Western wilts in second half

The football team gives up five touchdown passes to Central Washington quarterback Mike Reilly.


Central Washington quarterback Mike Reilly (13) passes over a Western Oregon defender in the Oct. 1 game at McArthur Field.

MONMOUTH -- Six second-half Western Oregon turnovers changed a close game into a rout as the Central Washington Wildcats rolled to a 48-17 football win Oct. 1 in front of 2,800 fans at McArthur Field.

The contest served as the Great Northwest Athletic Conference opener for both schools. The Wildcats improved to 3-2 overall. The Wolves dropped to 2-3.

CWU quarterback Mike Reilly tossed five touchdown passes, three of them to Nate Brookreson. Brookreson had five catches for 142 yards. Reilly was 16 of 26 for 287 yards and two interceptions.

Central held a 20-17 lead early in the third quarter before Reilly hit Nate Robertson for a 59-yard touchdown.

But four interceptions and two fumbles by WOU gave the 'Cats numerous opportunities to score. Quarterbacks Mark Thorson and Ryan Thorson tossed two picks each, and WOU fumbled away two kickoffs.

"We did some things right today, but the turnovers certainly killed us," said WOU coach Arne Ferguson. "You can't do that against a good team like Central Washington."

Central Washington scored just one minute into the game, using a 52-yard run on the first play of scrimmage by Landon Hall to set up an eight-yard scamper by Reilly. The extra point failed.

WOU answered with an eight-play, 73-yard drive that took just two minutes and was capped by Eliot Vinzant's one-yard run. The extra point made it 7-6.

The Wolves added to their lead with a 29-yard field goal by Bruce Voges just a little over five minutes into the game.

The Wolves held that lead until Reilly hit Brookreson with 6:22 left in the half to put CWU up 13-10. The same combo would score again four minutes later, this time on a 11-yard strike, and the Wildcats led 20-10 at halftime.

WOU came out and scored just three minutes into the second half, on a seven-play, 71-yard drive, with Mark Thorson hitting Tyler Knudsen on a 41-yard scoring toss.

But CWU responded with the 59-yard TD pass from Reilly to Robertson.

Mark Thorson finished 18 of 30 for 180 yards. Ryan Thorson was 10 of 20 for 74 yards.

Vinzant had his second straight 100-yard plus rushing game, finishing with 108 yards on 20 carries. Knudsen was WOU's top receiver with seven catches for 74 yards.

The Wolves will continue GNAC play this week, traveling to Arcata, Calif. on Saturday, Oct. 8 to take on Humboldt State. Start time is 6 p.m.


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