Willamette Holds Oaks to 162 Total Yards
SALEM, ORE. -- Willamette University senior wide receiver Scott Schoettgen (Sr., WR, Columbia, CA/Sonora HS) scored three touchdowns on catches of 13, 50 and 48 yards -- all in the first half -- helping the Bearcats defeat Menlo College, 32-15, on Saturday, Oct. 23 in driving rain at McCulloch Stadium. Willamette improved to 5-2 overall, while Menlo fell to 3-5 on the season.
Schoettgen now has 32 career touchdown catches, giving him sole possession of Willamette's all-time record. He entered the game tied for the record with Justin Pate, who caught 29 touchdowns from 1990-93.
Against Menlo, Schoettgen hauled in a total of seven catches for 157 yards. All three of his touchdown receptions were thrown by Brian Widing (So., QB, Canby, OR/Canby Union HS). Widing was 8 of 12 for 183 yards.
Cody Pastorino (So., S, Glenn, CA/Willows HS) of Willamette blocked a punt for the third game in a row. WU scored on the play, with Kyle Yatabe (So., ILB, El Segundo, CA/El Segundo HS) recovering the ball at the Menlo 3-yard line and taking it into the end zone for a 32-9 lead just 41 seconds into the fourth quarter.
The blocked punt and strong play by the Willamette defense kept Menlo's offense in check for most of the night. The Oaks did not put together a sustained scoring drive.
Menlo scored its first touchdown on a 28-yard drive in the opening quarter and added a 28-yard field goal following a 20-yard drive in the third quarter. The Oaks scored their second touchdown on a controversial 67-yard punt return with 10:33 left in the game.
Willamette limited the Oaks to 162 total yards. Menlo rushed for 66 yards on 35 carries and completed 13 of 28 passes for 96 yards.
Schoettgen's first touchdown catch covered 13 yards and finished the game's opening drive. The Bearcats marched 73 yards on 13 plays, including three third down conversions.
The touchdown was scored on 3rd-and-goal. Schoettgen provided an outstanding catch on the play, as he came down on the pylon at the right edge of the goal line. Menlo blocked the extra point.
A 68-yard punt by Kevin Kurtz at the end of Menlo's first possession started a sequence of events that led to a tying touchdown by the Oaks.
Willamette took over at its own 20-yard line following a touchback on the punt. Four plays later, a fumble by Widing was recovered by R.J. Rivera of Menlo at the WU 38 with 4:50 left in the first quarter.
Menlo achieved a net of zero yards on three plays after the turnover. On fourth down, a punt by Kurtz was downed at the 1-yard line by the Oaks' Jaronimo Wright.
The Bearcats managed to net five yards out of three plays before Mitchell Rowan (Jr., PK/P, Cotati, CA/Rancho Cotate HS) set up to punt out of the end zone. Rowan faced a heavy rush, but managed to kick the ball. Menlo gained control at the WU 28.
Four plays later, quarterback Taylor Congdon hit Devin Young with a 13-yard touchdown pass. Kurtz missed the extra point kick, leaving the score 6-6.
WU answered with a three-play, 57-yard drive that included Schoettgen's second touchdown catch. Terrell Malley (So., TB, Portland, OR/Roosevelt HS) opened the drive with a 4-yard run. Aaron Cavette (Sr., FB, Port Townsend, WA/Port Townsend HS) added an 8-yard run off left tackle.
After a false start penalty, Widing threw deep to Schoettgen, who scored on a 50-yard reception. Kyle Derby (Fr., PK/P, Oakdale, CA/Oakdale HS) kicked the extra point with 13:22 remaining in the second quarter.
Later in the quarter, the Oaks pinned the Bearcats deep in Willamette territory with a punt downed at the 7-yard line.
Four plays later, Rowan punted from the end zone for the second time in the game. The 35-yard punt went out of bounds at the WU 40, but Menlo lost the ball less than a minute later.
Congdon fumbled on a pass play on 3rd-and-9 at the Menlo 48. Reed Warner (So., OLB, Salem, OR/South Salem HS) recovered the ball for Willamette.
On the next play, Widing connected with Schoettgen for a 48-yard touchdown strike. A bad snap on the extra point led to holder Ryan Whitcomb (Sr., QB, Oak View, CA/Coll. of the Canyons) being tackled. Even so, WU held a 19-6 lead at halftime.
Menlo gained just one first down to start the third quarter. Kurtz responded by kicking a 54-yard punt that rolled to the WU 1-yard line before it was downed by Beau Bussani. The Bearcats were unable to move the ball and Rowan managed a 30-yard punt after kicking from the back of the end zone.
Five plays later, the Oaks faced 3rd-and-1 at the WU 9. Payton Bell, who gained 36-yards on 14 carries during the game, was stopped on the play for a 2-yard loss. Kurtz kicked a 28-yard field goal to pull Menlo within 19-9.
Touchdowns from the special teams and defense extended the Bearcats' lead to 32-9. The first score was a 12-yard interception return by Warner with 0:58 left in the third quarter. Widing attempted a pass on the conversion, but the ball fell incomplete. Willamette owned a 25-9 lead.
Early in the fourth quarter, Pastorino's punt block at the MC 16-yard line led to Yatabe's 3-yard return for a score. Kerby kicked the extra point.
Menlo's final touchdown was in doubt for several minutes as officials discussed the play.
A 44-yard punt by Rowan was fumbled by Menlo at the MC 33. A group of players went for the ball and formed a pile near the 33. The play appeared to be over when James Yoder of Menlo grabbed the ball and went 67 yards for a touchdown. Jeff Kahler (Sr., CB, Honolulu, HI/Whitworth Univ.) blocked the PAT attempt by Kurtz.
Ralph Pineda (Sr., ILB, Los Angeles, CA/San Jose State Univ.) led Willamette's defense with 11 tackles. He also intercepted a pass at the WU 9 late in the first half and returned it 35 yards. Walter Robinson II (Sr., DE, Altadena, CA/Cathedral HS) finished with seven tackles for the Bearcats, including 3.0 tackles for losses and one sack.
Marcus Alvin (Fr., ILB) of Menlo registered 12 tackles. He earned 5.0 tackles for losses, achieved 2.5 sacks and forced one fumble. Beau Bussani (Jr., FS) compiled 11 tackles for the Oaks.
The rainy weather contributed to both teams committing four turnovers. WU lost the ball on three fumbles and one interception. The Oaks lost one fumble and threw three interceptions. Warner, Pineda and Tyson Giza (Fr., CB, Salem, OR/Sprague HS) picked off the passes for the Bearcats.
Willamette will play at Whitworth University in Spokane, Wash., on Saturday, Oct. 30. Game time for the NWC match-up is scheduled for 1 p.m. (PDT) at the Pine Bowl.
Menlo College 15