Wildcats deliver homecoming win, secure fourth straight GNAC championship

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Andrew Prouse, Staff Reporter

The Wildcats closed out homecoming week with a 53-21 win over Western Oregon University (WOU) Wolves. With the win, CWU secured their fourth straight Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC) football championship.

WOU got the ball to start the game. They went on a six play drive that resulted in a quick touchdown. The Wolves had an early 7-0 lead. While the CWU offense struggled on their first drive, which ended in a punt, the defense stepped up and helped out. Freshman safety Tanner Volk intercepted a Western Oregon pass at the goal line ending the drive and shifting the momentum back in CWU’s favor.  

CWU then went on a 14-play-drive which ended in a 39-yard field goal by redshirt junior kicker Patrick Hegarty. The score looked to remain at 7-3 in favor of WOU going into halftime

However, CWU had other plans. With 38 seconds left in the second quarter, redshirt freshman quarterback Quincy Glasper threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to redshirt sophomore receiver Darius Morrision. Graduate student tight end Isaac Crichton rushed for a successful 2-point conversion, to extend the CWU lead to 11-7 at half-time. 

CWU started the third quarter with the football, which resulted in a 12-play-drive that ended in a 2-yard rushing touchdown by Glasper extending the lead to 18-7. 

After a stop on defense the CWU offense got the ball back with 7:15 left in the third quarter.  Redshirt sophomore quarterback JJ Lemming subbed into the game, replacing Glasper, who got banged up on the previous CWU drive. The diagnosis of Glasper’s injury is not yet known. Lemming led the offense on a seven play drive and redshirt freshman running back Tyler Flanagan scored a 1-yard rushing touchdown, pushing the lead to 25-7 in favor of CWU.

CWU went on to score 28 points in the fourth quarter. The scoring started with a drive that ended in a trick play. Redshirt sophomore receiver Tai-John Mizutani caught a short pass behind the line of scrimmage then threw a 39-yard touchdown pass to redshirt senior receiver Tony Archie. This scoring play extended the Wildcats lead 32-7.

CWU and WOU punted on the next three combined drives. Graduate student defensive lineman Christian Penny came up with a big sack on third down to force the third straight punt possession. 

The Wildcats got the ball on the Wolves40 yard line. Lemming nearly got sacked but escaped a WOU rush. Lemming then threw a 40-yard pass to Morrison who found himself in the endzone for the second time in the game. This extended the lead to 39-7. 

WOU did not give up and scored a touchdown with less than eight minutes left in the game after a six play drive to cut the lead to 39-14. 

However, the Wildcats were not done scoring. On the next offensive drive, Lemming threw the ball to graduate student receiver JoJo Hillel for a 5-yard score. That was Lemming’s second touchdown pass of the game and extended the lead to 46-14. 

Each team would score a touchdown on their next drives and the game ended with a final score of 53-21. 

In a post game video interview on CWU’s football twitter, head coach Christopher Fisk commented on how the team performed. 

“Maybe [the game] wasn’t going our way in the first half,” Fisk said. We “had a little rust coming off the bye week.”

Fisk said the players themselves seemed to be able to make adjustments at halftime.

“For multiple weeks in a row I haven’t had to say anything at half time,” Fisk said. “We’ve got great leadership, great seniors. Great guys doing a great job. And so to watch our players take charge of it and go out and do what we did in the second half was impressive. I’m very proud.”

The Wildcats (5-2 3-0 GNAC) will host Lincoln University (1-5) on Oct. 30.