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History In SoCal For SFU, A Near Miss In Monmouth For WOU
In his second year as Simon Fraser head coach, Thomas Ford has led the Clan to a pair of wins and the program's first Division II victory since 2014.
In his second year as Simon Fraser head coach, Thomas Ford has led the Clan to a pair of wins and the program's first Division II victory since 2014.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

History was made in the GNAC last Saturday, but it was not where you expected it to be made.

Simon Fraser made that history as it snapped a 35-game losing streak in GNAC games with a 24-17 win at Azusa Pacific. The Clan trailed 10-0 at halftime, but proceeded to outscore the Cougars 24-7 in the second half while limiting APU to a paltry 208 yards of total offense on the night.

The last time Simon Fraser had a “W” in the conference win/loss column was a 53-31 win over South Dakota Mines on Oct. 18, 2014. That was also the Clan’s last win over an NCAA Division II opponent.

The contest yielded both the GNAC Offensive and Defensive Players of the Week, the first such awards since October 2018. Senior wide receiver Rysen John earned the offensive award for his 109 receiving yards and three touchdowns on eight receptions.

Freshman linebacker Ian Crocker earned the conference’s defensive honor as he finished with eight tackles, including five solo tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss for 20 yards and two sacks for 18 yards.

Western Oregon hoped to make history in Monmouth on Saturday by claiming a share of its first-ever GNAC championship. But Central Washington fought right down to the final play to make sure that didn’t happen.

After trailing 21-7 in the second quarter, the Wildcats fought back to tie the game 35-35 on a one-yard pass from Christian Moore to JoJo Hillel with 58 seconds left in regulation.

Michael Roots scored in the first overtime and Patrick Hegarty connected on the extra point before Currie found Evander Willingham for a one-yard pass in the Wolves’ possession. Western opted to go for the win with a two-point conversion, which the Wildcats stopped for the win.

For his efforts, Hegarty was named the GNAC Special Teams Player of the Week as he went 6 for 6 in extra points and punted five times with an average of 39.8 yards per punt.

Central Washington and Simon Fraser will engage in the only GNAC contest this week in Ellensburg on Saturday night. Azusa Pacific will host Colorado Mines and Western Oregon hosts Midwestern State.

THIS WEEK'S GNAC PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
OFFENSIVE
Rysen John, Simon Fraser
WR • 6-7 • Senior • Vancouver, B.C.

John finished with eight catches for 109 yards and three touchdowns to lead Simon Fraser to a 24-17 win over Azusa Pacific, the Clan’s first GNAC victory since 2014. John scored all three touchdowns in the second half, including the go-ahead score with one second left in the third quarter and one on a 25-yard reception from Brandon Niksich in the fourth quarter.

Also Nominated: Tony Archie (Central Washington), Ty Currie (Western Oregon).

DEFENSIVE
Ian Crocker, Simon Fraser
LB • 6-1 • Freshman • Seattle, Wash.

Crocker led the Simon Fraser defense with eight tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss for 20 yards and two sacks for 18 yards as the Clan limited Azusa Pacific to 208 yards of total offense in a 24-17 win over the Cougars on the road.

Also Nominated: Marcus Schimmelfennig (Central Washington), Joey Sinclair (Western Oregon).

SPECIAL TEAMS
Patrick Hegarty, Central Washington
P/K • 6-4 • Sophomore • Ferndale, Wash.

Hegarty played a critical role in the punting game in the Wildcats’ 42-41 overtime win at Western Oregon. He punted five times, averaging 39.8 yards per punt with a long punt of 49 yards and two punts inside the 20-yard line.

Also Nominated: Andrew Gross (Western Oregon).

AROUND THE GNAC
AZUSA PACIFIC
LAST WEEK: Oct. 19: Lost to Simon Fraser, 24-17
THIS WEEK: Oct. 26: vs. Colorado Mines, 6:30 p.m.

• Azusa Pacific was limited to just 208 yards of total offense and was outscored 24-7 in the second half in taking a 24-17 loss to Simon Fraser at Citrus Stadium.

• The Cougars finished with 144 passing yards on the game, but saw both touchdowns scored on rushing plays. Junior quarterback Anthony Catalano completed 7 of 16 passes for 87 yards and rushed 12 times for 26 yards and a touchdown. Junior Tyrone Williams, Jr., completed 3 of 7 passes for 57 yards. Williams ranks third in the GNAC with 161.6 yards of total offense per game and 164.6 passing yards per game. Catalano is fourth with 139.5 total offense yards and 103.7 passing yards per game.

• Junior running back Gil’Scott Jackson also had 26 yards on six carries while senior running back Josh Grandison had the other touchdown on a 1-yard scoring run in the fourth quarter.

• The Cougars had some solid efforts in the return game. Junior running back Dante Davis had three kick returns for 52 yards and a long return of 31 yards. Sophomore wide receiver Adam Schwab returned two punts for 46 yards, including a long return of 44 yards.

• Sophomore linebacker Micah Roth and junior linebacker Lucas Olgiati each had nine tackles in the contest, with Roth coming up with seven solo tackles. The Cougars finished with 11 tackles for loss, including 3.5 tackles for loss for junior defensive lineman Joe Marino.

• Azusa Pacific enters the week averaging 338.7 total offense yards per game and 21.7 points per game. The Cougars are third in the GNAC with both 240.8 passing yards per game and 97.8 rushing yards per game. Azusa Pacific leads the GNAC and is 25th in Division II in net punting, averaging 37.2 yards per punt. Individually, freshman kicker Ramzee Jaridly is 26th in Division II with 1.17 field goals per game.

• Azusa Pacific will return to non-conference play this weekend, hosting Colorado Mines on Saturday.

CENTRAL WASHINGTON
LAST WEEK: Oct. 19: Won at Western Oregon, 42-41 (OT)
THIS WEEK: Oct. 26: vs. Simon Fraser, 6 p.m.

• Central Washington bounced back from a 21-7 second-quarter deficit to force overtime and then proceeded to snuff a two-point conversion attempt by Western Oregon to escape Monmouth with a 42-41 victory.

• The Wildcats forced overtime with a pair of fourth-quarter scores with sophomore quarterback Christian Moore tying it on his 12-yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver JoJo Hillel with 58 seconds left in regulation and the extra point by sophomore Patrick Hegarty. Central scored on the first possession of overtime on a 1-yard run by senior running back Michael Roots before stopping a two-point conversion after the Wolves’ touchdown on their possession.

• Central Washington finished with 503 yards of total offense in the game, 332 of which came in the air. Moore completed 32 of 52 passes for 332 yards and threw for four touchdowns. Moore enters the week averaging 244.6 passing yards per game and ranks 25th in Division II with his 14 passing touchdowns.

• Junior wide receiver Tony Archie had a big game, making 11 catches for 131 yards and a touchdown with a long reception of 28 yards. Archie is second in the GNAC with 76.1 receiving yards per game. Sophomore wide receiver Tyson Rainwater made six catches for 84 yards. He is third in the GNAC with 74.4 receiving yards per game.  

• Roots was quieter in the rushing game but effective as he carried the ball 13 times for 71 yards and the overtime touchdown. Roots leads the GNAC and is eighth in Division II with 125 rushing yards per game. He is also seventh in Division II with 875 rushing yards and tied for 17th with eight rushing touchdowns.

• Hegarty was named the GNAC Special Teams Player for the Week for his work in the kicking game. He went 6 for 6 on extra-point attempts and punted five times for 199 yards, averaging 39.8 yards per punt.

• Senior linebacker Grady Graff, senior defensive back Marcus Schimmelfennig and sophomore linebacker Daeon Hudson each had seven tackles to lead the CWU defense. Schimmelfennig also had one of the Wildcats’ three interceptions with a 22-yard return. Sophomore defensive back Cody O’Connell and junior defensive back Isaiah Williams had the other two picks.

• Central Washington leads the GNAC and is eighth in Division II with 500.7 yards of total offense per game. The Wildcats lead the GNAC and rank sixth in Division II with 313.1 passing yards per game. Central also leads the GNAC in scoring offense (35.4 points per game), first downs (171) and kickoff returns (22.8 yards per return) while ranking 10th in Division II in first downs, 26th in passing yards per completion (15.99) and 29th in scoring offense.

• Central Washington plays its final GNAC home game of the season on Saturday, hosting Simon Fraser.

SIMON FRASER
LAST WEEK: Oct. 19: Won at Azusa Pacific, 24-17
THIS WEEK: Oct. 26: at Central Washington, 6:30 p.m.

• Simon Fraser limited Azusa Pacific to 208 yards of total offense and put up 235 yards in passing offense to score a landmark 24-17 win over Azusa Pacific at Citrus Stadium.

• The victory snapped a 35-game GNAC losing streak. The Clan’s last conference win was a 53-31 win at South Dakota Mines on Oct. 18, 2014. It was just Simon Fraser’s second win over Azusa Pacific in either school’s NCAA Division II era.

• Senior wide receiver Rysen John was named the GNAC Offensive Player of the Week after he caught eight passes for 109 yards and three touchdowns. All three of the touchdowns came in the second half and included the go-ahead score with one second left in the third quarter. John leads the GNAC and is 30th in Division II with 86.2 receiving yards per game.

• Freshman linebacker Ian Crocker earned the Defensive Player of the Week as he led the Clan with eight tackles, including five solo tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss for 20 yards and two sacks for 18 yards. He played a big role in Simon Fraser’s 10 tackles for loss and five sacks. Crocker is tied for eighth in the GNAC with six tackles per game and is fifth with one tackle for loss per game.

• Freshman quarterback Brandon Niksich completed 22 of 32 passes for 235 yards and the three touchdowns. He leads the GNAC and is 16th in Division II with 265.5 passing yards per game. Niksich also ranks 21st in Division II with 20.5 completions per game and 29th with 1,593 total passing yards.

• Freshman cornerback Solomon Hines led the rushing game with 63 yards on 11 carries and also had three kickoff returns for 57 yards. Freshman cornerback Mason Glover carried 17 times for 54 yards. Hines is fourth in the GNAC with 83 all-purpose yards per game and fifth with 38.6 rushing yards per game.

• Simon Fraser enters the week averaging 313.4 yards of total offense per game and is second in the GNAC with 261.4 passing yards per game. The Clan ranks second in the GNAC in total defense (481.1 yards allowed per game) and pass defense (248.3 yards allowed per game).

• Simon Fraser will try to even its conference record on Saturday night, playing at Central Washington.

WESTERN OREGON
LAST WEEK: Oct. 19: Lost to Central Washington, 42-41 (OT)
THIS WEEK: Oct. 26: vs. Midwestern State, 1:05 p.m.
 
• Western Oregon fought off a second-half comeback by Central Washington to force overtime, but could not equal the Wildcats in overtime as a two-point conversion attempt fell short in a 42-41 overtime loss in Monmouth.

• The Wolves led 21-7 early in the second quarter before the Wildcats stormed back to tie it with 58 seconds left in the fourth quarter. After CWU scored on the opening possession of overtime, senior quarterback Ty Currie found junior tight end Evander Willingham for a one-yard touchdown pass, but could not complete the two-point conversion for the win. The loss snapped a four-game win streak.

• Currie finished by completing 12 of 27 passes for 242 yards and four touchdowns, but was intercepted three times. All three of his scoring passes came in the first half. He also carried 10 times for 93 yards and a touchdown. Currie leads the GNAC and is 26th in Division II with 267 yards of total offense per game. He is second in the GNAC with 195.4 passing yards per game. Currie is sixth in Division II with 15.91 passing yards per completion, 12th with 130 points responsible for and 14th with 18.6 points responsible for per game.

• Sophomore wide receiver Jarren Ford was Currie’s top target, catching three passes for 121 yards. He had a 75-yard reception for a touchdown on the opening drive of the game.

• Sophomore running back Omari Land rushed for over 100 yards for the fourth time this season, carrying 16 times for 104 yards. Land is second in the GNAC and 28th in Division II with 640 rushing yards and is averaging 91.4 rushing yards per game. Land is also tied for 17th in Division II with eight rushing touchdowns.

• Senior linebacker Nate Proctor, Jr., led the WOU defense with 10 tackles, including nine solo tackles, one tackle for loss, one sack and a forced fumble. Proctor is fifth in the GNAC with 6.7 tackles per game. Sophomore defensive back Joey Sinclair had both of Western Oregon’s interceptions and now has three on the season, ranking third in the GNAC.

• Western Oregon leads the GNAC and is 16th in Division II with 244.1 rushing yards per game. The Wolves rank second in the GNAC and 25th in Division II with 447.4 total offense yards per game. Defensively, WOU leads the GNAC in scoring defense (30.1 points allowed per game), rushing defense (130.6 yards allowed per game), passing defense (237.1 yards allowed per game) and total defense (367.7 yards allowed per game).

• Western Oregon finishes the season with home games in four of the final five weeks. The homestand continues with a Saturday non-conference matchup with Midwestern State.

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