GNACSports.com
Cats March Into Second Week Of GNAC Play As Winners
Azusa Pacific's Tyrone Williams, Jr., was named the GNAC Offensive Player of the Week after he passed for three touchdowns and rushed for two more in the 58-14 win over Simon Fraser.
Azusa Pacific's Tyrone Williams, Jr., was named the GNAC Offensive Player of the Week after he passed for three touchdowns and rushed for two more in the 58-14 win over Simon Fraser.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

In the first week of the GNAC season, it was no surprise that Azusa Pacific and Central Washington emerged as the top cats.

Both teams opened conference play by posting high-scoring performances, continuing a trend both teams set last year. Azusa Pacific handed Simon Fraser a dose of reality in Glendora, Calif., going off for 541 yards of total offense to beat the Clan 58-14.

The game produced two of the conference’s three Players of the Week. Sophomore quarterback Tyrone Williams, Jr., earned the offensive honor after he completed 21 of 27 passes for 301 yards and three touchdowns while rushing for 62 yards and two more scores.
On defense, sophomore cornerback Josh Olave was honored after he came up with two of APU’s three interceptions. Both picks would eventually result in scores.

Not all was bad for Simon Fraser, who finished with a respectable 301 yards of total offense. Junior running back Jason Nelson caught six passes from quarterback Miles Richardson for 61 yards and saw Richardson and Justin Sieber combine to complete 23 of 40 passes.

In Monmouth, Central Washington took out the frustration of a season-opening loss at Eastern Washington on host Western Oregon, limiting the Wolves to two touchdowns in a 50-17 victory. Senior quarterback Reilly Hennessey completed 17 of 28 passes for 275 yards and a touchdown. Sophomore defensive back Chaz McKenzie earned Special Teams Player of the Week honors after he blocked a first-quarter field goal and ran it back for a touchdown.

The bright spot for the WOU offense was freshman running back Omari Land, who carried 20 times for 110 yards. Junior linebacker Nathaniel Proctor, Jr., paced the defense with 11 tackles.

This week, Western Oregon hosts its third straight game as it welcomes Azusa Pacific to town. Humboldt State opens its final GNAC campaign at Central Washington in a game that will be played in Yakima, Washington as improvements to Tomlinson Stadium are still being completed. Simon Fraser will travel to former GNAC foe South Dakota Mines for a non-conference tilt.

THIS WEEK'S GNAC PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
OFFENSIVE
Tyrone Williams, Jr., Azusa Pacific
QB • 6-4 • Sophomore • Merced, Calif.

In the Cougars’ 58-14 win at home over Simon Fraser on Saturday, Williams completed 21 of 27 passes for 301 yards and rushed 11 times for 62 yards and two more touchdowns. He finished with 363 yards of total offense and played a role in all five of APU’s offensive touchdowns.

Also Nominated: Reilly Hennessey (Central Washington), Jason Nelson (Simon Fraser), Omari Land (Western Oregon).

DEFENSIVE
Josh Olave, Azusa Pacific
CB • 5-10 • Sophomore • San Ysidro, Calif.

Olave led the Cougars’ solid defensive effort against Simon Fraser with two interceptions for 26 yards. He had two of the team’s three interceptions, all of which eventually resulted in touchdowns. Olave added three tackles and a pass breakup.

Also Nominated: Tyren Sams (Central Washington), Shane Ward (Simon Fraser), Nate Proctor, Jr. (Western Oregon).

SPECIAL TEAMS
Chaz McKenzie, Central Washington
DB • 5-7 • Sophomore • Federal Way, Wash.

In addition to his five tackles and a forced fumble, McKenzie blocked a first-quarter field goal and returned it 65 yards for a touchdown. It was the first touchdown for the Wildcats in their 50-17 win in the GNAC opener at Western Oregon.

Also Nominated: Jacob Hall (Azusa Pacific), Curtis Anderson (Western Oregon).

AROUND THE GNAC
AZUSA PACIFIC
LAST WEEK: Sept. 8: Beat Simon Fraser, 58-14
THIS WEEK: Sept. 15: at Western Oregon, 1:05 p.m.

• Azusa Pacific rattled off an impressive 541 yards of total offense, including 329 passing yards, as the Cougars improved to 2-0 with a 58-14 rout of Simon Fraser.

• Sophomore quarterback Tyrone Williams, Jr. was named the GNAC Offensive Player of the Week after he amassed 363 yards of total offense in the game and had a role in all five APU offensive touchdowns. Williams completed 21 of 27 passes for 301 yards and three touchdowns while rushing 11 times for 62 yards and two scores. Williams enters the week leading the GNAC and ranked 37th in Division II with 262.5 yards of total offense per game. He is also 19th in Division II in points responsible for (36) and is second in the GNAC with 211 passing yards per game.

• Sophomore cornerback Josh Olave picked up Defensive Player of the Week honors after he had two of the Cougars’ three interceptions in the contest, both of which would later result in touchdowns. Olave also had five tackles and a pass breakup. Olave is tied for first in the GNAC and tied for seventh in Division II with one interception per game.

• The Cougars’ other two touchdowns were on defense. Sophomore defensive tackle Robbie Polimeni had APU’s other interception, which he returned 54 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter. Freshman defensive back Cole Anderson also had a 31-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown late in the third quarter. Azusa Pacific is second in Division II with the two defensive touchdowns.

• Senior kicker Jacob Hall had a perfect day, going 7 for 7 on point-after attempts and 3 for 3 in field goal attempts, including a long of 50 yards in the fourth quarter. Hall is 32nd in Division II with an .800 field goal percentage and leads the GNAC in total points scored with 16.

• Azusa Pacific enters the week leading the GNAC and ranked 33rd in Division II in total offense with 449 yards per game. The Cougars also lead the GNAC in both rushing (224 yards per game) and passing (225 yards per game) and rank 30th in Division II in rushing offense. Defensively, APU is first in the GNAC and 35th in Division II with 303.5 yards allowed per game and are fifth in Division II with five interceptions.

• Azusa Pacific is second among teams receiving votes in this week’s AFCA Division II Coaches Poll, picking up 64 points.

• Azusa Pacific plays its first road game of the season this Saturday, traveling to Western Oregon.

CENTRAL WASHINGTON
LAST WEEK: Sept. 8: Won at Western Oregon, 50-17
THIS WEEK: Sept. 15: Hosts Humboldt State, 4 p.m. (at Zaepfel Stadium, Yakima, Wash.)

• Playing its first Division II game of the season, Central Washington went off for 281 yards passing and 441 yards of total offense in a 50-17 win at Western Oregon.

• With the victory, Central Washington climbed one spot to No. 15 in this week’s AFCA Division II Coaches Poll.

• Sophomore defensive back Chaz McKenzie was named the GNAC Special Teams Player of the Week for his effort to block a first quarter Western Oregon field goal and return the ball 35 yards for a touchdown. It was the Wildcats’ first touchdown of the game and started a run of 21 unanswered points scored by CWU. McKenzie also finished with five tackles, two for loss.

• Senior quarterback Reilly Hennessey completed 17 of 28 passes for 275 yards and threw for a touchdown to pace the CWU offensive efforts. He enters the week leading the GNAC in passing with 219.5 yards per game and ranks 45th in Division II with 18 completions per game.

• Hennessey spread his production between seven different receivers. Freshman wide receiver Ryan Ramones led the way, making six catches for 134 yards while freshman wide receiver Quentin Lewis caught four for 55 yards and a touchdown.

• Junior linebacker Joshua Wikel was a one-man wrecking crew for CWU on defense, making 11 solo tackles to go along with two tackles for loss, one sack and a fumble recovery. Wikel is third in the GNAC with 10 tackles per game and ranks fourth in Division II with 9.5 solo tackles per contest.

• Central Washington enters the week second in the GNAC in total offense, averaging 381 yards per game. The Wildcats are second in Division II with a turnover margin of 2.5 and fifth in Division II with seven turnovers gained. Their .900 conversion percentage in the red zone is 34th nationally.

• The Wildcats host Humboldt State on Saturday in a game that will be played at Zaepfel Stadium in Yakima, Wash.

HUMBOLDT STATE
LAST WEEK: Idle
THIS WEEK: Sept. 15: at Central Washington, 4 p.m. (at Yakima, Wash.)
 
• Humboldt State enjoyed a bye last weekend. The Lumberjacks open their final GNAC season this Saturday at Central Washington.

• Humboldt State opened its season on the road on Sept. 1. The Lumberjacks could not overcome a run of five straight touchdowns by Midwestern State in the first half in taking a 55-12 loss. The Humboldt offense was limited by a stout Midwestern State defense, finishing with 294 yards of total offense with 188 yards coming in the passing game.

• Junior quarterback Joey Sweeney showed well in his debut, completing 18 of 26 passes for 159 yards. Sweeney enters the week ranked fourth in the GNAC in passing yards and tied for 45th in Division II with 18 completions per game.

• Senior kicker Jose Morales accounted for half of the Lumberjacks’ points, making a 33-yard field goal with 8:30 left in the first quarter and a 40-yard field goal with 1:10 left in the game. Morales is tied for sixth in Division II with two field goals made per game.

• Humboldt’s lone touchdown came courtesy of sophomore safety Adam Herrera, who ran a late second-quarter interception back 44 yards for the score. Herrera is tied for first in the GNAC and seventh in Division II with one interception per game.

• Humboldt State enters the week averaging 294 yards per game. The Lumberjacks rank 18th in Division II in time of possession (35:20) and third in fewest penalties (4).

SIMON FRASER
LAST WEEK: Sept. 8: Lost at Azusa Pacific, 58-14
THIS WEEK: Sept. 15: at South Dakota Mines, 5 p.m.

• After scoring 54 points the week before, Simon Fraser was limited to just two touchdowns by a stout Azusa Pacific defense in a 58-14 loss in Glendora, Calif.

• Even with the solid defensive effort, the Clan was able to amass 301 yards of total offense, which was almost evenly split between passing and rushing. Senior quarterback Miles Richardson led the way, completing 15 of 31 passes for 115 yards and rushing nine times for 56 yards and a touchdown. His touchdown came on a 29-yard run early in the second quarter. Richardson is fourth in the GNAC in total offense with 170.5 yards per game.

• Junior running back Jason Nelson led the SFU rushing attack, carrying 16 times for 76 yards. Nelson enters the week ranked second in the GNAC with 71 rushing yards per game and fifth with 69.5 all-purpose yards per game.

• Richardson spread the passing offense between eight different receivers. Freshman wide receiver Devin O’Hea led the way, catching six passes for 61 yards. O’Hea is second in the GNAC in receiving yards with 60.5 per game.

• Sophomore linebacker Shane Ward led the SFU defense with 10 tackles, one tackle for loss and a forced fumble. Sophomore linebacker Griffin Barrett and sophomore defensive back Shea Carstens each had eight tackles.

• Simon Fraser enters the week second in the GNAC and 36th in scoring offense, averaging 36 points per game. The Clan is 36th in Division II in rushing defense, allowing 101.5 yards per game, and is 31st in first downs with 44.

• The Clan will play a non-conference game at South Dakota Mines on Saturday.

WESTERN OREGON
LAST WEEK: Sept. 8: Lost to Central Washington, 50-17
THIS WEEK: Sept. 15: Hosts Azusa Pacific, 1:05 p.m.
 
• Azusa Pacific limited Western Oregon to just two touchdowns as the Wolves dropped to 0-2 on the season with a 50-17 loss to the Cougars in both teams’ GNAC opener.

• Western Oregon finished with 343 yards of total offense, but made it into the red zone just once. That trip resulted in an Adrian Saldana 32-yard field goal in the first quarter.

• Junior quarterback Ty Currie completed 11 of 25 passes for 125 yards and a touchdown while throwing two interceptions. He also carried 14 times for 65 yards. His lone touchdown pass was a 44-yard strike to freshman wide receiver Anthony Bradley with 5:20 left in the first half. Currie is third in the GNAC in passing, averaging 200.5 yards per game.

• Bradley paced the work of eight WOU receivers in the game, catching three passes for 58 yards. He enters the week ranked 10th in the GNAC with 29 receiving yards per game.

• Freshman running back Omari Land finished with 122 all-purpose yards, rushing 20 times for 110 yards and catching one pass for 12 yards. Land is tied for eighth in the GNAC with 61 all-purpose yards per game and fifth in rushing with 55 yards per game.

• Junior linebacker Nathaniel Proctor, Jr., led the defense with 11 tackles, including six solo tackles, and one tackle for loss. Proctor leads the GNAC and is 31st in Division II with 11.5 tackles per game and is 24th in Division II with seven solo tackles per game.

• Western Oregon enters the week averaging 328 total offense yards per game. The Wolves rank 16th in Division II punt returns, averaging 18.5 yards per return.

• The Wolves finish a string of three home games to open the season on Saturday, hosting Azusa Pacific.

Copyright ©2021 Great Northwest Athletic Conference. All Rights Reserved. GNACSports.com