Bearcats Run Past East Texas Baptist, 45-25

Wyman Rushes for 117 yards; Jones Dashes for 110 yards

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

MARSHALL, TEXAS -- Willamette University rushed 62 times for 330 yards and four touchdowns, as the Bearcats defeated East Texas Baptist University, 45-25, on Saturday, Sept. 28 in a game that was delayed from starting by one hour and 35 minutes due to the weather.

Taylor Wyman (So., RB/P, Bellevue, WA/Issaquah HS) carried the ball 18 times for 117 yards, while Dylan Jones (Jr., Santa Maria, CA/Ernest Righetti HS) ran 18 times for 110 yards, and quarterback Josh Dean (Sr., Dana Point, CA/Dana Hills HS) rushed for 94 yards on 17 carries. Wyman and Jones each scored two rushing touchdowns.

The Bearcat defense came up with a series a key plays during the game. WU forced five turnovers, blocked an extra point, returned an interception for a touchdown, and made several stops on fourth down, including a goal-line stand.

Willamette, which has scored 142 points in its three games, improved to 3-0 on the season. East Texas Baptist, which entered the game averaging 54.0 points per contest, dropped from the ranks of undefeated teams at 2-1.

ETBU threatened to score quickly at the start of the game as both teams tried to adjust to the wet playing surface.

On the third play, quarterback Josh Warbington completed a 50-yard pass to Roy Butler that brought the Tigers to the WU 19-yard line. On the next play, however, Toi Glover fumbled at the end of a 7-yard run and Jack Nelson (Jr., ILB, Portland, OR/Jesuit HS) recovered for WU at the 3-yard line.

Willamette had to punt after three plays and the Tigers took over at the WU 42. After an incomplete pass and a 1-yard sack by Wyatt Briggs (Sr., DE, Scio, OR/Scio HS), Warbington threw a 43-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Bates. The extra point kick by Cory McNeil was blocked by Matt Parr (Sr., ILB, Lihue, HI/Kauai HS) with 12:43 left in the first quarter.

The Bearcats answered just 1:22 later when Jones scored on a 23-yard run. Jones carried four times for 41 yards on the drive, which also included an 18-yard pass from Dean to Erik Baker (So., WR, Moraga, CA/Campolindo HS/Whitworth Univ.). Kyle Derby (Sr., PK/P, Oakdale, CA/Oakdale HS) kicked the PAT to give WU a 7-6 lead.

Derby went 6 for 6 on extra points during the game and has now kicked a Willamette record 118 extra points on 124 attempts. He broke the old record of 115 on 127 attempts, set by Mitch Rowan ('12) from 2008 through 2011.

It looked like the rapid-fire scoring might continue after ETBU's Donovan O'Connor returned the next kickoff 50 yards to the WU 44. The Tigers earned a first down at the 28-yard line, but Tait Stephens (Sr., FS, Sammamish, WA/Skyline HS) broke up a pass four plays later to end the drive.

Willamette countered with a 55-second drive that covered 72 yards in four plays. The final three plays were runs by Wyman, ending with a 53-yard touchdown scamper at the 9:47 mark. WU led 14-6 after the extra point.

Zak Fegles (Fr., OLB, Keizer, OR/McNary HS) forced a fumble by O'Connor on the ensuing kickoff and Daley Smith (Jr., CB, St. Paul, OR/St. Paul HS) recovered the ball for Willamette at the ETBU 19. The Bearcats extended their lead to 17-6 when Derby kicked a 24-yard field with 6:54 left in the first quarter.

East Texas Baptist then drove from its own 45 to the WU 3-yard line, but the Tigers were stopped four plays later when Warbington was tackled at the 1-yard line. Kyle Davey (Sr., DE, Atwater, CA/Buhach Colony HS) made one tackle and assisted on two others during the goal line stand.

Only one touchdown was scored in the second quarter, but it was a big play for the WU defense. Brendan Manion (Jr., OLB, Los Altos, CA/Archbishop Mitty HS) intercepted a pass by Warbington at the ETBU 37-yard line and returned it to the end zone. WU owned a 24-6 lead at the break.

WU wasted little time reaching the end zone after receiving the kickoff to start the second half. On the third play, Jones escaped for a 54-yard touchdown run. Derby kicked the PAT for a 31-6 advantage.

The Tigers eventually pulled within 31-18 on touchdown passes by Warbington of 37 yards to D.J. Williams and 21 yards to Bates over the next three minutes. ETBU failed on a 2-point conversion pass after the score by Williams and McNeil missed the extra point kick following the score by Bates.

Dean connected with Derek Traeger (Jr., WR, Mount Angel, OR/John F. Kennedy HS) two plays later on a 74-yard touchdown pass with 9:10 left in the third quarter. It was the fourth score -- two for each team -- in the first six minutes of the second half.

ETBU took advantage of a 62-yard kickoff return by Bates to take over on the next possession at the WU 31. Six plays later, the Bearcats stopped the Tigers when Warbington's pass fell incomplete on 4th-and-7 at the WU 14.

The Bearcats also stopped ETBU at the WU 14 with 3:55 left in the third quarter, when Nelson and Corey Walsh (Sr., OLB, San Pedro, CA/San Pedro HS/Western New Mexico Univ.) stopped Warbington for no gain on 4th-and-1.

Willamette remained in front 38-18 as the game entered the final period. Just three plays into the quarter, Stephens intercepted a pass by Warbington and returned it 27 yards to the ETBU 32. Eight plays later, Wyman scored on a 6-yard run.

The Bearcat defense stopped East Texas Baptist at the WU 2-yard line with 9:17 left, when Manion forced a fumble by Warbington at the end of a 13-yard run. Briggs recovered the ball for Willamette at the 1-yard line. On third down, Dean was sacked and fumbled in the end zone. Thomas Warren recovered the ball for ETBU to score the game's final touchdown.

WU finished with 472 total yards on 91 offensive plays, while ETBU gained 492 yards on 94 plays. Dean was 9 of 29 passing for 142 yards, one touchdown and one interception, while Warbington was 12 of 27 for 201 yards, two scores and two interceptions.

Traeger led the Bearcat receivers with 4 catches for 96 yards and a touchdown. Bates hauled in 7 passes for 86 yards and two touchdowns for the Tigers. Glover carried the ball 37 times for 187 yards for ETBU.

Manion put together an exceptional night on defense for Willamette. In addition to scoring on an interception return, he registered 14 tackles (9 solo), including 2.5 tackles for losses and one sack. He also forced two fumbles. Nelson added another 14 tackles for WU, while Walsh achieved 12 tackles. Ja'Kory Hunter led the ETBU defense with 11 total stops.

Willamette does not play next weekend. The Bearcats will return to action on Friday, Oct. 11 with a home game against Whitworth University. Game time at McCulloch Stadium is set for 7 p.m. (PDT). The game is part of Willamette's Family Weekend.

BOX SCORE
Willamette University 45
East Texas Baptist University 25
Taylor Wyman rushed for 117 yards and two touchdowns for the Bearcats.

Taylor Wyman rushed for 117 yards and two touchdowns for the Bearcats.