GNAC Football Video Preview: Central Washington

Thursday, August 31, 2017

PORTLAND, Ore. - Our final installment of the 2017 GNAC Football Video Preview series highlights Central Washington.

Central Washington made marked improvement in Ian Shoemaker’s third season as head coach. After going 5-5 in 2015, the Wildcats improved to 7-3 overall and 6-2 in conference play. Central Washington put together the top passing offense in the league, averaging 303.7 passing yards per game, while ranking sixth in Division II with a 166.07 pass efficency rating. On the ground, the Wildcats limited opponents to 81.3 rushing yards per game, which ranked fifth among Division II programs.

The Wildcats will have to adjust to life without a pair of key speciality players, including quarterback Justin Lane and wide receiver/return specialist Jesse Zalk. Senior tight end Kyle Self earned Second Team All-GNAC honors after he caught 29 passes for 312 yards and four touchdowns. Junior James Moore, a Second Team D2CCA All-Super Region 3 selection, anchors an experienced offensive line.

Central Washington will be solid on defense with the return of the GNAC Defensive Player of the Year, Kevin Haynes. The senior linebacker earned D2CCA All-America honors after finishing with 100 total tackles and 19 tackles for loss. Senior defensive back Jackson Huerta also earned First Team All-GNAC honors with 70 tackles and a pair of forced fumbles. The duo is joined by Second Team All-GNAC senior linebacker Sean Elledge and sophomore defensive back Darien Williams, an honorable mention selection.

Sun., Aug. 27: Simon Fraser
Mon., Aug. 28: Western Oregon
Tues., Aug. 29: Humboldt State
Wed., Aug. 30: Azusa Pacific
Thurs., Aug. 31: Central Washington
Season Kickoff: Thurs., Aug. 31, Western Oregon at Idaho State