Covering Dallas, Monmouth, Independence, Falls City and surrounding areas since 1868
WOU’s Scotland Foss, left, and Patrick Tapea, bottom, tackle Central’s Johri Fogerson (23).
September 19, 2012
MONMOUTH -- Bryce Peila wouldn't even take his helmet off as his team gathered on the field after Saturday's shocking 21-14 overtime loss to Central Washington.
Instead, the senior safety knelt just outside of the Western Oregon University football squad's huddle, tearing grass out of McArthur Field in frustration.
Even his two interceptions -- which helped him break the all-time Great Northwest Athletic Conference record for interception return yards -- were not enough to solve the Wolves' consistently dismal second-half performance.
Or WOU's five turnovers.
"He's doing the things that we expect him to do," WOU head coach Arne Ferguson said after his team's third-straight loss.
"He's fighting like crazy. We just have to be more consistent in all aspects, especially taking care of the football."
After the Wildcats battled back from a 14-point deficit, Central Washington's Johri Fogerson scored the game-winning touchdown on an 11-yard run during the first possession of overtime.
WOU gained just two yards on its attempt from the 25-yard line, as the game ended on a fourth-down sack of Cody VonAppen that resulted in a fumble and ensuing CWU recovery.
"I thought our defensive line did a great job at times, but we just got worn down," Ferguson said.
"But they need to step up and make those plays -- good defenses make those plays, and we're not there yet."
With a 14-point lead late in the third quarter, Western Oregon (0-3, 0-2 GNAC) appeared primed to win its first contest of the season against one of its biggest conference rivals.
That was until three big wasted scoring chances by WOU turned out to be game changers: namely, VonAppen's two first-half interceptions to Cedrique Chaney in the end zone and Coulter Mastenbroek's fourth-quarter fumble inside the 10 that CWU returned to WOU's 34-yard line.
Central Washington took advantage with 29 seconds left in the third quarter, when Wildcats quarterback Ryan Robertson hit Robert Akeo-Orr for a 5-yard touchdown pass to cut the lead to seven.
The Wildcats struck again after Mastenbroek's fumble, when Johri Fogerson rumbled into the end zone for a 4-yard score to knot the game at 14-all with 4:13 remaining in regulation.
WOU's Kenneth Haynes rushed for 92 yards in Saturday's loss to Central Washington.
WOU had a chance to win it with 14 seconds left, but Kelly Morgan's attempt at a 58-yard field goal fell short.
In all, WOU's offense turned the ball over five times -- three interceptions and two fumbles -- negating four interceptions thrown by CWU's Robertson.
Mastenbroek and Sherman Vercher snagged the other two picks for WOU, as Peila's two interceptions place him just three short of tying the GNAC career record of 18.
The defense held Central Washington to just 170 yards at the half, but the Wildcats broke free for 390 yards -- 220 passing -- for the game.
VonAppen, who was replaced by sophomore backup Trey Shimabukuro late in the third quarter in Week 2's 24-10 loss at Dixie State, took every snap for WOU Saturday, finishing 15-for-36 passing for 249 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions.
He also rushed for 63 yards on the ground on 15 carries.
"The things we're trying to do as far as our run game, Cody gives us a better option with that," Ferguson said in response to if he thought about replacing his starter.
"We feel good about Trey, we just didn't want to become one-dimensional and Cody allows us to run the football."
VonAppen connected on touchdown passes of 56 yards and 11 yards to Tyrell Williams and Kenneth Haynes (92 yards rushing), respectively.
"I thought our defense earned some turnovers against a very experienced quarterback," Ferguson said.
"And I thought we gave them turnovers. That's a major issue we're definitely emphasizing."
Simon Fraser (1-2, 0-2 GNAC) at Western Oregon (0-3, 0-2 GNAC)
When: Saturday, 1 p.m.
Where: McArthur Field, Monmouth.
Tickets: $15 adult reserved; $12 general stadium; $10 adult end zone; $15 senior/student reserved; $10 student general admission; WOU students, free.
Preview: The Clan are coming off a 41-21 loss to the No. 11-ranked team in NCAA Division II, Humboldt State. Simon Fraser lost its GNAC opener in Week 2, a 56-28 setback to Central Washington, after defeating Pacific 51-14 in its season opener. Quarterback Trey Wheeler (81 for 116 for 729 yards) has thrown seven touchdowns and four interceptions to lead the Clan's pass-oriented offense, while running back Bo Palmer (193 yards) leads the run game, which has totaled 460 yards in three contests. Receivers Lemar Durant (26 catches for 301 yards) and Bobby Pospischil (26 catches for 224 yards) are two of Wheeler's favorite targets.