By: Brandon Braich, Peak Associate
Coming off their first victory in 48 games, SFU Football was unable to maintain their momentum and fell to the Central Washington University (CWU) Wildcats by a score of 62–10. In what was their first matchup of the season, the Wildcats controlled the game from the opening kick and cruised to an easy victory.
CWU got the scoring started early by quickly striking on the first drive of the game. Michael Roots rumbled 56 yards for the score and had a monster game, rushing for 221 yards and three touchdowns on just 12 carries.
After a CWU field goal extended the lead to 10–0, the Clan looked primed to answer back. However, quarterback Brandon Niksich was intercepted by Chaz McKenzie, which handed the ball to the Wildcats deep in SFU territory. It was perhaps the worst game of the freshman quarterbacks young collegiate career, as he completed only 5 of 16 passes for 37 yards and an interception.
The Wildcats were able to capitalize on the turnover when quarterback Christian Moore connected with wideout Drake Owen for a 21-yard touchdown pass. For the game, Moore completed 15 of 32 passes for 219 yards and four touchdowns.
Again, SFU looked set to respond on their next possession, as a methodical drive finally landed the Clan deep in Wildcat territory. However, on a critical third and goal, running back Mason Glover was tackled for a one-yard loss, which forced the Clan to settle for a short field goal. The running game was a struggle for the Clan all game, as they totalled just 21 yards on the ground. Solomon Hines led the way with 25 total yards on 12 carries.
CWU, once again, responded quickly by snuffing out any thoughts of a comeback when Roots rushed for his second touchdown of the day from three yards out to increase the lead to 21 points. After another quick three and out on the next possession, a short punt gave Central Washington great field position once again. Moore then completed his second touchdown of the night, this time hitting Tony Archie for an 11-yard score.
The second half began like the first ended, with Roots rushing for another touchdown, an 82-yard rumble that was his longest run of the day.
The first Clan touchdown of the night didn’t come until late in the third quarter when backup quarterback Mihai Lapuste relieved Niksich. Lapuste was able to lead a drive scoring drive, which was capped off by a short 4-yard touchdown run by Hines. While the touchdown brought the score to 48–10, and Lapuste completed 9 of 19 passes for 100 yards, most of this occurred in garbage time with the Wildcats second and third stringers on the field.
In the fourth quarter, the Wildcats scored twice more to add an exclamation point to their resounding victory.
The loss dropped the Clan to 1–3 in conference play as Central Washington moved into a tie with Western Oregon atop the GNAC standings.
SFU will now return home to face Western Oregon University (WOU) at Swangard stadium on November 2. It will be another tough test for the Clan, as they fell to WOU 51–14 when they met in Oregon last month.