Holy Moses! Villareal-Gomez Named NWC Special Teams Student-Athlete of the Week
FOREST GROVE – Three Moses Villareal-Gomez (Jr., Stockton, Calif.) field goals provided much of the catalyst for Pacific's first half scoring in their near upset of No. 2 ranked Linfield.
His efforts have earned the junior place kicker selection as the Northwest Conference Football Special Teams Student-Athlete of the Week. The award, as selected by the conference's sports information directors, was announced on Monday.
Villareal-Gomez went 3 for 3 in field goals, including a pair of first half field goals that helped give the Boxers a 13-6 halftime lead over the Wildcats. He opened the game with the second longest kick of his Pacific career, a 43-yarder with 2:43 to go in the first quarter that gave Pacific a 3-0 lead.
He added a 29-yard field goal with eight seconds left in the first half that gave the Boxers their 13-7 halftime and marked the first time this season that Linfield had trailed at the half. Villareal-Gomez made it 3 for 3 when he opened the second half with a 28-yard kick that gave Pacific their biggest lead of the game, 16-7. Linfield would rally, however, and come back to win 28-22.
"Moses came up big for us on Saturday," said Pacific Head Coach Keith Buckley. "Hitting those three field goals and giving us an opportunity to put points on the board helped us take a halftime lead against the No. 2 team in the country. The kicking game is so important and Moses continues to be a great weapon for our team."
Villareal-Gomez is already the best kicker in school history and continues to extend his reputation as one of the best in the conference. He finished the regular season ranked first in the NWC with 11 field goals made, 16 attempted and 69 percent of his field goals made. In addition, he finished the regular season ranked 17th among NCAA Division III kickers with an average of 1.1 field goals made per game and 84th in field goal percentage.
Villareal-Gomez rewrote the record books again with his ability. His 11 made this season broke the former school record of 10, set by Kevin Buckner in 1988 and his 39 point-after attempts made blasted by the former record of 25 set by Cub Shulund in 1986. In the career record books, Villareal-Gomez extended his career records to 27 field goals made and 84 point-after attempts made.
Pacific finished the season with a 7-3 record, their best finish since the 1972 season. The Boxers finished fourth in the NWC with a 3-3 record, marking the program's first .500 or better conference finish since 1988.