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Western Oregon Last GNAC Team To Make The Voyage Home
Western Oregon's Omari Land earned GNAC Offensive Player of the Week honors for his 209 rushing yards and two touchdowns at Simon Fraser.
Western Oregon's Omari Land earned GNAC Offensive Player of the Week honors for his 209 rushing yards and two touchdowns at Simon Fraser.

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

When Western Oregon takes the field on Saturday against West Texas A&M, it will have been 686 days since the Wolves have played in front of their home crowd.

And after playing the entire month of September on the road, WOU hopes that it will parlay some of the momentum that it built last weekend into some wins over the next six games.

Western Oregon closed the four-game season-opening road trip on Saturday with a 24-7 victory at Simon Fraser in WOU’s first conference game of the season. The game was close at the half, with the Wolves leading 7-0 before outscoring SFU 17-7 in the final 30 minutes to secure the victory.

The ground game accounted for 330 of the Wolves’ 412 yards of total offense, led by junior running back Omari Land’s 209 yards on 25 carries with two touchdowns. The effort earned Land selection as the GNAC Offensive Player of the Week.

Junior Marquis Sampson earned GNAC Special Teams Player of the Week accolades for his prowess in the return game, running back five punts for 56 yards and the opening kickoff of the second half for 52 yards.

With the four-game road trip in the rear-view mirror, Western Oregon will play four of its final six games at McArthur Field.

Simon Fraser played its last two games at home and will be on the road for the remainder of the season. This Saturday’s scheduled home game against UT-Permian Basin was canceled, which means SFU will not play until traveling to Montana State-Northern on October 16.

Central Washington made its 2021 home debut on Saturday after three weeks on the road, locking horns in a defensive struggle with Angelo State. The Wildcats held the Rams to 258 yards of total offense but all of the scoring that CWU could find was three Patrick Hegarty field goals in a 14-9 loss.

Senior Donte Hamilton was named the GNAC Defensive Player of the Week for the second straight week after he made nine tackles, including 3.5 tackles for loss, two sacks, a fumble recovery and two pass breakups.

Central Washington will face another stiff Lone Star Conference foe this weekend, hosting No. 11 Midwestern State.

THIS WEEK'S GNAC PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
OFFENSIVE
Omari Land, Western Oregon
RB • 5-11 • Junior • Oakland, Calif.

Land posted the conference’s second 200-plus rushing yard performance of the season, carrying 25 times for 209 yards and two touchdowns in the Wolves’ 24-7 victory at Simon Fraser. He scored the game’s opening touchdown on a one-yard run in the second quarter and then broke off a 42-yard scoring run on the first drive of the third quarter.

Also Nominated: Justin Sieber (Simon Fraser).

DEFENSIVE
Donte Hamilton, Central Washington
LB • 6-3 • Senior • Mukilteo, Wash.

Hamilton led a solid defensive effort for Central Washington, finishing with nine tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss for 21 yards, two sacks for 17 yards, two pass breakups and a fumble recovery in the Wildcats’ close 14-9 loss to Angelo State. He led a CWU defense that allowed just 253 yards of total offense, the fewest since late in the 2019 season.

Also Nominated: Griffin Barrett (Simon Fraser), Jaylin Parnell (Western Oregon).

SPECIAL TEAMS
Marquis Sampson, Western Oregon
WR • 5-7 • Junior • Portland, Ore.

Sampson finished with 110 all-purpose yards in Western Oregon’s 24-7 win at Simon Fraser. Sampson returned five punts for 56 yards, averaging 11.2 yards per return. He also returned the opening kickoff of the second half 52 yards, which set up Omari Land’s third-quarter touchdown.

Also Nominated: Kees Metselaar (Simon Fraser).

AROUND THE GNAC
CENTRAL WASHINGTON
LAST WEEK: Sept. 25: Lost to Angelo State, 14-9
THIS WEEK: Oct. 2: vs. Midwestern State, 6 p.m.

• Three field goals by junior Patrick Hegarty were all that Central Washington could muster in its home opener Saturday, falling to Angelo State in a 14-9 defensive struggle.

• Hegarty made 3 of 4 field-goal attempts, connecting on a 21-yarder in the second quarter, a 29-yarder in the third quarter and a 40-yarder in the fourth quarter. Hegarty is now 4 for 6 on field goals this season and is 26th in Division II with an average of one field goal per game.

• The Wildcats limited Angelo State to 253 yards of total offense, the lowest total since holding Simon Fraser to 158 yards on October 26, 2019. The 14 points allowed is the fewest by CWU since limiting Azusa Pacific to six points on October 12, 2019.

• Senior linebacker Donte Hamilton was named the GNAC Defensive Player of the Week after he led the Wildcats with nine tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss for 21 yards, two sacks, two pass breakups and a fumble recovery. Hamilton leads the GNAC with eight tackles for loss and four sacks and is tied for third with 30 tackles. He is ranked 26th in Division II with one sack per game.

• The majority of the Wildcats’ 208 yards of total offense came on the ground. Junior running back Rashaad Boddie carried the ball 32 times for 104 yards with a long rush of 18 yards. Boddie leads the GNAC in both rushing yards per game (145) and all-purpose yards per game (146.7). He is fourth in Division II in rushing yards per game, 12th with 435 total rushing yards, 20th with 6.69 yards per carry and 26th with four rushing touchdowns.

• Sophomore running back JJ Lemming completed just 9 of 33 passes for 114 yards and was intercepted twice. Sophomore wide receiver Kellen Gregory caught three passes for 52 yards while sophomore wide receiver Tai-John Mizutani caught three passes for 35 yards.

• Junior linebacker Daeon Hudson added eight tackles in the defensive effort, including seven solo tackles, two tackles for loss, a sack and a forced fumble. Hudson is tied for eighth in the GNAC with 22 total tackles and is seventh with 13 tackles for loss.

• Central Washington leads the GNAC with 31.2 points per game, 359.5 yards of total offense per game and 166.8 rushing yards per game. The Wildcats rank 23rd in Division II with 14.93 passing yards per completion. Defensively, CWU is ninth in Division II with 3.25 sacks per game, 16th with two blocked kicks and tied for 17th with five fumble recoveries.

• Central Washington hosts its second Lone Star Conference team this weekend, welcoming No. 11 Midwestern State on Saturday night.

SIMON FRASER
LAST WEEK: Sept. 25: Lost to Western Oregon, 24-7
THIS WEEK: Idle
 
• Simon Fraser kept Western Oregon within a touchdown in the first half but could not hold off a Wolves’ scoring surge in a 24-7 loss on Saturday at SFU Stadium.

• Simon Fraser finished the game with 204 passing yards. Sophomore Justin Sieber completed 19 of 33 passes for 202 and the team’s only touchdown, a 45-yard reception to senior wide receiver Dallas Dixon in the third quarter. Sieber leads the GNAC with 261.3 passing yards and 264.7 yards of total offense per game. He is ranked 19th in Division II with 22.67 completions per game.

• Dixon paced seven SFU receivers in the game, making two catches for 60 yards. Sophomore wide receiver Riley Morrison caught five passes for 57 yards and freshman wide receiver Sam Davenport caught four passes for 45 yards. Morrison is second in the GNAC with 62.8 receiving yards per game while Dixon is fifth with 42 receiving yards per game.

• Senior linebacker Griffin Barrett continues to be a defensive force, finishing the game with 17 tackles. Barrett leads the GNAC with 50 total tackles and is second in Division II with 12.5 tackles per game. Barrett also ranks 13th in Division II with 6.5 solo tackles per game.

• Senior kicker Kees Metselaar kept busy on Saturday, punting seven times for 329 yards and an average of 47 yards per punt. His ledger included a 71-yard punt in the first quarter that ranks as the ninth-longest in GNAC history and the longest by a conference punter since Azusa Pacific’s Jacob Hall hit a 74-yarder in 2018 that tied the GNAC record. Metselaar leads the GNAC and is 14th in Division II with an average of 41.6 yards per punt.

• Simon Fraser enters the week averaging 254.8 yards of total offense per game and leads the conference with 224.2 passing yards per game. One of the least penalized teams in Division II, Simon Fraser is seventh with 33.25 penalty yards per game and 12th with 133 total penalty yards. The team is also tied for 17th with five fumble recoveries.

• Saturday’s game served as the 2021 home finale for Simon Fraser as this Saturday’s scheduled game against UT-Permian Basin was canceled. Simon Fraser plays next on Saturday, October 16 at Montana State-Northern.

WESTERN OREGON
LAST WEEK: Sept. 25: Won at Simon Fraser, 24-7
THIS WEEK: Oct. 2: vs. West Texas A&M, 1:05 p.m.
 
• Western Oregon pulled away from a one-touchdown lead at halftime by outscoring Simon Fraser 17-7 in the final 30 minutes to collect a 24-7 victory on Saturday in Burnaby, B.C.

• The Wolves finished with 412 yards of total offense, which included 330 rushing yards. Junior running back Omari Land led the way, carrying the ball 25 times for 209 yards and two touchdowns. He had a 45-yard touchdown run to cap the Wolves’ opening drive of the second half. For his efforts, Land was named the GNAC Offensive Player of the Week. Land is second in the GNAC with 100 all-purpose yards per game and 89.8 rushing yards per game.

• Senior running back Andrew Valladares supplemented Land’s performance with 13 carries for 74 yards to go along with 22 yards on one catch. Valladares is third in the GNAC with 24.2 rushing yards per game.

• Junior wide receiver Marquis Sampson was named the GNAC Special Teams Player of the Week after he finished with 110 all-purpose yards. He made five punt returns for 56 yards, which included a long return of 39 yards. He also returned the opening kickoff of the second half 52 yards to set up Land’s early third-quarter touchdown. Sampson has seven punt returns on the season for an average of 10.4 yards per return and is averaging 28.5 yards per return on four kickoff returns.

• Sophomore quarterback Ryan Worthley completed 14 of 27 passes for 87 yards and also rushed six times for 34 yards. Worthley is second in the GNAC with 191.8 yards of total offense per game and 190.2 passing yards per game.

• Junior defensive back Ryan Minniti and senior defensive back Curtis Anderson each finished with six tackles to lead WOU. Anderson picked up 1.5 tackles for loss while Minitti had one tackle for loss. Junior linebacker Jaylin Parnell picked up three tackles and also has two tackles for loss for 18 yards, two sacks, two pass breakups and one fumble recovery.

• Minniti currently ranks fifth in the GNAC with 27 total tackles while Parnell is tied for eighth with 22 tackles. Parnell is second in the GNAC with three sacks and 7.5 tackles for loss. Parnell also ranks 18th in Division II with 1.9 tackles for loss per game.

• Western Oregon enters the week averaging 316.8 yards of total offense per game and is second in the GNAC in both rushing offense (116.2 yards per game) and passing offense (200.5 yards per game). The Wolves lead the GNAC with 76 first downs and in total defense, allowing 318.2 yards per game.

• After four straight road games to open the season, Western Oregon plays in front of a home crowd this Saturday as it hosts West Texas A&M. The Wolves will play four of their final six games at McArthur Field.

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