Cougars outlast Wildcats

Chance Weeks-Williams, Sports Editor

It was a tale of two halves as Central Washington lost to Azusa Pacific 20-27 after being down by 20 points in the first half. APU running back Terrell Watson was the workhorse for the Cougars, leading all rushers in the game with 256 rushing yards on 26 carries.

Central Washington dug themselves in an early hole after turning the ball over twice in their first two offensive plays. The first turnover was an interception thrown by Jake Nelson, followed by an Ishmael Stinson fumble on the following series.

In the first half, the Cougars had outgained the Wildcats 343 yards to 93. 202 of those yards came from Terrell Watson on the ground.

“I feel like the more and more we pound any defense they get tired,” Watson said. “They’re human too.”

In the next half the Wildcats played like a different team, they did not allow the Cougars to score and held Watson to 54 yards.

“I feel like we could have played a lot better,” junior linebacker Mitch Haldane said. “We have some bright spots, I still think that we have a lot of potential for our team.”

Sean McDonald added a 29-yard field goal late in the third quarter to make it 27-10 going into the fourth.

The final score of the game was an 87-yard bomb from Jake Nelson to Kent McKinney, which is the longest play from scrimmage in Central’s history as a Division II school.

Special teams was the spotlight for the Wildcats the entire game. Isaiah Davis and Jesse Zalk had punt returns of over 40 yards. The Wildcats also blocked an extra point attempt as well as a field goal.

“I told them [special teams players] hey we’re leaning on you guys to get some field position,” head coach Ian Shoemaker said. “Coach Whitworth is doing good job making sure those guys are prepared.”

Injuries plagued the Wildcats as they lost sophomore lineman Josh Stolz early in the game with a leg injury. Later on, lineman Andrew Ulrich was carted off the field and was taken to the hospital.

“Stolz will have to get an MRI before we know anything.” Shoemaker said

The Wildcats will head to Rapid City, South Dakota next week to play South Dakota Mines at noon on Oct. 11.