PORTLAND, ORE. -- Willamette University ran the ball 59 times with 19 different players and never had to punt, as the Bearcats routed Lewis & Clark College, 77-17, in a Northwest Conference game at Fred Wilson Field on Saturday, Nov. 3. Willamette set school records for points in a game, touchdowns in a game (11), rushing touchdowns in a game (11) and rushing yards in a game (599).
The Bearcats improved to 4-5 overall, while moving to 3-2 in the NWC. Lewis & Clark dropped to 0-8 on the season, 0-5 in the NWC.
Both teams scored in the first minute of the game. Willamette's Jose Green (Fr., RB, Downey, CA/Warren HS) returned the opening kickoff 70 yards to the L&C 14-yard line, setting up a 2-yard touchdown run by Skylar Swinford (Sr., RB, McCall, ID/McCall-Donnelly HS) two plays later with 14:53 left in the first quarter. On Lewis & Clark's first play after the ensuing kickoff, A.J. Brown completed a 79-yard touchdown pass to James Connelly, as the Pioneers tied the score, 7-7, at the 14:05 mark.
Willamette added two more touchdowns in the first quarter, while Adam Foote scored on a 40-yard field goal for L&C, leaving WU with a 21-10 advantage to open the second quarter. Three touchdowns in the second period extended Willamette's lead to 42-10 at the break. WU tacked on 14 points in the third quarter and 21 points in the fourth quarter.
The 77 points broke Willamette's previous high of 75, set in 1934 during a 75-0 win over Whitman College. The Whitman game also featured 10 rushing touchdowns and 10 total touchdowns, which were school records until Saturday's win at Lewis & Clark.
The Bearcats' 599 rushing yards against the Pioneers broke the WU single game record of 554 yards, set against Montana Tech in the NAIA Playoffs on Dec. 6, 1997. Against L&C, the Bearcats also threw for 82 yards to give Willamette 681 yards of total offense. The school record of 738 yards was set against Bethany College (Kan.) in the NAIA Playoffs on Nov. 23, 1996. Willamette currently competes in NCAA Division III.
Swinford led all rushers with 108 yards on just four carries. Deon Horne (So., RB, Issaquah, WA/Liberty HS) gained 88 yards on seven carries and scored one touchdown for the Bearcats.
Tony Krikorian (So., FL, Costa Mesa, CA/Costa Mesa HS) rushed for 61 yards on three carries. Dan King (Jr., RB, Nevada City, CA/Nevada Union HS) carried seven times for 79 yards and achieved one touchdown. WU's 11 touchdowns were scored by nine players, with C.J. Washington (Sr., RB, Spokane, WA/Shadle Park HS) and Brent Turner (Fr., RB, Newman, CA/Orestimba HS) each crossing the goal line twice.
Willamette's 599 rushing yards were earned on 59 attempts for an average of 10.2 yards per carry. The Bearcats limited Lewis & Clark to 98 rushing yards on 36 carries (2.7 avg.). L&C also completed 17 of 26 passes for 271 yards, giving the Pioneers 369 yards of offense.
Brown was 15 of 22 passing for 230 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. The Pioneers also lost two fumbles. Willamette lost one fumble for the Bearcats' only turnover of the game.
Ryan Whitcomb (So., QB, Oak View, CA/Nordhoff HS/College of the Canyons) was 6 of 9 for 81 yards for Willamette. James Yamashita (Jr., WR, Walnut Creek, CA/Los Lomas HS/Diablo Valley College) caught two passes for 35 yards. Josh Lee (Sr., TE, Eugene OR/Sheldon HS/Air Force Academy) hauled in two passes for 32 yards.
Willamette also benefited from the efforts of a balanced defense in which many of the Bearcats received playing time. Jack Bevins (Jr., ILB, Park City, UT/Park City HS) led the 'Cats with six total tackles (five solo) and Andrew Haraldson (Jr., OLB, Eureka, CA/Eureka HS/College of the Redwoods) added five total tackles. An additional 32 players were credited with an least one solo or assisted tackle.
Lewis & Clark was led defensively by Ryan Chapman, who recorded 14 total tackles (eight solo). Shawn Kelly earned 12 total tackles (10 solo) for the Pioneers.
The games' two interceptions went to Willamette defenders James Perez (So., CB. Petaluma, CA/Petaluma HS) and Taylor Hermes (Sr., ILB, Keizer, OR/McNary HS/Southern Oregon University). Both pickoff were recorded in the second quarter.
Hermes ran for 12 yards following his interception, which occurred at the Willamette 1-yard line with WU leading 28-10. Brown of L&C made the errant throw on 1st-and-Goal at the Willamette 8. Following the interception and return by Hermes, the Bearcats drove 87-yards in 10 plays, with King scoring on a 34-yard run for a 35-10 lead.
The second interception was on the Pioneers' next possession. On the sixth play, Brown was intercepted by Perez, who caught the ball at the Willamette 34 and returned it 39 yards to the L&C 27.
Horne rushed for 26 yards on the next play, then scored on a 1-yard run. Matt Bicocca (Sr., PK, San Andreas, CA/Calaveras HS), who went 11 for 11 on extra points on the day to set a Willamette individual record, kicked the PAT following Horne's touchdown to give WU its 42-10 halftime margin.
Willamette will conclude the season at home next weekend, when the Bearcats host Pacific Lutheran University at McCulloch Stadium in Salem, Ore. Game time is scheduled for 1 p.m. (PST).