Bearcats Pull Away from Loggers in Second Half, 52-21

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SALEM, Ore. -- Willamette University led the University of Puget Sound by just a 17-14 margin at halftime, but the Bearcats exploded for 35 points in the second half to defeat the Loggers, 52-21, at McCulloch Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 16. WU improved to 4-2 overall, 2-1 in the Northwest Conference. UPS fell to 1-5 overall, 0-3 in the NWC.

Willamette wide receiver Scott Schoettgen (Sr.) tied a school record with his 29th career touchdown catch on a 2-yard pass from Brian Widing (So., QB) with 1:16 left in the third quarter.

Schoettgen tied the record of 29 touchdown receptions set by Justin Pate at Willamette from 1990-93.

During the game, Schoettgen caught 8 passes for 159 yards and the record-tying touchdown. He now has 110 career receptions for 2,086 yards.

WU scored its 52 points with only 24:38 time of possession due to several quick scoring drives in the second half. During the second half, Willamette needed just 7:11 to score touchdowns on five of its first six drives, then drained the final 4:50 off the clock with its last possession at the end of the game.

After forcing Puget Sound to punt on the fourth play of the game, Willamette put up its first points of the afternoon on a 4-play, 43-yard drive. Schoettgen caught a 19-yard pass from Widing to move the ball to the USP 22 on the second play. Terrell Malley (So., TB) followed with a 17-yard run.

Chad Pollard (Jr., FL) completed the drive with a 4-yard scamper to the end zone. Kyle Derby (Fr., PK/P) tacked on the extra point to give the Bearcats a 7-0 lead with 11:50 left in the opening quarter.

WU reached the USP 7 on its next possession, but Widing was intercepted in the end zone by Roy Fuchigami on third down.

When the Bearcats got the ball back, Widing drove the team eight plays and 56 yards for a touchdown. A 15-yard pass to Schoettgen and a 2-yard run by Jamiere Abney (Sr., TB) on 4th-and-1 at the UPS 35 were key plays.

Another big play followed Abney's run, as Widing tossed a 23-yard pass to Jake Knecht (So., WR). Malley dashed into the end zone on the next play, a 10-yard run to the left side of the field.

Puget Sound cut the lead to 14-7 on its next drive. The Loggers faced 4th-and-3 at their own 38 five plays into the drive and lined up in punt formation. Instead of kicking, punter Tyler Schaner scooped the snap off the ground and passed to Ryan Rogers for a 35-yard gain to the WU 27.

A 26-yard pass from quarterback Duncan White to Adam Kniffin moved the ball to the 1-yard line. Casey Larson carried the ball into the end zone on second down with 10:25 remaining in the half.

Willamette countered with a drive from the midfield stripe to the USP 20. On 4th-and-9, Mitchell Rowan (Jr., PK/P) kicked a 37-yard field goal, as the Bearcats took a 17-7 lead.

Larson of UPS tallied his second 1-yard touchdown run of the day with 3:00 to go in the second quarter, completing a 75-yard drive by the Loggers. Schaner kicked the extra point to pull Puget Sound within three points.

WU used just 1:53 at the start of the second half to extend its advantage to 24-14. Pollard recorded the touchdown on a 34-yard run and Derby provided the extra point.

Puget Sound drove 75 yards on 13 plays to cut the lead back to three points. White was 7 of 11 passing on the drive and also gained 10 yards on two running plays. he threw a 6-yard pass to Rogers for the score.

Malley responded with two plays that regained momentum for Willamette.

First, he grabbed the kickoff and returned it 40 yards to the UPS 39. On the first play, he added a 39-yard touchdown run. Derby's PAT gave the Bearcats a 31-21 edge.

After WU forced Puget Sound to punt, the Bearcats added another quick drive. The key play was a 40-yard throw from Widing to Schoettgen that bought the ball to the UPS 15. Two plays later, Pollard worked his way through the defense for a 10-yard touchdown.

Cody Pastorino (So., S) blocked Puget Sound's punt four plays later. Harmon Bruno (Jr., OLB) recovered the ball for WU at the UPS 15.

Mikey Lemon (Sr., FL) rushed for 11 yards, and Schoettgen hauled in Widing's pass on the next play for the touchdown that tied the WU career record. The Bearcats led 45-21 after scoring four TDs in the third quarter with just 4:32 for time of possession.

Lemon produced the final touchdown with a 2-yard run at the 9:12 mark of the fourth quarter. Derby converted the extra point.

The Bearcats gained 494 total yards during the game. WU rushed for 286 yards on 42 carries, led by Malley, who gained 96 yards and two touchdowns on nine carries. Malley also averaged 31.5 yards on four kickoff returns. Abney provided 67 yards on four running plays.

Widing completed 11 of 14 passes for 208 yards. He tossed one TD pass and threw two interceptions.

Puget Sound finished with 301 total yards. Quarterback Duncan White completed 27 of 47 passes for 262 yards and one TD. Schaner was 1 for 1 for 35 yards on the fake punt.

Kniffin led UPS with nine catches for 125 yards, while Chang Thiesen caught nine passes for 68 yards. The Loggers rushed for only 4 yards on 25 carries.

Willamette amassed six quarterback sacks. Juan Alvarado (Jr., DT) led the way with 1.5 sacks. Nine Bearcats contributed to the overall sack total. Bruno and Ralph Pineda (Sr., ILB) tied for the WU lead in tackles with nine apiece. Matt Parr (So., ILB) added eight tackles.

Justin Erickson (Jr., LB) topped the Puget Sound defense with 10 tackles. He had one sack. Taylor Firman (Sr., LB), Kyle Rodriguez (Fr., LB) and Demarkus Milner (Jr., SS) each registered eight tackles.

The Bearcats will remain at home next weekend to take on former NWC member Menlo College on Saturday, Oct. 23. Game time at McCulloch Stadium is set for 7 p.m. (PDT). Menlo, which joined the conference in football only in 2006, withdrew earlier this year to compete in the NAIA.

For More Information:
Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6110

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