62.5%) for 330 yards and two touchdowns. Wide receiver Scott Schoettgen (Jr., Columbia, CA/Sonora HS) leads the Bearcats with 15 catches for 322 yards (21.5 avg.) and two scores.

On defense, Andrew Ross (Sr., ILB, Petaluma, CA/Petaluma HS) leads the way with 36 total tackles. Harmon Bruno (So., OLB, Danville, CA/San Ramon Valley HS) and Ralph Pineda (Jr., ILB, Whittier, CA/Cathedral HS/San Jose State University) are tied for second on the defensive chart with 34 tackles apiece.

Walter Robinson, II (Altadena, CA/Cathedral HS) ranks first on the team with 3.0 quarterback sacks. Cory Lowe (Sr., DE, Beaverton, OR/Beaverton HS) leads the Bearcats with 4.5 tackles for losses.

Against La Verne, Willamette accumulated 395 rushing yards and 501 total yards, but the Bearcats pulled away so early in the game that no one for WU had exceptional offensive statistics. A total of 18 Willamette players ran with the ball, four quarterbacks had at least three pass attempts and eight players caught at least one pass. On defense, five Bearcats each registered five tackles.

Willamette will return to action on Saturday, Oct. 3 against Whitworth College at McCulloch Stadium. It will be the Northwest Conference opener for both teams. Game time in Salem, Ore., is set for 2 p.m. (PDT).