Willamette Scores Early and Often to Rout La Verne, 52-7

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Willamette University scored a field goal and three touchdowns in the first quarter on its way to a 52-0 halftime lead, and the Bearcats went on to rout the visiting University of La Verne, 52-7, at McCulloch Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 26. The Bearcats, ranked #21 in the D3Football.com Top 25, improved to 3-1 on the season. La Verne dropped to 0-2.

Chad Pollard (So., WR, Bakersfiled, CA/Liberty HS/Bakersfield College) rushed for two touchdowns and caught a pass for another score. Back-up quarterback Kevin Ramay (Fr., Simi Valley, CA/Grace Brethren HS), who threw the touchdown pass to Pollard, also contributed two touchdowns on the ground.

Willamette's first seven possessions of the first half all started in La Verne territory. The trend started on the first play from scrimmage, when La Verne quarterback Anthony Andre was intercepted by Bubba Lemon (Sr., CB, McMinnville, OR/Tualatin HS/Linfield College) at the Leopards' 42-yard line.

WU drove 38 yards on eight plays before Mitchell Rowan (So., PK/P, Cotati, CA/Rancho Cotate HS) kicked a 21-yard field goal to give the Bearcats a 3-0 lead. Deon Horne (Sr., TB, Issaquah, WA/Liberty HS) carried the ball three times for 14 yards during the drive, and also caught a 9-yard pass from starting quarterback Brian Widing (Fr., QB, Oregon City, OR/Canby Union HS).

Four plays later, La Verne punted and Arlin Taylor (Jr., SS, Spring Valley, CA/Steele Canyon HS) returned the kick 17 yards to the ULV 38-yard line. On WU's second play Terrell Malley (Fr., FL, Portland, OR/Roosevelt HS) rushed 32 yards to the 4-yard line. Pollard scored two plays later on a 2-yard run. Rowan, who finished the day 7 for 7 on extra points, kicked the PAT with 7:30 left in the first quarter.

A short 9-yard punt by the Leopards after just three offensive plays allowed Willamette to regain the ball at the La Verne 37-yard line. Widing connected with Scott Schoettgen (Jr., WR, Columbia, OR/Sonora HS) on a 14-yard pass to start the possession. A face mask penalty against La Verne moved the ball to the 12-yard line. Ramay scored on the next play to give WU a 17-0 lead at the 5:32 mark.

Pollard recorded his second touchdown of the quarter with 0:30 on the clock, as he hauled in a 20-yard scoring strike from Ramay. Pollard also scored on a 14-yard run with 11:46 left in the half, as Willamette increased its advantage to 31-0.

The scoring barrage continued for the Bearcats.

Tony Krikorian (Sr., FL, Costa Mesa, CA/Costa Mesa HS) reached the end zone on a 26-yard run around the left side with 8:58 remaining in the second quarter. Ramay added a 9-yard quarterback scamper for a touchdown about four minutes later, and Jamiere Abney (So., TB, Bremerton, WA/Bremerton HS) crossed the goal line on a 25-yard run on the final play of the half.

The 52 points in one half is believed to be a Willamette record. WU scored 48 points in the first half of a 76-10 win over Lewis & Clark in 2008. The school record for scoring in a game occurred on Nov. 3, 2007, when the Bearcats downed Lewis & Clark 77-17 after leading 42-10 at halftime.

Against La Verne on Saturday, Willamette's reserve players were unable to score during the final two quarters. The Leopards recorded the only points of the second half on a 1-yard run by quarterback Anthony Andre with 12:10 remaining in the game.

Even without scoring in the second half, the Bearcats still ended the game with impressive offensive statistics. A total of 18 Willamette players combined to carry the ball 57 times for 395 yards and six touchdowns. Four WU quarterbacks also combined to complete 10 of 19 passes for 106 yards and one touchdown, as the 'Cats finished with 501 yards on 76 offensive plays.

On the ground, Sean Donahue (Jr., TB, La Quinta, CA/Palm Desert HS) carried the ball six times for 47 yards. Horne rushed six times for 43 yards, Malley recorded four runs for 40 yards and Pollard added five carries for 37 yards.

Widing was 3 for 3 passing for 31 yards. Ramay went 3 of 5 for 35 yards.

Schoettgen hauled in two passes for 22 yards. Eight other Bearcats each caught one pass during the game.

For La Verne, Andre was 10 of 24 passing for 121 yards, but was sacked three times and intercepted three times. Overall, the Leopards were 17 of 37 passing for 147 yards and four interceptions.

Winnewisser was the leading rusher for ULV with eight carries for 26 yards. The Leopards ran 31 times as a team for just 36 yards.

Five Willamette defensive players each recorded five tackles. They were Ralph Pineda (Jr., ILB, Whittier, CA/Cathedral HS/San Jose State Univ.), Andrew Ross (Sr., ILB, Petaluma, CA/Petaluma HS), Walter Robinson, II (Jr., DE, Altadena, CA/Cathedral HS), Harmon Bruno (So., OLB, Danville, CA/San Ramon Valley HS) and Reed Warner (Fr., ILB, Salem, OR/South Salem HS).

The Bearcats registered a total of six quarterback sacks. Willamette made 14 tackles behind the line of scrimmage.

Senior linebacker Branameier Courtney topped the Leopards with 11 total tackles, including nine assists. Junior linebacker Rydell Moore earned eight tackles for La Verne.

Willamette will play at McCulloch Stadium again next weekend, when the Bearcats host Whitworth University in a Northwest Conference game on Saturday, Oct. 3. Kickoff is slated for 2 p.m. (PDT). Last year, Willamette rallied from an early 14-0 deficit to defeat the Pirates, 32-23, in Spokane, Wash.

BOX SCORE
Willamette University 52
University of La Verne 7
Deon Horne rushed six times for 45 yards and caught one pass for nine yards against La Verne.

Deon Horne rushed six times for 45 yards and caught one pass for nine yards against La Verne.

Mitchell Rowan kicked a 21-yard field goal and was 7 of 7 on extra points against the Leopards.

Mitchell Rowan kicked a 21-yard field goal and was 7 of 7 on extra points against the Leopards.

Ralph Pineda was one of five WU players to earn five tackles in the win over La Verne.

Ralph Pineda was one of five WU players to earn five tackles in the win over La Verne.

Chad Pollard rushed for two touchdowns and also caught a touchdown pass.

Chad Pollard rushed for two touchdowns and also caught a touchdown pass.