Derby is NWC Football Special Teams Student-Athlete of the Week

Derby is NWC Football Special Teams Student-Athlete of the Week

Hits 9 for 9 on Extra Points

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Willamette University freshman place-kicker Kyle Derby (Oakdale, CA/Oakdale HS) has been selected as the Northwest Conference Football Special Teams Student-Athlete of the Week for his efforts against Lewis & Clark College on Saturday, Nov. 6. The Bearcats defeated the Pioneers, 65-24, by pulling away from a 21-21 halftime tie.

Derby went 9 for 9 on extra point attempts against L&C, as he took all of Willamette's PATs against the Pioneers. He was 6 for 6 in the second half, when the Bearcats outscored L&C, 44-3.

For the season, Derby is 30 of 33 on extra points and 3 of 5 on field goals. Overall, three Willamette kickers have combined to go 39 of 46 on PATs. The Bearcats are 5 of 10 on field goals.

Derby's efforts against Lewis & Clark were part of an exceptional day for the Bearcats on special teams. Mitchell Rowan (Jr., P/PK, Cotati, CA/Rancho Cotate HS) punted just once, but it was a 43-yarder downed inside the L&C 1-yard line. Chris Santana (So., S, Salinas, CA/North Salinas HS) tight-roped the goal line to keep the ball in play and long-snapper Mikey Lemon (Sr., FL, McMinnville, OR/McMinnville HS/Linfield College) downed the ball.

Rowan also averaged 61.9 yards on kickoffs, including an 85-yarder for a touchback after WU was penalized prior to the kick. Sean Penberthy (Fr., PK/P, Issaquah, WA/Skyline HS) took one kickoff and booted it 66 yards.

Kickoff returner Jake Knecht (So., WR, Issaquah, WA/Skyline HS/Illinois State Univ.) gained 75 yards on two returns, including a 46-yarder. Lemar Griffin (So., FL, Lakeland, FL/Jenkins HS/Arizona Western Coll.) returned a kickoff 23 yards and Jose Green (Sr., TB, Downey, CA/Warren HS) brought back a kickoff 21 yards.

The Bearcats are now 7-2 on the season, including 4-1 in the Northwest Conference. Willamette will conclude the regular season on Saturday, Nov. 13, when the Bearcats take on Pacific Lutheran University (7-2, 4-1 NWC) in Puyallup, Wash. Kickoff at Sparks Stadium is set for 12:30 p.m (PST).

Kyle Derby approaches the ball to kick an extra point. Derby was 9 for 9 on extra points against Lewis & Clark.