Bearcats Down L&C, 35-21, as Wyman Rushes for 164 Yards, Fickas has 11 Catches

Taylor Wyman (Sr., RB, Bellevue, WA/Issaquah HS), Photo by Joe Bergman,
Taylor Wyman (Sr., RB, Bellevue, WA/Issaquah HS), Photo by Joe Bergman,

By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Taylor Wyman (Sr., RB, Bellevue, WA/Issaquah HS) rushed for 164 yards, including a 78-yard touchdown, and the Bearcats gained 475 total yards, as Willamette University defeated Lewis & Clark College, 35-21, in a Northwest Conference game on Saturday, Oct. 29. Wyman and Jimmy Sharpe (Jr., RB, Walnut Creek, CA/Northgate HS) each scored two touchdowns, while Jordan Fickas (Jr., WR, Gilbert, AZ/Campo Verde HS) caught 11 passes for the Bearcats.

Willamette improved to 3-5 on the season, 2-3 in the Northwest Conference. Lewis & Clark dropped to 0-7 overall, 0-5 in the NWC.

Wyman's 78-yard run gave WU a 20-6 lead in the second quarter. Wyman also scored on a 7-yard run for a 35-14 lead with 9:26 left in the game. In addition, he caught a 6-yard pass, threw a two-point conversion pass, and scored on an extra point kick.

For the game, Wyman rushed 19 times for 164 yards and two touchdowns. He now has 862 rushing yards on the season. He earned 170 all-purpose yards during the game and has 2,169 all-purpose yards in his career.

The quarterbacks for both teams had solid statistics. Ryan Knowlton (Jr., QB, Puyallup, WA/Emerald Ridge HS) of WU was 26 of 38 for 249 yards and two touchdowns with one interception. L&C quarterback Niko Fortino was 21 of 35 for 244 yards and two touchdowns with one interception.

Jordan Fickas (Jr., WR, Gilbert, AZ/Campo Verde HS) Fickas gained 89 yards on his 11 pass receptions. He finished three catches short of the Bearcats' all-time single game record of 14, set by Jeff Jones against Western Oregon University on Oct. 5, 1985.

Lewis & Clark took a 6-0 lead when Eric Hawkins scored on a 17-yard run to cmplete a 9-play, 80-yard drive with 7:35 remaining in the first quarter. The extra point kick failed.

Willamette tied the score on the second play of the second quarter to begin a string of 20 unanswered points prior to the halftime break. Sharpe caught a 28-yard pass from Knowlton for the score. Wyman missed the extra point kick.

A bit later, the Bearcats took over at their own 39-yard line following a 15-yard punt with 11:34 left in the quarter. WU drove 61 yards on nine plays, including a 16-yard pass from Knowlton to Frickas and a 20-yard pass to Kevin Martz (Jr./So., WR, Salem, OR/South Salem HS/Claremont McKenna College) that advanced the ball to the L&C 22.

On 3rd-and-6 at the 18-yard line, Knowlton found Fickas for a 10-yard completion. Three plays later, Garrett Keizur (Fr., TE, West Linn, OR/West Linn HS) hauled in a 5-yard touchdown pass from Knowlton. The extra point kick was missed, but WU led 12-6.

Fortino threw an interception four plays after the kickoff. Brickous grabbed the ball at the WU 27 and returned it 32 yards to the L&C 41. The Bearcats lost the ball on a fumble at the L&C 30 three plays later.

Nick Brickous (Sr./Jr., SS, Mesa, AZ/Perry HS/U.S. Military Acad.) After forcing L&C to punt, the Bearcats regained possession at the WU 22-yard line with 4:36 on the clock. The drive ended quickly, as Wyman dashed 78 yards to the end zone on the opening play. Wyman completed a pass to Austin Jones (Sr., TE, Oakdale, CA/Oakdale HS) for the two-point conversion and a 20-6 lead.

Lewis & Clark drove to the Willamette 23-yard line, but Jordan Hendrickson missed a 40-yard field goal with 44 seconds left in the half. The Bearcats drove to the L&C 29 before time expired.

Tao Oulman (So., DB, Portland, OR/Lincoln HS) of WU recovered a fumble at the Pioneer's 18-yard line on the second play of the third quarter. The Bearcats scored in five plays, with Sharpe reching the end zone on a 2-yard run on 3rd-and-goal. Trevor Ramirez (Fr., WR, Fremont, CA/Calaveras HS) ran for two points on the conversion, giving Willamette a 28-6 advantage.

L&C answered in six plays to cut the lead to 28-14. The 63-yard drive ended with a 22-yard touchdown pass from Fortino to Dennis Kamakana with 10:01 left in the third quarter. Kamakana also caught a 20-yard pass during the drive. Dejour Williams grabbed a pass from Fortino to score a two-point conversion.

Neither team threatened again until Willamette went on an 11-play, 70-yard drive that began with 12:49 left in the game. The drive, which included an 11-yard catch by Sharpe, a 19-yard catch by Fickas and an 11-yard run by Wyman, ended with a 7-yard run by Willamette 3:23 later. Wyman kicked the extra point for a 35-14 lead.

The Pioneers scored the game's final touchdown when Fortino threw a 40-yard pass to Jantzen Shinmoto with 2:48 remaining.  Hendricksen converted the PAT.

Willamette rushed for 226 yards on 35 carries. The Bearcats gained 249 yards through the air. Lewis & Clark ended the game with 91 rushing yards on 37 carries, plus 244 passing yards for a total of 335 yards.

Fickas led all players with his 11 catches. Martz caught five passes and gained 58 yards for the Bearcats. Jeremiah James (Jr./So., WR, Salem, OR/South Salem HS/Chemeketa CC) had three catches for 32 yards and returned one kickoff for 31 yards.

Kamakana topped the Pioneers with eight receptions for 97 yards. Williams earned four catches for 30 yards.

Brickous finished the game with nine total tackles to lead the Bearcats. Mark Mulligan (Jr., DE, San Francisco, CA/Archbishop Riordan HS) registered eight tackles, including two quarterback sacks. Nikk Ryan (Jr., DE, Oakdale, CA/Oakdale HS) and Paimon Jaberi (Sr., ILB, Bainbridge Island, WA/Bainbridge HS) achieved five tackles apiece. Ryan and Oulman each recovered a fumble. The WU defense registered six sacks and 11 tackles for loss.

Pete Lahti and Randy Menewa each contributed nine tackles for Lewis & Clark. Lahti forced a fumble and intercepted a pass. Remington Campbell amassed eight tackles, with one tackle for loss and a fumble recovery.

Willamette will play at Whitworth University on Saturday, Nov. 5. Game time in Spokane, Washington, is slated for 12:30 p.m. (PDT).