Oct 14, 2017

No. 21 Bruins Blow By Bearcats In Record Breaking Game

A Winning Tradition

 
  • One post-season appearance (1960 Crusader Bowl)
  • 20 All-NWC Athletes 
  • 6 NWC Student-Athlete of the Week Awards 
  • 2 D3Football.com Team of the Week (Justin Leatherman, 2014; Lenana Meekisho, 2015)
  • 1 D3Football.com All-West Region Team (Nolan Schuler, 2016)
  • 2 NSCA All-American (Justin Kruse, 2015; Dane Jensen, 2017)
  • 2 NFL Draft Picks 
 

Photo Taken By: Kevin Cline

NEWBERG, Ore. --- After cracking the Top 25 for the first time in the program's history, the No. 21 Bruins didn't disappoint Saturday in a decisive 58-12 victory over the Willamette Bearcats.

Recap:

The 58-12 victory breaks two school records – the first being the most points scored, and the second being highest margin of victory (46). The original record was set last season against Lewis & Clark in a 52-13 road win.

The high powered Bruin defense was in prime form after the opening kickoff, forcing the Bearcats to a 3-and-out. George Fox wasted no time finding the end zone using just three minutes on its opening possession. Grant Schroeder connected with James Nguyen on the ninth play for a 7-yard touchdown catch.

After a couple of defensive stops, the Bruins were back on the attack. A 36-yard run by Anthony Garcia kicked off the Bruins' third drive of the game to put the Bruins near the redzone. Garcia continued to move the Bruins on the ground with another 18-yard run to give the home team a first-and-goal. A little trickery was needed on the next play, as Garcia lateraled the ball to wide receiver Evan Nelson, who threw a pass to Schroeder for the 9-yard touchdown.

Willamette cut the deficit in the second quarter with a 13-yard touchdown, but George Fox responded moments later with a 24-yard field goal from Jason Santoni.

With time winding down in the first half, the Bearcats slowly made their way downfield. A couple of completions put the Bearcats on the Bruins 21 with only 30 seconds left on the game clock. Willamette cut the deficit on the next play with a 21-yard touchdown to bring the score within five.

George Fox went into the half with a 17-12 lead.

The third quarter proved why the Bruins are a top-ranked team, as they scored the most points in a single quarter this season with 27 points.

Schroeder got the Bruin faithful back into the game with a 23-yard rushing touchdown. Justin Kruse forced a sack and a fumble on the Bearcats next possession to give the Bruins the ball back on the 9-yard line.

Wesley Riddell pounded it home for the 9-yard touchdown, and the Bruins were suddenly up 30-12. The Bruins' defense continued to force the Bearcats to lean on their punter for the entire quarter. In fact, the Bruins held the Bearcats to just 15 plays in the quarter, while forcing three turnovers.

The biggest turnover came from Rudy Hughes, who intercepted the ball at Willamette's 28 and returned it to the 1-yard line. Garcia was stopped on the first play for a loss of four, but bullied his way into the end zone on the next play for a 5-yard touchdown.

The fourth quarter was nearly as fruitful as the third, as Bruins' Garcia and Tanner Aliff both crossed the end zone. Aliff's touchdown marked his first of his collegiate career.

The Bruins finished the game with 484 yards of total offense, while holding the Bearcats to 242 yards. George Fox also finished the game with zero penalties.

Top Performers:

Grant Schroeder finished the game with a passing touchdown, a receiving touchdown and two rushing touchdowns. Anthony Garcia led the rushing game with 10 carries for a career-high 123 yards and two touchdowns. Wesley Riddell recorded nine attempts for 85 yards and a score. Brad Lander led the receiving group with four catches for 41 yards.

As for the kicking game, Jason Santoni recorded 10 points for the Bruins, going 7-8 in extra points and 1-1 in field goals. He also pinned the Bearcats inside their own 20 three times.

Defensively, Charles Riga finished with 15 tackles, half a sack and 1.5 tackles for a loss. Trevor Theissen managed to tally six tackles, while Ryan Russo and Rudy Hughes both grabbed interceptions.

What It Means:

The Bruins improve to 5-1 on the season and 3-0 in the NWC. The five wins by the Bruins ties the school record for most wins in a single-season.

What Comes Next:

The Bruins have a Top 25 showdown against No. 7 Linfield Saturday, Oct. 21, in McMinnville, Oregon, with kickoff set for 1:30pm. George Fox will provide free audio of that game found at this link.