Bearcats Pull Away from 21-21 Halftime Tie
SALEM, ORE. -- Scott Schoettgen (Sr., WR, Columbia, CA/Sonora HS) caught four touchdown passes between the 9:41 mark of the third quarter and the first half-minute of the fourth quarter, as Willamette University defeated Lewis & Clark College, 65-24, on Saturday, Nov. 6. The Bearcats pulled away from a 21-21 halftime tie.
Willamette improved to 7-2 overall, 4-1 in the Northwest Conference. L&C dropped to 4-4 overall, 2-3 in the NWC.
Schoettgen, who already held the Willamette record for career touchdown receptions, now has 36 touchdowns as a Bearcat. His scoring plays against Lewis & Clark covered 7, 8, 37 and 49 yards. All four passes were thrown by sophomore quarterback Brian Widing (Canby, OR/Canby Union HS).
For the season, Schoettgen has caught 46 passes for 923 yards and 13 touchdowns. His four touchdowns in one game tied the Willamette record, which Schoettgen also tied against the University of Puget Sound last year. Gib Gilmore (1967), Darren Holsey (1989) and Justin Pate (1993) also share the single-game record.
Widing completed 13 of 16 passes for 223 yards, four TDs and one interception against L&C. He has tossed 14 touchdowns in 2010, while completing 69.1% of his passes.
The Pioneers marched 78 yards on nine plays following the opening kickoff to take a 7-0 lead. Freshman quarterback Keith Welch ran three times for 24 yards and completed a 37-yard pass to Harrison Keller during the drive. Joevonte Mayes scored the touchdown on a 6-yard run.
On Willamette's first possession, the Bearcats earned just one first down -- on a 19-yard pass from Widing to Jose Green (Sr., TB, Downey, CA/Warren HS) -- before being forced to punt.
The kick by Mitchell Rowan (Jr., P/PK, Cotati, CA/Rancho Cotate HS) was kept in play near the goal line by WU's Chris Santana (So., S, Salinas, CA/North Salinas HS) and was downed by teammate Mikey Lemon (Sr., FL, McMinnville, OR/McMinnville HS/Linfield Coll.) at the L&C 1-yard line.
Lewis & Clark responded by driving to the Willamette 24. On 3rd-and-11, Welch was intercepted in the end zone by Arlin Taylor (Sr., S, Spring Valley, CA/Steele Canyon HS).
WU drove 80 yards on eight plays to tie the score at 7-7. Chad Pollard (Jr., FL, Bakersfield, CA/Liberty HS/Bakersfield Coll.) opened the drive with a 22-yard run and Jake Knecht (So., WR, Issaquah, WA/Skyline HS/Illinois State Univ.) caught a 17-yard pass two plays later.
Eventually, a 20-yard pass from Widing to Matt Williams (So., FL, Encinitas, CA/La Costa Canyon HS) brought the ball to the L&C 20. Williams tacked on an 11-yard run on the next play, and Widing followed with a 9-yard scamper for the touchdown with 14:08 left in the second quarter.
L&C surged back in front, 14-7, on a 31-yard run by Mayes with 9:12 remaining in the half. The touchdown completed an 11-play, 79-yard drive by the Pioneers.
Lemon provided Willamette with the game's next two scores. He reached the end zone on a 9-yard run at the 7:38 mark of the second quarter and also crossed the goal line on a 7-yard run with 0:53 to go in the half. Kyle Derby (Fr., PK/P, Oakdale, CA/Oakdale HS) kicked the PATs, giving WU a 21-14 lead.
The Pioneers benefited from a good kick return by Logan Kotzian and a 15-yard personal foul penalty against Willamette to take over at the WU 45 with 46 seconds on the clock. Four plays later, with just 0:07 remaining in the second quarter, Welch hit Keller with a 20-yard touchdown pass.
WU broke the 21-21 tie on the opening drive of the second half, as the Bearcats went 57 yards on 12 plays. The key play was a 17-yard run by Widing on 3rd-and-12 at the L&C 46. Seven plays later, Widing passed to Schoettgen for the first of their four touchdowns, giving the Bearcats a 28-21 lead with 9:41 left in the third quarter.
Kotzian fumbled the ensuing kickoff and Cullen Carroll (So., OLB, Petaluma, CA/St. Vincent de Paul HS) recovered for WU at the L&C 31-yard line. A penalty at the end of the play forced Willamette to start at the L&C 46, but the Bearcats scored on Widing's 8-yard pass to Schoettgen six plays later.
L&C then drove from its own 26 to the Willamette 7-yard line, but had to settle for a field goal with 37 seconds on the clock. Simon Monley converted the kick from 23 yards out.
Knecht returned the following kickoff 46 yards to the L&C 37. On the first play after the kickoff, Widing threw deep to Schoettgen for a 37-yard touchdown. WU led 42-24 entering the final period.
After forcing Lewis & Clark to punt, WU received possession again. This time, Schoettgen hauled in his longest catch of the day, a 49-yard scoring strike from Widing. The Willamette lead increased to 49-24 with 14:33 left in the game.
Willamette added a 7-yard touchdown run by Ryan Whitcomb (Sr., QB, Oak View, CA/Nordhoff HS/Hartnell Coll.) with 6:15 to go, after driving 85 yards on 12 plays. The Bearcats also received a safety on the kickoff, when Kotzian stepped out of the end zone before retreating and downing the ball.
WU's final touchdown was scored by Lamar Griffin (So., FL, Lakeland, FL/Jenkins HS/Arizona Western Coll.) on a 1-yard run at the 2:58 mark. Derby kicked the PAT and finished the day 9 for 9 on extra points.
The Bearcats amassed 572 total yards during the game. Willamette ran for 332 yards on 52 carries, an average of 6.4 yards per rush. Williams led WU with nine carries for 82 yards. Whitcomb rushed nine times for 59 yards. Widing and Whitcomb (2 for 2) combined for 240 yards through the air.
L&C gained 426 yards of total offense. The Pioneers achieved 149 rushing yards on 36 carries. Welch, who ran for 86 yards on 18 attempts, also completed 17 of 27 passes for 277 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
After gaining 298 total yards in the first half, Lewis & Clark was limited to 128 yards over the final 30 minutes. The Pioneers kept the ball for 18:01 in the first half, but the Bearcats had possession for 19:22 in the second half.
Walter Robinson II (Sr., DE, Altadena, CA/Cathedral HS) topped the WU defense with nine total tackles, including 2.0 tackles for losses. Taylor achieved eight tackles in addition to his interception. Jordan Weil (So., ILB, Sammamish, WA/Skyline HS) earned seven tackles, including an assisted sack, to go with a forced fumble and a quarterback hurry.
Dan Curtin (Jr., LB) led L&C with 12 total tackles. Chris Kelly (Jr., S) supplied 11 tackles (7 solo). Kotzian recorded nine tackles and also had an interception.
Willamette will conclude the regular season by taking on Pacific Lutheran University on Saturday, Nov. 13. PLU, which defeated Pacific University, 50-23, on Saturday, was ranked #21 in this week's D3football.com Top 25. Kickoff in Puyallup, Wash., is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. (PST).
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