Bringing it home on homecoming

Nick Jahnke, Sports Editor

Wildcat football left Tomlinson Stadium on Saturday night with their second win under their belt. The Wildcats nearly shut down the Azusa Pacific University Cougars with the final score of 44-6. 

Samantha Cabeza

The homecoming win was owed in part to big plays being made early and often. Both offense and defense were firing on all cylinders, gaining 667 yards on the Cougars while only giving up 287. 

Quarterback Christian Moore went 26-37 on pass completion, dominating the air game and showcasing his awareness in and out of the pocket. 

“I’ve got to praise my whole line, my running backs [and] my receivers,” Moore said. “They made a ton of plays tonight and my O-line gave me a ton of time to throw.”

Moore found the hands of his receiver and roommate Tyson Rainwater on 10 occasions. Rainwater scored three of five touchdowns and gained 177 yards. Moore said he and Rainwater workout together everyday and he was happy to get to ball with him.

Head coach Chris Fisk said Moore is finding the consistency that he hadn’t shown through fall camp and the beginning of the season. He said as familiarity grows between Moore and his coaches, they can identify his strengths and play to them.

“I don’t think Christian is going to break any 90 yard runs,” Fisk said. “But he’s a handful as you saw tonight. In a 10 yard box, he’s hard to tackle and a lot like Reilly Hennessey was.”

The Wildcats’ defense proved early on that they would be too much for the Cougars’ offense. On the opening drive, defensive back Tyren Sams made an easy interception in Wildcat territory. The offense was able to capitalize on the turnover, marching 70 yards and scoring the first points of the game. 

“Honestly, we kind of played that wrong,” Sams said. “But then I saw his eyes and then made a play.”

The Wildcats’ momentum continued to build on both sides of the ball after the opening drives. The offense put 17 points on the board with the help of a rock solid defense that only allowed a single touchdown. The Cougars PAT kick was blocked, locking in a score of 24-6 going into halftime. 

The beatings persisted into the second half as the Wildcat defense stopped the Cougars from finding the end zone or the up-rights for the duration of the game. This opened things up for the offense which went on to score three additional touchdowns and secure the win.

Going into week seven, the Wildcats will take on Western Oregon University for the second time this season. The game ended in a Wildcat loss with a final score of 26-36.

“I think our kids are disappointed in the way we played that night and the physicality that we played with. They’ll be very excited to be back here Monday,” Fisk said.