SALEM, ORE. -- James Yamashita (Jr., WR/KR, Walnut Creek,CA/Diablo Valley College) has been named Northwest Conference Football Special Teams Player of the Week for games played on Saturday, Sept. 22. Yamashita returned two kickoffs for 109 yards, including a second-quarter 89-yard touchdown, against Southern Oregon in a 34-27 loss.
With 28 seconds remaining in the first half, Southern Oregon scored. Yamashita grabbed the ensuing kickoff and raced 89 yards to the end zone, bringing the Bearcats within 20-14 against the Raiders. Yamashita is ranked #4 in the nation in NCAA Division III individual kickoff returns with an average of 40.5 yards per return.
Due to superb special teams play, including Yamashita's successful efforts, Willamette ranks #31 in the country in team kickoff returns with an average of 23.26 yards per return. The Bearcats, 1-3 on the season, will host Linfield College on Saturday, Sept. 29 at 3 p.m. (PDT) at McCulloch Stadium.