Castaneda Gains 252 Yards, including 198 Passing Yards, in Loss to #25 Linfield

Mathew Castaneda (Sr., QB, Salinas, CA/Salinas HS)
Mathew Castaneda (Sr., QB, Salinas, CA/Salinas HS)

By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications

McMINNVILLE, Ore. -- Willamette University quarterback Mathew Castaneda (Sr., QB, Salinas, CA/Salinas HS) gained 252 yards of total offense, including 198 passing yards, as the Bearcats took on #25-ranked Linfield College on Saturday, Oct. 19 at Maxwell Field. Linfield defeated the Bearcats, 77-0, to improve to 4-1 on the season, 3-0 in the Northwest Conference. Willamette fell to 2-4 overall, 0-3 in the NWC.

The Bearcats gained 368 total yards, achieved 17 first downs and had no turnovers. Willamette had two drives end inside the Linfield 10 at the 9-yard line and 6-yard line. Those drives each lasted 11 plays and began inside the WU 10, as the Bearcats covered 85 yards and 87 yards. In addition, the Bearcats had an 11-play drive that went from the WU 25 to the Linfield 47.

Castaneda was 14 of 34 passing for 198 yards and no interceptions. He threw a pair of 37-yard strikes, one each to Caine Farmer (Sr., WR/RB, Kit Carson, CO/Kit Carson School) and Ty Benny (Jr., WR, St. Louis Park, MN/St. Louis Park HS). Castaneda rushed 12 times for 54 yards.

Jordan Jenkins (Gr., WR, Placentia, CA/Valencia HS) led WU in receiving yards, as he grabbed four passes for 71 yards. Jenkins ranks first for Willamette this season with 29 catches for 442 yards and eight touchdowns. Also on Saturday, Miles Bryant (Jr., TE, Pasadena, CA/Bishop Alemany HS) caught a team-high five passes for 30 yards, and carried the ball 24 times for 76 yards on the ground.

Linfield took a 21-0 lead in the first quarter. The Wildcats forced Willamette to punt after three plays to open the game, and then Linfield drove 49 yards on four plays for the first touchdown. The drive was highlighted by a 45-yard pass from Wyatt Smith to Keegan Weiss that brought the ball to the Willamette 1-yard line. Smith kept the ball and went into the end zone on the next play at the 12:17 mark. Andrew Starkel kicked the extra point.

Later in the quarter with 7:21 to go, Wyatt Smith threw a 22-yard scoring pass to Colton Smith. The final touchdown of the first quarter was scored with 1:26 on the clock, when Weiss hauled in a 35-yard pass from Smith. The Wildcats added 21 points in the second quarter to build a 42-0 halftime lead.

For the game, Wyatt Smith completed 17 of 22 passes for 398 yards and six touchdowns with one interception. Overall, the Wildcats were 23 of 29 passing for 471 yards. Colton Smith caught four passes for 127 yards and two scores, and Weiss hauled in four passes for 115 yards and two scores. Colby Iverson led Linfield's ground game with six carries for 58 yards and one touchdown.

The Willamette defense was led by Andrew Rodriguez (Sr., DB, Santa Clara, CA/Wilcox HS) with seven total tackles, including five solo stops. Ryan Morgan (So., DB, Big Timber, MT/Sweet Grass County HS) supplied six total tackles, while Alec Stevenson (Sr., LB, Malibu, CA/Calabasas HS) and Zach McLellan (Fy., DB, Vacaville, CA/Will C. Wood HS) each registered five total tackles. Stevenson's total included a quarterback sack. McLellan earned the game's only interception by either team. It was McLellan's second interception of the season.

Linfield's top tackle was Brian Pullman with eight stops. Burdett Ramsayer was credited with six tackles, which were matched by Chase Lydig. Ray Thomas provided one quarterback sack, while Pullman and Lydig split one sack.

The Bearcats will play at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon, on Saturday, Oct. 26. Game time is scheduled for 1 p.m. (PDT).