By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
FOREST GROVE, Ore. -- A 14-7 lead for Pacific University against Willamette University) in the second quarter quickly grew into a 28-7 halftime advantage on Saturday, Nov. 3, as the Boxers scored on two short drives over a 2:15 span. The Boxers added 16 points in the second half to extend their advantage into a 44-13 victory over the Bearcats.
Pacific upped its record to 5-4 overall, 4-2 in the Northwest Conference. Willamette fell to 1-7 on the season, 0-6 in the NWC.
Willamette led 7-0 after scoring at the end of a 10-play, 73-yard drive on the Bearcats' second possession. Jeremiah James (Gr./Sr., WR, Salem, OR/South Salem HS/Chemeketa CC) recorded the touchdown on a 6-yard pass form Mathew Castaneda (Jr., QB, Salinas, CASalinas HS). KayLyn Stirton (Sr./So., PK, Cottonwood, CA/West Valley HS) kicked the extra point.
Castaneda opened the drive with an 18-yard run to the WU 45. Later, he contributed to three consecutive gains of 10 or 11 yards. The first two plays included a pass to Devin Stanley (Sr., TE, Escondido, CASan Pasqual HS) for 10 yards and a pass to Gene Perle-Jones (Jr., TE, Eugene, OR/North Eugene HS) for 11 yards. Castaneda completed the string plays when he kept the ball for a run of 11 yards to the Pacific 17. James scored four plays later.
Pacific answered later in the first quarter with a 6-yard touchdown pass from JT Greenough to Kyle Kern with 2:11 on the clock. Caden Almer made the extra point for a 7-7 tie. The drive covered just 42 yards following a Wilamette punt from the Bearcats' 16-yard line.
The Boxers moved in front 14-7 with a 12-play, 67-yard drive that ended with a 3-yard touchdown run by Kevin McGee at the 10:22 mark of the second quarter. On the play before McGee scored, Pacific picked up a first down on 4th-and-5 at the WU 8, as Bret Yap, Jr. ran for five yards.
After Willamette's next possession, a 29-yard punt to the WU 42 included a kick catching interference penalty that gave the Boxers the ball at the WU 27. Greenough quickly advanced the ball to the end zone with an 8-yard pass to Ty Hargis, followed by an 19-yard scoring strike to Hargis.
Four plays after the touchdown, the Boxers blocked a punt by Sam Adams (So., LB/P, Sacramento, CA/Rio Americano HS on a snap from the WU 20. Alika Sarono recovered the ball for Pacific at the 3-yard line. McGee ran for 2-yards on 1st-and-goal. On second down, Greenough recovered his own fumble at the 3-yard line after Alec Stevenson (Jr., ILB, Malibu, CA/Calabasas HS) knocked the ball out. On third down, Greenough hit Chad Aragon with a 3-yard pass for a touchdown. Charles Criscenti put the PAT through the uprights, as Pacific took a 28-7 lead.
"A blocked punt and some short fields hurt us in the second quarter," Willamette Head Coach Glen Fowles said. "Our defense played well versus the run. Offensively, we had eight players catch at least one pass. Devin Stanley had another nice game on offense. Alec Stevenson had 10 tackles at linebacker."
Pacific increased its margin to 34-7 during the third quarter, as Aragon kicked a 25-yard field goal with 5:41 on the clock and Colin Weires kicked a 40-yard field goal with 19 seconds left in the period. Criscnetil tacked on another field goal for the Boxers on a 36-yarder with 12:42 remaining in the fourth quarter. James Hoban scored for Pacific on a 57-yard pass from Greenough with 7:29 to go. Willamette completed the scoring on a 5-yard run by Miles Bryant (So., QB, Pasadena, CA/Bishop Alemany HS) with 1:43 left.
The Boxers gained 442 total yards on offense, including 361 passing yards. Greenough threw all of Pacific's passes, as he went 25 of 44 and had four touchdown passes. Kern hauled in 10 passes for 129 yards. Hoban caught two passes for 110 yards. The Bearcats limited Pacific to 81 yards on 32 running plays, average of just 2.5 yards per rush.
Willamette ended the game with 277 total yards. Castaneda completed 21 of 42 passes for 153 yards and one score. Bryant was 2 of 4 for 24 yards. Stanley caught five passes for 44 yards and James grabbed five passes for 38 yards and one touchdown. Neither team threw an interception. Castaneda was WU's top runner with 11 carries for 50 yards.
Stevenson's 10 tackles -- all unassisted -- led the Bearcats on defense. Albert Ramon (Fr., DB, Hesperia, CA/Northview HS) registered five tackles. Seven WU players broke up at least one pass. Cole Thomas and Ryan Sinkking tied for Pacific's lead on the tackle chart, as each accumulated eight total tackles. Sinkking led all players with 2.0 tackles for loss and 1.5 quarterback sacks.
Big Moment of the Game for Willamette
Mathew Castaneda receives the Big Moment for the second week
in a row. Last week, he threw a perfect 55-yard touchdown pass to
Jeremiah James while under pressure. This week, it's a Big Moment
that covers most of the game's first drive. Castaneda was 4 of 4
passing for 34 yards and carried the ball three times for 37 yards
during the 73-yard drive. He connected with James on a 6-yard
touchdown pass to give Willamette a 7-0 lead.