Western Oregon put together a spirited effort and stayed close to Portland State in a Saturday nonconference football game at Hillsboro Stadium.
The host Vikings of the Big Sky Conference won 21-7, but they led only 7-0 at halftime and had trouble much of the afternoon against the WOU defense.
The Wolves rang up 34 minutes, 44 seconds time of possession to PSU’s 25:16. Portland State led only 23-21 in first downs and 417 yards to 278 in total offense.
WOU’s Damon Hickok, a sophomore from Grant High in Portland, scored on a 6-yard pass from junior quarterback Ryan Worthley with 4:16 left. The TD capped an 11-play, 80-yard drive that took 7:37.
Worthley, from Tigard High, completed 24 of 37 passes for 211 yards, without an interception.
Sophomore Jarren Ford from San Dimas, California, led Western Oregon receivers with seven catches for 61 yards. Thomas Wright, a 6-6 junior out of Reno, Nevada, had six receptions for 50 yards.
WOU’s Luis Vicino, Jr. created the game’s only turnover. The sophomore from Fairfield, California intercepted a pass in the end zone in the fourth quarter.
Portland State was pass-heavy for much of the game, especially early. The Vikings threw 20 times before their second rushing attempt.
Western Oregon is 0-3 with a fourth game on the road that will kick off at 6 p.m. Saturday at Great Northwest Athletic Conference rival Simon Fraser.
The Wolves’ home opener is 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 2, against nonleague West Texas A&M.
The Wolves went 0-2 at home in league matches last week. They lost 3-0 to Alaska Anchorage and Alaska Anchorage.
That left WOU at 2-7 overall and 0-2 in conference.
Western Oregon will try to stop its losing streak at five in its one match this week. It’s 7 p.m. Saturday at Monmouth and against league foe Saint Martin’s.
Bailee Hartsook, a freshman outside hitter from Sweet Home, leads WOU with 3.40 kills per set. Sophomore outside hitter Isabel Hurliman from Tillamook has 106 kills (3.03), which ranks first on the team, with Hartsook second at 68.
Junior setter Aubrey Stanton, from Camas, Washington, is averaging a team-high 6.52 assists per set, 176 in all.
Freshman defensive specialist Sophie Matlock, out of Summit High in Bend, has a team-best 4.31 digs per set and 151 this season
Makenzie York, a sophomore middle blocker/opposite who prepped at Siuslaw, leads in blocks with 0.97 per set, 34 overall.
The Wolves play at Saint Martin’s on Thursday and at Western Washington on Saturday as they launch their GNAC season.
Western Washington, a perennial power in NCAA Division 2, is ranked eighth nationally.
Western Oregon, idle last week, is 1-3 and won its last game, 1-0 at home over Humboldt State. Freshman Jada Foster, a defender and Crescent Valley High graduate, scored in the 12th minute, and freshman Darien Walton from Vancouver, Washington made four saves in earning the shutout.
The Mike Johnson Classic returns to Ash Creek Preserve on Friday. The women’s race starts at 5 p.m., with the men’s race at 5:45 p.m.
Western Oregon had two winners in its most-recent meet. Luz Garcia and Keanu Daos led their fields in the Ash Creek Invitational on Sept. 10.
Garcia, a junior from Los Angeles, won the 4-kilometer women’s race by 9.4 seconds in 13 minutes, 59.3 seconds. Teammate Caitlin Heldt, a junior out of Savannah, Georgia, was second.
Daos had a 16.7-second edge on unattached men’s runner-up Justin Crosswhite. Daos’ 6K time was 18:22.1. He is a junior from Kennewick, Washington.