By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
SALEM, Ore. -- Willamette University amassed 489 yards of total offense, with 245 passing yards and 244 rushing yards, as the Bearcats rolled past the Lewis-Clark Valley Loggers, 56-6, on Saturday, Sept. 28 at McCulloch Stadium. Quarterback Mathew Castaneda (Sr., QB, Salinas, CA/Salinas HS) threw for 182 yards and four touchdowns. The Bearcats moved to 2-1 on the season. Lewis-Clark Valley fell to 0-5.
Miles Bryant (Jr., TE, Pasadena, CA/Bishop Alemany HS) scored two of Willamette's touchdowns. His 20-yard catch on a pass by Castaneda with 8:16 left in the first quarter gave Willamette a 14-0 lead. Later, he scored on a 13-yard pass from Castenada for a 35-0 lead with 3:42 remaining in the second quarter, an advantage that Willamette held at halftime.
Also recording touchdowns in the first half were Kodiak Hussey (So., WR, Idaho Falls, ID/Skyline HS), Caine Farmer (Sr., WR/RB, Kit Carson, CO/Kit Carson School) and Ben Verhoeven (Sr./Jr., WR, Redlands, CA/Redlands HS). Hussey opened the scoring just 2:20 into the game on a 7-yard pass from Castaneda. Farmer tallied the third touchdown with 9:00 left in the half on a 15-yard run. Castanada hit Verhoeven with a 4-yard pass for the fourth touchdown with 5:26 to go in the half.
The Bearcats tacked on three more scores in the third quarter for a 56-0 lead. Lewis-Clark Valley recorded its only touchdown of the game on a 29-yard pass from Leo Gomez to Ramal Maad with 13:19 remaining in the game.
Willamette's scoring plays in the third quarter included a rushing touchdown, a passing touchdown, and a pick-six interception return. Dylan Sparks (So., RB, Beaumont, CA/Beaumont HS) rushed 10 yards to the goal line with 12:20 left in the quarter. Max Andersen (Jr., WR, Chico, CA/Moreau Catholic HS/Butte College) hauled in a 5-yard touchdown pass from Aidan Kuykendall (So., QB, San Pedro, CA/Palos Verdes Peninsula HS/L.A. Harbor College) at the 6:35 mark. Less than a minute later, with 5:47 on the clock, Andrew Allen (Fy., DB, Oxnard, CA/Calabasas HS) intercepted a pass by Gomez and returned it 31 yards for a touchdown.
All of Lewis-Clark Valley's players are full-time students at Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston, Idaho, but the team is not officially part of LCSC. The team is an affiliated member of the NCAA, but games against Lewis-Clark Valley do not count toward NCAA, conference, or team statistics.
Kyla Gordon (Fy., PK, Salem, OR/West Salem HS) kicked all five extra points, while Sam Adams (Jr., LB/P, Sacramento, CA/Rio Americano HS) averaged 38.5 yards per punt. He placed three of his four punts inside the 20-yard line. Miguel Alonso-Rodriguez (Jr., PK, Madras, OR/Redmond Proficiency Academy) averaged 49.9 yards per kickoff in his first game with the football team after playing the past two seasons for the Willamette men's soccer team.
The Willamette rushing game was led by Sparks with nine carries for 83 yards and by Farmer with six carries for 76 yards. Ethan Koler (Jr., RB, Sonoma, CA/Sonoma Valley HS) rank 10 times for 43 yards. Top receivers were Andersen withi four catches for 42 yards, Bryant with three receptions for 35 yards, and Verhoeven with three catches for 32 yards.
Lewis-Clark Valley gained 215 yards of total offense, but gained just 28 yards on 25 running plays. The passing game resulted in 187 yards for the Loggers, with Maad catching seven passes for 83 yards.
Andrew Rodriguez (Sr., DB, Santa Clara, CA/Wilcox HS) led WU with five total tackles, including four solo stops. Dom Torres (So., DL, North Salt Lake, UT/Woods Cross HS) added four unassisted tackles, and Elijah Pierce (Fy., LB, San Francisco, CA/Sheldon HS) contributed three unassisted tackles and one assist. Torres produced two tackles for loss, including one quarterback sack. Pierce also picked up one sack.
CJ Fontana (So., MLB) led LCV with nine tackles. Robbie Anselmo (Fy., DB) registered eight solo tackles, while Austin Tetrault (Fy., LB) supplied five solo tackles and three assists.
The Bearcats will open Northwest Conference action on Saturday, Oct. 5 when they take on Whitworth University in Spokane, Washington. Game time at the Pine Bowl is scheduled for 1 p.m. (PDT).