SALEM, Ore. -- Willamette University received touchdowns from seven different players and gained 464 yards of total offense, as the Bearcats defeated Pacific University, 49-7, on Saturday, Oct. 8 at McCulloch Stadium. The Bearcats upped their record to 2-3 on the season, 1-1 in the Northwest Conference, while Pacific fell to 0-5 overall, 0-2 in the NWC.
The win completed Willamette's season-opening, five-game homestand. All three of WU's losses were to nationally ranked teams.
Neither team scored for most of the first quarter, but the Bearcats moved in front late in the period.
After taking over at the WU 35 following a punt, the Bearcats drove 65 yards on four plays. Jamiere Abney (Sr., TB) opened the drive with a 39-yard run. Brian Widing (Jr., QB) tacked on an 18-yard run to move the ball to the Pacific 8-yard line.
Jake Turner (Jr., FL) dashed for four yards and then Scott Perlin (Sr., FB, Alpine, CA) scored on another 4-yard run with 1:37 to go in the quarter. Kyle Derby (So., PK) kicked the extra point for a 7-0 lead.
WU extended its lead with 21 points in the second quarter. Meanwhile, the Bearcat defense kept Pacific off the scoreboard until after the intermission.
On the first play of the second period, Pacific quarterback T.C. Campbell was intercepted at the WU 45-yard line by Wendell Galvan (Fr., CB). Willamette needed only three plays to create a touchdown.
Widing hit junior wide receiver Jake Knecht with a 9-yard pass on the first play, then ran for seven yards and a first down. He completed the drive with a 39-yard pass to Knecht deep over the middle to the end zone. Derby kicked the PAT.
Pacific responded by driving from its own 29 to the Willamette four yard line.
On the ninth play of the drive, at the WU 4, running back Davis Jacobs was tackled for a 3-yard loss by Cullen Carroll (Jr., OLB). On the 10th play, Campbell was intercepted in the end zone by Cody Pastorino (Jr., S).
The Bearcats drove 80 yards on 12 plays to take a 21-0 lead, as Widing converted four third downs.
First, he threw a 13-yard pass to Abney on 3rd-and-7 at the WU 23. Three plays later, he gained 10 yards on a draw play for another first down at the Pacific 47. On the next 3rd down, he completed a 14-yard pass to Turner, who made a nice catch near the sideline while going to the ground.
Finally, on 3rd-and-10 at the Boxers' 32, Widing threw a pass to Abney a few yards upfield on the right side. Abney made the catch and traversed his way to the end zone, as he eluded at least five defenders on the play.
WU kicked off following Abney's touchdown. Four plays later, on 4th-and-3, Jarrin Inagaki was stopped by Willamette's Reed Warner (Jr., OLB) for a 3-yard loss.
The Bearcats took over with 2:39 on the clock. Widing completed an 18-yard pass to Turner to open the drive and WU scored three plays later on 3rd-and-11. Dylan Jones (Fr., TB) scampered from the center of the field toward the left sideline as he worked his way to the end zone on a 22-yard scoring run.
A bad punt snap set up Willamette's next touchdown in the third quarter. Pacific was at the WU 48 prior to the snap, but lost 16 yards after punter Aaron Koford rolled out to his right and was tackled by Pastorino. WU scored three plays later on a 13-yard run by Mason Brown (So., TB). Derby's extra point gave WU a 35-0 lead.
Later in the quarter, a big play helped Pacific get on the scoreboard. P.J. Minaya completed a 53-yard pass to Jordan Fukumoto to open the drive and bring the ball to the WU 6. Inagaki followed with a 2-yard run, before Minaya hit Brian Taylor with a 4-yard touchdown pass. Moses Villareal-Gomez converted the PAT.
Willamette tallied the final two touchdowns in the fourth quarter.
Joseph Harmon (So., TB) scored on a 2-yard run with 3:38 remaining. Tommy Laird (Jr., P) kicked the extra point. The last touchdown was recorded by freshman linebacker David Lowe on a 47-yard interception return. Pete Kline (Grad., PK) made the extra point.
The Bearcats rushed for 295 yards on 48 carries, an average 6.1 yards per rush. Abney topped the rushing chart with 59 yards on five carries. Nolan Plummer (Fr., TB) ran five times for 31 yards, while Cole Altuzarra (So., FB) gained 31 yards on three carries.
WU threw for 169 yards. Widing was 7 of 16 passing for 134 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. Jake Jones (Jr., QB) completed 2 of 4 passes and Danny Mitchell (Jr., QB) was 1 for 1. Knecht led the Willamette receivers with three catches for 57 yards.
Pacific managed just 57 rushing yards on 36 carries. The Boxers passed for 266 yards, with Minaya going 13 of 18 for 167 yards and one touchdown. Campbell was 6 of 12 for 84 yards, but was intercepted twice. Torin Huff completed 2 of 6 passes. Fukumoto caught four passes for 114 yards, while Blake Anthony hauled in four passes for 64 yards.
Carroll topped WU's defensive stats with eight tackles -- all in the first half. Jack Nelson (Fr., ILB) added seven tackles for the Bearcats. Pacific's leading tackler was freshman defensive back Josh Brinkworth, who registered seven tackles.
Willamette will play at the University of Puget Sound on Saturday, Oct. 15. Kickoff in Tacoma, Wash., is scheduled for 1 p.m. (PDT).