Pineda is Selected NWC Football Defensive Student-Athlete of the Week

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Inside linebacker Ralph Pineda (Jr., Whittier, CA/Cathedral HS/San Jose State Univ.) of Willamette University has been named Northwest Conference Football Defensive Student-Athlete of the Week, after leading the Bearcats on defense in a 42-13 win over Whitworth University. The Bearcats held the Pirates to just 230 total yards, including only 68 rushing yards on 26 carries (2.6 avg.).

Pineda recorded a team-high 11 total tackles. He earned six solo tackles and also contributed five assists. He forced a fumble by stealing the ball from a Whitworth running back and scoring on a 14-yard return in the first quarter to give Willamette a 14-0 lead. He also recorded one quarterback sack during the game.

For the season, Pineda is Willamette's top tackler with 45 total tackles (19 unassisted, 26 assists). He had registered 4.0 tackles for losses, including 3.0 quarterback sacks. He has intercepted two passes, forced two fumbles and recovered two fumbles.

Willamette is 4-1 overall and 1-0 in the NWC. The Bearcats are ranked #17 the D3Football.com Top 25.

The 'Cats will take on Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Ore., on Saturday, Oct. 10. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. (PDT). A Live Webcast will be available through Full Access Sports, with Mike Allege providing the play-by-play and Craig Spivey adding commentary, starting with the pre-game show at 12:45 p.m.

Ralph Pineda (right) scored on a 14-yard fumble return against Whitworth. He also led Willamette with 11 total tackles.

Ralph Pineda (right) scored on a 14-yard fumble return against Whitworth. He also led Willamette with 11 total tackles.