SALEM, OR Ryan Hernandez raced 25 yards on the first play of the second overtime period and the Bearcat defense stuffed Jacobe Krizman on a fourth and two to end the game as the Willamette University football team defeat Southern Oregon University 34-28 Saturday night at McCulloch Stadium.
After SOU scored twice in the fourth quarter to send the game into overtime, the teams traded touchdowns in the first overtime. Southern had the first possession and scored on a 24-yard pass from Boomer Marshall to Mike Olson. It was Southerns first lead of the game.
The Bearcats came right back when back-up quarterback Kevin Whipps, who played the last three quarters and the OT for the injured Cameron Walton), hit Michael Plank (pictured above) for his second touchdown on a seven-yard pass. Plank and Whipps also connected on a 16-yard pass play earlier in the drive on a third and 15 that kept the Bearcats first OT drive alive.
On the final Southern drive, the Raiders had a third and two. Krizman got the first carry and was stopped by Chris Mulitalo and Phillip Sweet. On fourth down, Southern went with Krizman again and this time Mulitalo and Megdy Khoury combined to give the Bearcats a hard-fought win.
It was the third straight win for the Bearcats, evening their season record at 3-3. Southern fell to 0-5.
Willamette jumped on top early when Wesley Randall blocked an SOU punt that was picked up by CJ Washington and returned for a 35-yard touchdown.
Southern tied the game on a 17-yard pass from Marshall to Gabe Hackett before Matt Bicocca hit a pair of field goals from 37 and 35 yards to put Willamette up 13-7.
Planks first TD catch, a seven-yarder from Whipps, and Hernadezs two-point conversion made it 21-7 Bearcats. But Southern scored twice in the fourth quarter, first on Krizmans one-yard TD run with 14:57 to play before Olson and Marshall teamed up for a 14-yard TD with 1:53 to play, setting the stage for the OT heroics.
For the game, Southern racked up 409 yards of total offense to 397 for Willamette. The Bearcats rushed for 194 yards, led by Quentin Brocks 81 yards on 25 carries. Hernandez rushed nine times for 73 yards.
Whipps was 11-23 for 188 yards and two touchdowns. Plank had nine catches for 168 yards and his two touchdowns.
Marshall was 20-38 with three touchdowns, 343 yards and two interceptions. Krizman gained 45 yards in 21 carries as the Bearcat defense held Southern to only 37 yards rushing.
Defensively, Devin ORourke had 12 tackles to lead Willamette. Khoury has 11 and Phillip Sweet added ten. Sweet and Randall had the two Bearcat interceptions.
Chad Harrell had 14 tackles to pace Southerns defense. Fili Laulu and Johnny Brown each had nine. The Bearcats had no turnovers in the game.
Willamette now takes two weeks off before returning to Northwest Conference play on October 29 at home against Pacific Lutheran University.