CWU football improves to 5-0

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Players enter through the tunnel.

Players enter through the tunnel.

Photo By Xander Fu

Photo By Xander Fu

Players enter through the tunnel.

Simo Rul, Senior Sports Reporter

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Photo By Xander Fu
Players enter through the tunnel.

CWU football defeated Simon Fraser University (SFU) 62-0 and improved to 5-0 going into their homecoming matchup against No.17 Humboldt State University this Saturday on Oct. 7. After their win, the Wildcats moved up three spots, to No. 13 in the national rankings. CWU came away victorious in both meetings against Humboldt last year. Their first victory was a 42-17 win in California, then the Wildcats followed that up with a 37-30 win to close out their season.  

To prepare to face Humboldt, the team has been working on stopping the run, and being physical and dominant on both sides of the ball. They want to be efficient on third downs and be able to convert but also be able to stop them on third downs.

“Obviously, we appreciate the fans, the band, all the people that come, and the families,” head coach Ian Shoemaker said. “Having home games is huge. It’s nice to get our first one out of the way, and move into Homecoming next week, but the win is the most important thing for us; to be 1-0 next week would be a huge step forward.”

This is a high-power matchup with both teams starting off undefeated. CWU and Humboldt are both at the top of the GNAC standings and both are in the top 20 in the national polls.

“We want every week to be the same prep and the same mindset,” Shoemaker said. “But, obviously you get a ranked opponent coming in against what we’re gonna be at ranking wise. I’m sure there is gonna be a little bit [of excitement and motivation], but that’s more for the crowd, the fans and the media. But, for us hopefully, it’s what our prep looks like and I think we had a great week of prep this week.”

Senior linebacker Kevin Haynes is second on the team in tackles with 33. Haynes appeared in both matchups against Humboldt last season. Haynes lead the team in tackles in the first game with seven and was tied for the most tackles in game two with 17.

“It’s always fun; atmosphere is always crazy,” Haynes said. “Every time we step on the field, we try to win Homecoming is always a lot more fun – just with the people and the events leading up to the game.”

Junior running back Christian Cummings has rushed for 100 yards or more in the previous three games. Cummings rushed for 183 yards against Simon Fraser, a high for this season. “It feels good that we can establish a solid running game that opens up all of our passing plays too. It gets everyone involved,” Cummings said.

The Wildcats have big goals in mind, but Saturday’s game will be their next big obstacle. Humboldt is the best team record-wise on CWU’s schedule up to this point.

“Of course because we got our set goal on a national championship,” Cummings said. “But first we gotta get the GNAC championship. They’re our closest competitor, so we gotta take them down. We got a little edge in our shoulders.”

Last week, CWU held SFU scoreless; this was the second shutout for the Wildcats in a row against SFU dating back to last year’s 41-0 victory on Nov. 5.

“I think the shutout is huge. It just shows that our guys performed at a high level and lived up to our expectations and our standards,” Shoemaker said. “That’s a huge one, to have a shutout and the stats we were able to hold them to is a pretty special day defensively.”

Humboldt brings a 4-0 record and a 3-0 conference record. The winner of the matchup will take over first place in the GNAC.

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CWU football improves to 5-0