Story and photo courtesy of Central Washington Athletics
- Redshirt freshman running back Levi Taylor (Spokane, Wash./Lewis and Clark HS) ran for two touchdowns, but the Central Washington University football team surrendered 29 fourth-quarter points and a 17-6 lead in falling to host Simon Fraser University, 35-24, on Saturday afternoon at Terry Fox Field.
The loss dropped the Wildcats' record to 3-6 overall and 3-4 in Great Northwest Athletic Conference play, assuring the program of its first below-.500 season since 2001. Simon Fraser earned its second-ever GNAC win (in two seasons in the conference), finishing the 2011 campaign at 3-7 overall and 2-6 in the conference.
Taylor ran for 114 yards on 19 carries, marking his third 100-yard game of the season including his second against Simon Fraser. He had scoring runs of four and 12 yards in the opening three minutes of the third and fourth quarters, respectively, and the Wildcats held a 17-6 lead with 12:51 remaining in the game.
Neither team mustered much in the form of points in the first half, as Central Washington junior Sean Davis (Federal Way, Wash./Todd Beamer HS) accounted for all of the first-half scoring with a 37-yard field goal with 13:27 remaining in the second quarter.
The Wildcats extended their lead to 10-0 with Taylor's first scoring run early in the third quarter, and led by double digits until Simon Fraser scored on a 15-yard pass play with 27 seconds left in the third quarter. The extra point missed, keeping the score at 10-6 until Taylor's second TD run on the ensuing drive early in the fourth period. After that final score, however, things went into a tailspin for CWU as the Clan scored four consecutive touchdowns to post a 35-17 lead with 1:58 remaining in the game. The third of those four touchdowns was a 43-yard interception return by Adam Berger, and the final SFU score came after the Wildcats turned the ball over on downs at their own one-yard line.
Junior Jose Mohler (Cardiff, Calif./La Costa Canyon HS), who had thrown for 358 yards in last Saturday's loss at West Texas A&M, struggled in his third start as a Wildcat. He completed just 15 of 39 passes for 198 yards and one touchdown, with the lone score coming on a 37-yard pass play to senior Justin Helwege (Sammamish, Wash./Eastlake HS) in the closing two minutes of the game to close the final scoring margin to 11 points.
Helwege and junior Anthony Spain (Grants Pass, Ore./North Valley HS) had four receptions apiece, with Helwege totaling 78 yards on the day.
Simon Fraser was led by freshman quarterback Trey Wheeler, who completed 20 of 28 passes for 266 yards and two touchdowns. Tore Corrado and Bobby Pospichil had six receptions each, with Corrado breaking the century mark in receiving yards with 105. Each of those two players had a touchdown catch on the afternoon.
The Wildcat defense had four quarterback sacks, and was led by a career-high eight tackles from senior nose tackle Mike Reno (Ellensburg, Wash./Kittitas HS).
Central Washington closes out the 2011 season at home next Saturday (Nov. 12), taking on Dixie State College of Utah at noon Pacific Standard Time at Tomlinson Stadium.