By Dani Sauners
The Bearcats scored first in their game this last Saturday against the Loggers of Puget Sound. This five-play scoring drive began with a 24-yard pass to senior Alex Israel from sophomore Mathew Castaneda. The next two plays had no gains in yardage and then on the fourth down, Castaneda threw a 22-yard pass to senior Jordan Fickas, advancing just enough yards to have Jeremiah James score on the next play. Senior Ryan Knowlton kicked the extra point to advance the Bearcats 7-0 against the Loggers.
The rest of the first quarter was scoreless for both teams. With a little under four minutes left in the second quarter, Castaneda began a scoring drive with a pass to senior Kevin Martz. James ran the ball up the field deeper into Logger territory. After this, Castaneda gave a hand-off to sophomore Justin Marshall. He ran the ball for five yards and gave the Bearcats a 13-0 lead over the Loggers; the after-touchdown kick was missed.
It seemed like the second quarter would remain scoreless until Logger Tanner Diebold scored a touchdown for Puget Sound with just 19 seconds left in the second quarter. Diebold threw a couple good passes for 17 yards and 21 yards, and these were large aids in allowing him to run the ball himself for a Logger touchdown. At the end of the first half, the score was 13-7 with the Bearcats in the lead.
The second half remained scoreless for the Bearcats, but they still had a few great drives and noteworthy plays. Toward the beginning of the third quarter, senior Terae Jones intercepted a throw by Diebold and returned it for 38-yards. After this, junior Matt Stone had a great run of 25 yards, advancing the Bearcat offense deeper towards the Logger end zone. Stone tacked on two more yards under his belt and Fickas received a five-yard pass to put the Bearcat ball at two yard line. Stone attempted to run the ball into the end zone to no avail. This drive ended with an incomplete pass by Castaneda and the ball returned to the Loggers.
After this great drive, the Loggers fumbled the ball and the Bearcats secured it at the Loggers’ 17-yard line. The Bearcats were held up to only a gain of six yards until they were forced to punt on the fourth down.
The fourth quarter was when the final touchdown was scored by Puget Sound. This last scoring drive was for 55-yards. Jesten Kainalu-Moya had two good runs for the Loggers. One was for eight yards and one was 12-yards. There was also a 20-yard pass thrown by Diebold. The Loggers then scored after this play, putting them on top of the Bearcats with a final score of 14-13. Willamette’s next home game is Saturday, Nov. 4 against Pacific University and kickoff will be at 1pm. It is senior day, so make sure to make it to the field to support the football seniors before the game begins.