SALEM, Ore. – A tight game through the first half quickly turned in the third quarter as the University of Puget Sound football team fell 52-21 to Willamette University on Saturday. The Loggers (1-5, 0-3) kept the game close throughout the first half and went into the break down 17-14, but Willamette (4-2, 2-1) scored 28 points in the third quarter to pull away.
Duncan White had a solid game through the air, throwing for 262 yards and no interceptions on 27-of-47 passing. White also tossed one touchdown pass, which give the Loggers 15 on the year. The Loggers had just 14 touchdown passes in all of 2009.
Both Thiesen Chang and Adam Kniffin hauled in nine receptions to lead the Loggers. Kniffin had 125 yards receiving while Chang totaled 68 yards receiving.
The Bearcats started off hot as they scored the first 14 points of the game. However, the Loggers did not go away quietly as Casey Larson found the endzone on a one-yard run to close the gap to 14-7 in the second quarter. The Loggers defense held the Bearcats to a field goal on their next and Larson once again found paydirt on another one-yard run late in the second quarter to send the Loggers into the locker room down just three points.
The Bearcats scored first in the second half to extend their lead to 24-14, but the Loggers responded when White found Ryan Rogers for six-yard TD pass. Rogers had seven receptions for 70 yards in the game. However, the rest of the game was all Bearcats as they rattled off 28 unanswered point to capture the victory.
Despite the two touchdowns on the ground, the Loggers ran for four yards on 25 carries while the Bearcats rushed for 286 yards and six touchdowns on 42 carries. The Loggers outgained the Bearcats through the air with 297 passing yards to the Bearcats' 208 yards. Tyler Schaner completed a 35-yard pass on a fake punt that gave the Loggers a first down and set up a Loggers score.
The Loggers defense forced two turnovers from the Bearcats with a pair of interceptions. Both interceptions came deep in Logger territory to prevent Bearcat score as Roy Fuchigami stepped in front of a pass in the Loggers' end zone and Cory Dunn picked off his fifth pass of the year inside the Loggers' 20.
The defense also got to the quarterback three times, including a sack by Justin Erikson who led the Loggers with a game-high 10 tackles. Niko Wacker also recorded a sack while Chris Subia and Casey Coberly each had 0.5 sacks.
The Loggers were playing in their first road game in a month but return home next week to face Lewis & Clark at 1 p.m. in Baker Stadium.