Willamette Battles Portland State of Division I in 36-10 Loss to Vikings

Rowan Kicks 40-yard Field Goal, Widing Adds 9-yard TD Run

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

PORTLAND, ORE. -- Willamette University gave Portland State University a solid battle in their first-ever football meeting on Saturday, Oct. 22 at Jeld-Wen Field, but the Bearcats couldn't overcome two fumbles that were lost in the first quarter, as the Vikings prevailed, 36-10. PSU upped its record to 4-3, while Willamette dropped to 3-4.

The two fumbles and an unsuccessful fake punt led to 16 points for PSU in the first quarter. Each of the fumbles, at the WU 43 and the PSU 26, were converted into touchdowns, six plays and three plays later, respectively.

The fake punt -- a pass by punter Mitch Rowan (Sr., P/PK, Cotati, CA/Rancho Cotate HS) that was thrown a bit short and was dropped on 4th-and-6 at the WU 19 -- resulted in a 33-yard field goal four plays and three yards later, after the WU defense held the Vikings.

Willamette trailed 22-0 early in the second quarter, before the Bearcats got on the scoreboard.

Rowan provided the points with a 40-yard field goal at the 4:56 mark of the second quarter. The kick tied for Rowan's longest career field goal, matching one during his freshman season and a successful kick earlier this year.

The field goal was recorded five plays after Ryan Johnston (So., WR, The Dalles, OR/The Dalles HS) intercepted PSU punter Thomas Duyndam when the Vikings attempted a fake punt of their own. Johnston caught the ball at the PSU 44 and returned its seven yards.

Portland State held a 29-3 lead at halftime and extended the margin to 36-3 when Kalua Noa hauled in a 22-yard touchdown pass from Drew Hubel with 11:07 left in the third quarter.

WU tallied its only touchdown of the game with 8:39 remaining in the fourth period on a 9-yard run by Brian Widing (Jr., QB, Canby, OR/Canby HS). Kyle Derby (So., PK, Oakdale, CA/Oakdale HS) kicked the extra point. Widing's touchdown run completed an 11-play, 68-yard drive.

Rowan averaged 39.3 yards on six punts and placed two of the punts inside the 20-yard line.

Top defensive players for the Bearcats were former Portland State player Dominic David (Jr., S, Salem, OR/South Salem HS), plus Cullen Carroll (Jr., OLB, Petaluma, CA/St. Vincent de Paul HS) and Harmon Bruno (Sr., OLB, Danville, CA/San Ramon Valley HS).

David led the Bearcats with nine total tackles (6 unassisted). Carroll achieved seven tackles (5 unassisted) and Bruno earned six tackles (4 unassisted).

Willamette will host Whitworth University at McCulloch Stadium next Saturday (Oct. 29). Game time is set for 1:30 p.m. (PDT).

NOTE:  The photo of Brian Widing putting the ball over the goal line for Willamette's touchdown was taken by Nisha Strauch, Full Access Sports photographer.

Portland State University 36
Willamette University 10
Brian Widing scored a touchdown for the Bearcats on a 9-yard run.

Brian Widing scored a touchdown for the Bearcats on a 9-yard run.

Brian Widing puts the ball across the goal line on his touchdown run.

Brian Widing puts the ball across the goal line on his touchdown run.