Football contends for top GNAC spot

Austin Lane, Senior Sports Reporter

Wildcat football entered Saturday night looking to continue their winning streak and left Tomlinson Stadium with their biggest win of the season.  After a big 56-yard touchdown run by Michael Roots on the opening drive, the Wildcats never looked back, defeating Simon Fraser University (SFU) by a final score of 62-10.

The win moved CWU’s conference record to 4-1 on the season, still tied with Western Oregon University for the top spot in the GNAC. Head coach Chris Fisk thought the team played a “complete four quarters” in the win and was glad with the way the team executed.

“It really felt like we played a complete game,” Fisk said. “The guys played really well.”

The Wildcats offense fired on all cylinders, with Michael Roots running for three touchdowns and Christian Moore passing for four touchdowns and no interceptions. Taking care of the ball was an emphasis in the game.

“Zero turnovers is the goal, the receivers made some great grabs tonight and took care of the ball,” Moore said.

Roots tallied 221 yards on just 14 carries and surpassed 2,000 career yards at CWU. Roots continued to praise the offensive line for his big performances this season.

“The o-line gave me amazing holes. Everything starts with them, I can’t do what I do without them,” Roots said. “I put it all on those guys for creating holes for me and getting me a lane to run in … my yards are their yards.”

CWU finished with 573 yards on offense, 25 first downs and also scored at least 14 points every quarter. However, it wasn’t just the offense that performed well. On defense, the Wildcats held SFU to just 158 yards. Also,  SFU was 1-for-18 on third down conversions.

SFU wide reciever Rysen John, who leads the GNAC in receiving yards per game, was held to just 27 receiving yards. Fisk praised the play of the defensive backs for containing one of the bigger threats on the SFU offense.

“I thought our corners Marcus Shimmelfennig and Isaiah Williams played lights out tonight,” Fisk said. “Proud of those guys for how they stepped up tonight.”

Another defensive player that made an impact on the field was Billy Greer. The Wildcat linebacker finished with eight total tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks.

“We’re capable of executing at a really high level. As the coaches said, when we do that we play amazing,” Greer said. “We have a lot of really good players who we expect to do well all the time … we did our job today and it’s always impressive.”

Outside of the production from Roots and Moore, CWU scored two field goals off the foot of Patrick Hegarty, and added another six on a touchdown run by Eric Wilkes en route to 62 points, the highest score for the team so far this season.

CWU travels to Glendora, California this week to take on Azusa Pacific in their second-to-last GNAC game this season. The Wildcats took it to Azusa the last time the two teams met this season, winning 44-6. 

“[CWU] football history goes back a long ways. There’s a lot of really good players and coaches that have been here before we have and it’s our mission and our goal to make sure we uphold that standard that people set here a long time ago,” Fisk said. “We try to focus not on who we play but how we play.”