Linfield Breaks Open Tie Game in Third Quarter, Defeats Bearcats, 45-10

Pastorino Blocks a Punt for the 7th Blocked Kick of his Career

By Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6110

McMINNVILLE, ORE. -- Willamette University battled archrival Linfield College to a 10-10 tie in the the first half, but the Wildcats broke open the game with three quick scores midway through the third quarter, and went on to defeat the Bearcats, 45-10, in a Northwest Conference game at Maxwell Field.

Linfield, ranked #4 in the AFCA Coaches Poll and #3 in the D3football.com Top 25, improved to 7-0 overall, 4-0 in the Northwest Conference. Willamette, ranked #24 in the AFCA Coaches Poll, dropped to 6-2 on the season, 2-2 in the NWC.

The Wildcats scored the game's first touchdown, but Josh Dean (Jr., QB, Dana Points, CA/Dana Hills HS) reached the end zone for Willamette on a 14-yard run with 12:40 left in the second quarter to tie the game at 7-7. The touchdown came three plays after Cody Pastorino (Sr., S, Glenn, CA/Willows HS) blocked a Linfield punt and WU took over at the Wildcats' 15-yard line.

Kyle Derby (Jr., PK/P, Oakdale, CA/Oakdale HS) added a 28-yard field goal just 2:36 later with 10:04 remaining in the half to give Willamette a 10-7 lead.

The field goal was recorded four plays after Cullen Carroll (Sr., OLB, Petaluma, CA/St. Vincent de Paul HS) forced a fumble by Linfield running back John Shaffer and Dominic David (Sr., S, Salem, OR/South Salem HS/Portland State Univ.) recovered for WU at the Linfield 6.

Josh Kay of Linfield booted a 35-yard field goal at the 8:16 mark of the second quarter to achieve a 10-10 tie at halftime.

Both defenses gained an edge over the offensive units in the first half. Linfield held Willamette to just 50 total yards in the first 30 minutes, while the Bearcats limited the Wildcats to 132 yards. Willamette was 3 for 12 and Linfield was 3 for 11 on third down conversions in the first two quarters.

The game was still tied almost seven minutes into the second half, but Linfield scored three touchdowns in a 2:36 time span to take control of the game with a 31-10 lead.

Linfield scored on a 5-yard pass from Mickey Inns to Deidre Wiersma with 8:19 left in the third quarter to take a 17-10 advantage. The Wildcats added a touchdown on a blocked punt recovery by Colin Forman in the end zone just over two minutes later at 6:07.

Kyle Wright made a diving interception of a pass by Dean one play later. On the first Linfield play after the interception, Inns threw a 38-yard touchdown pass to Charlie Poppen with 5:43 remaining in the third quarter. The extra point kick by Kay gave the Wildcats a 31-10 lead.

The Wildcats held Willamette to 108 yards of offense. Dean finished 13 of 31 passing for 96 yards and no touchdowns. He was sacked seven times. Terrell Malley (Jr., HB, Portland, OR/Roosevelt HS) gained 19 yards on 4 running plays, while Dylan Jones (So., RB, Santa Maria, CA/Ernest Righetti HS) earned 15 yards on 14 carries.

Inns was 17 of 31 passing for Linfield for 229 yards and three touchdowns. He was sacked just once -- on a tackle by Reed Warner (Sr., OLB/Salem, OR/South Salem HS) and Scott Miller (Sr., DE, Danvile, CA/San Ramon Valley HS) in the second quarter. Shaffer rushed a game-high 51 yards on 23 carries. Linfield achieved 371 total yards with 239 yards achieved in the second half.

Ben Lyons (Sr., DE, Anchorage, AK/South Anchorage HS) of Willamette led all defensive players with 11 total tackles. Wes Wenzel (Sr., ILB, Portland, OR/Sunset HS) saw his first action for WU since suffering an injury on Oct. 6, and responded with seven tackles for the Bearcats.

Wright topped the Linfield defense with seven tackles. Brynnan Hyland recorded six tackles for the Wildcats, with 3.5 tackles for losses, including 3.0 quarterback sacks.

On special teams for Willamette, Tyson Giza (Jr., CB, Salem, OR/Sprague HS) returned four kickoffs a total of 95 yards, including a 34-yard return. Taylor Wyman (So., RB/P, Bellevue, WA/Issaquah HS) kicked a 57-yard punt and placed two of punts inside the 20-yard line. Derby punted twice, including a long of 50 yards.

Josh Repp of Linfield kicked a 50-yard punt and placed two punts inside the 20. Chad Coburn returned three punts a total of 25 yards for the Wildcats.

Willamette will play at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Ore., on Saturday, Nov. 3. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. (PDT).

BOX SCORE

Linfield College 45
Willamette University 10

Photo gallery
(By Naomi Stukey, Photographer for Willamette Athletics)

Cody Pastorino, shown here intercepting a pass earlier this season, blocked the seventh kick of his career during a Linfield punt on Saturday.

Cody Pastorino, shown here intercepting a pass earlier this season, blocked the seventh kick of his career during a Linfield punt on Saturday.