Giza is Selected as NWC Special Teams Student-Athlete of the Week

Returns a Missed Field Goal 62 Yards to Set Up a Touchdown

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Tyson Giza (Jr., CB, Salem, OR/Sprague HS) from Willamette University has been chosen Northwest Conference Football Special Teams Student-Athlete of the Week for his efforts in the Bearcats' 56-20 victory over Lewis & Clark College on Saturday, Oct. 13. Willamette improved to 6-0 overall, 2-0 in the NWC.

Giza gained a total of 149 return yards against the Pioneers. He returned four kickoffs for an average of 21.8 yards per return. He also returned a missed field goal 62 yards to set up Willamette's go-ahead touchdown in the third quarter.

He caught the missed field goal near the back of the end zone and returned it to the Lewis & Clark 38-yard line with 10:13 left in the third quarter. The return officially covered 62 yards because NCAA statistics do not count the end zone yardage.

Following Giza's lengthy return, the Bearcats needed just six plays to score a touchdown and take a 21-14 lead. The touchdown was an 8-yard pass from Josh Dean (Jr., QB, Dana Point, CA/Dana Hills HS) to Michael Hernandez (Jr., RB, Lodi, CA/Tokay HS). The return by Giza plus the touchdown by Hernandez gave Willamette momentum that led to the 36-point win.

For the season, Giza has averaged 19.9 yards on 11 kickoff returns. His missed field goal return against L&C counted as miscellaneous yardage.

Willamette, ranked #19 in the AFCA Coaches Poll and #22 in the D3football.com Top 25, play a Northwest Conference road game against Pacific Lutheran University on Saturday, Oct. 20. Kickoff is slated for 12:30 p.m. (PDT) in Puyallup, Wash.

Giza achieved 149 return yards against Lewis & Clark, including 62 yards returning a missed field goal attempt.

Giza achieved 149 return yards against Lewis & Clark, including 62 yards returning a missed field goal attempt.