Bearcats Advance Three Spots to #14 in AFCA Coaches Poll

Bearcats Advance Three Spots to #14 in AFCA Coaches Poll

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Willamette University moved up three spots to #14 in this week's NCAA Division III Coaches' Poll released by the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA). The Bearcats were listed at #17 a week ago, but advanced three places despite having an open date on Sept. 18.

Willamette, 2-1 on the season, will return to action on Saturday, Oct. 1 at Linfield College. Kickoff is set for 1:30 p.m. (PDT) in the Northwest Conference opener for both teams.

Linfield moved into the Coaches' Poll at #24 after being unranked a week ago. The Wildcats, 1-1, lost to California Lutheran University, 47-42, in the season opener, but defeated the University of La Verne, 30-3, this past weekend.

University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, 3-0, the defending Division III national champion, continued to ranked #1 in the nation after receiving 35 of 40 first place votes and 995 points. Mount Union College (Ohio), 3-0, was ranked #2 with five first place votes and 957 points.

Wesley College (Del.), 4-0, held the #3 ranking with 908 points, and the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor (Texas), 3-0, was listed at #4 with 873 points. The University of St. Thomas (Minn.), 4-0, was #5 with 840 points.

Wittenberg University (Ohio), now 4-0 overall, remained at #6 with 770 points. North Central College (Illinois), 3-0, moved up two spots to #7 and received 722 points. Rounding out the Top 10 were Coe College (Iowa), 4-0, at #8 with 696 points, Ohio Northern University, 3-0, at #9 with 678 points, and Trine University (Ind.), 3-0, at #10 with 582 points.

Willamette and Linfield were the only West Coast teams ranked in the Coaches' Poll. California Lutheran, Pacific Lutheran University and the University of Redlands each received votes, but were not in the Top 25.

Ralph Pineda (#51) leads the Bearcats with 37 total tackles and is tied for the team lead with two interceptions.