Andersen Sets Record with 247 Receiving Yards, but L&C Downs Bearcats, 49-34

Max Andersen (Jr., WR, Chico, CA/Moreau Catholic HS/Butte College)
Max Andersen (Jr., WR, Chico, CA/Moreau Catholic HS/Butte College)

By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Max Andersen (Jr., WR, Chico, CA/Pleasant Valley HS/Butte College) set a Willamette University record with 247 receiving yards and tied another school record with 14 catches, while scoring three touchdowns, but Lewis & Clark College outscored the Bearcats, 49-34, on Saturday, Oct. 26 at Griswold Stadium. First-year place-kicker Kyla Gordon (Salem, OR/West Salem HS) also set a Willamette record, as she became the Bearcats' all-time women's scorer leader. Gordon, who kicked four extra points on Saturday, has 14 career points, passing KayLyn Stirton ('19), who scored 11 points for the WU football team.

The records tied and surpassed by Andersen were set by Jeff Jones against Western Oregon University on Oct. 5, 1985. In that game, Jones caught 14 passes for 244 yards.

Willamette quarterback Mathew Castaneda (Sr., Salinas, CA/Salinas HS) was 34 of 71 passing against the Pioneers, as he threw five touchdown passes and finished the game with 441 passing yards. He broke his own school record for pass attempts in a game, which he set by throwing the ball 60 times against the University of Puget Sound on Oct. 27, 2018.

Mathew Castaneda (Sr., QB, Salinas, CA/Salinas HS) Castaneda also ended the game close to the Willamette single game records for pass completions and passing yards. The record for passing yards in a game was set 29 years ago by Todd Simis on Oct. 27, 1990, when he passed for 473 yards against Simon Fraser University (Canada). The record for completions in a game (38) was set by Todd Greenough against Southern Oregon University on Sept. 26, 1987.

Lewis & Clark scored three touchdowns in the first quarter for a 20-0 lead. Michael Abraham crossed the goal line at the 9:50 mark on a 9-yard run, just four plays after the Pioneers recovered a Willamette fumble at the WU 44-yard line. Roge Hernandez intercepted a pass by Castaneda on WU's next possession and returned the ball 23 yards for the second touchdown with 7:34 on the clock. The extra point failed. A bit later, Caden Voges completed a 12-play, 58-yard drive by scoring on a 1-yard run with 2:22 left in the quarter.

The Pioneers extended the lead to 26-0 with 11:04 remaining in the half on a 7-yard pass from Voges to Evan Powers. The extra point kick went wide.

Willamette and Lewis & Clark each scored two touchdowns during the remainder of the first half.

The Bearcats scored their first points of the game at the end of a 6-play, 89-yard drive that included a 22-yard run by Castaneda and two 26-yard catches by Andersen, as the ball reached the L&C 6-yard line. After an incompletion, Castaneda hit Andersen with a 6-yard pass, and Gordon kicked the extra point to cut the lead to 26-7 with 9:19 to go in the half.

L&C answered with a 6-play drive that ended with a 19-yard pass from Voges to Xavier Tharpe for a touchdown at the 7:34 mark. Willamette scored next on another 6-play drive. The drive featured passes of 13 yards and  23 yards to Caine Farmer (Sr., WR/RB, Kit Carson, CO/Kit Carson School) with a 20-yard pass to Andersen in between. Andersen completed the drive with a 12-yard touchdown catch on a pass by Castaneda.

The final touchdown of the half was scored by Lewis & Clark on 4th-and 6 from the WU 7. Voges hit Kevin Johnson in the back corner of the end zone for the score. The Pioneers held a 40-14 lead at the break.

Alec Stevenson (#51, Sr., LB, Malibu, CA/Calabasas HS) and Albert Ramon (#27, So., DB, Hesperia, CA/Northview HS) Willamette battled back into the game in the third quarter. The Bearcats started quickly, as they received the second half kickoff and went 92 yards on four plays. Castaneda opened the drive with an 8-yard run. On the next play, he connected with Andersen on a 50-yard pass, moving the ball to the L&C 33. A 24-yard pass to Farmer advanced the Bearcats inside the 10. Castaneda threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to Miles Bryant (Jr., TE, Pasadena, CA/Bishop Alemany HS) with 13:00 on the clock. 

After Gordon tacked on the extra point, the Bearcats kicked off and the Pioneers took over at the L&C 40-yard line. Willamette forced L&C to punt four plays later. The Bearcats regained possession at the WU 30.

Eight plays after the punt, on 4th-and-19 at the Pioneers' 25, Castaneda threw a 25-yard scoring strike to Andersen that reduced Lewis & Clark's advantage to 40-27. Andersen also caught a 21-yard pass during the drive. A bad snap on the extra point attempt led to a blocked kick by Makana LaBoy of L&C. LaBoy picked up the loose ball and ran to the opposite end zone for a defensive extra point, increasing L&C's margin to 42-27.

Lewis & Clark scored its final touchdown of the game following the ensuing kickoff. The touchdown was scored with 5:33 left in the third quarter on a 3-yard run by Abraham.

The Bearcats tallied the only points of the fourth quarter on a 2-yard touchdown pass from Castaneda to Farmer with 1:57 left in the game. Willamette earned the touchdown at the end of a 120play, 64-yard drive. Gordon kicked the extra point.

Willamette's 441 passing yards provided nearly all of the Bearcats' offensive total of 458 yards. In addition to Andersen's 14 catches for 247 yards, the Bearcats also had two other players with more than five catches. Farmer hauled in 10 passes for 105 yards and one score, while Bryant caught six passes for 51 yards and one touchdown. Voges of Lewis & Clark was 24 of 39 passing for 275 yards and three touchdowns. The Pioneers ran 43 times for 105 yards and achieved 380 total yards.

Alec Stevenson (Sr., LB, Malibu, CA/Calabasas HS) accumulated 15 total tackles for the Bearcats with one tackle for a loss and one quarterback hurry. Elijah Pierce (Fy., LB, San Francisco, CA/Sheldon HS) and Keaton Adams (So., DL, Colorado Springs, CO/Doherty HS) each recorded 10 total tackles for the Bearcats. Pierce led WU with nine solo tackles and had one tackle for a loss. Adams registered eight solo stops and was credited with 3.5 tackles for loss, including 1.5 quarterback sacks.

Hernandez topped L&C with 10 total tackles, including nine unassisted tackles, in addition to scoring on 23-yard interception return. Anakin Mares made nine tackles and broke up five passes.

Willamette will play George Fox University at McCulloch Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 2. Kickoff is set for 4 p.m. (PDT).