Western falls 37-17 to Central in 3rd annual Battle in Seattle
Oct. 8, 2005
SEATTLE, Wash. - Central Washington University scored four first-half touchdowns, all after Western Washington University fumbles, and went on to claim a 37-17 Great Northwest Athletic Conference football victory before a crowd of 11,312 in the 3rd annual Battle in Seattle at Qwest Field.
Quarterback Mike Reilly completed 22-of-34 passes for 247 yards with three touchdowns and an interception for the Wildcats, who improved to 4-2 and lead the GNAC at 2-0. Western fell to 2-4 and 1-1.
Quarterback James Monrean (Jr., Bellingham/Sehome) completed 30-of-42 for a season-high 354 yards and a touchdown for the Vikings, but was intercepted there times. Western committed seven total turnovers, fumbling six times and losing four of them.
The 20-point margin is the most lopsided in the series since a 36-14 Western victory in 2001, and the widest for Central since a 34-14 triumph in 1987.
The Vikings held an early 7-0 lead and had a chance to regain the lead midway through the second period. Trailing, 14-10, midway through the second quarter, Western drove within inches of the Central goal line. But a bad snap was recovered by Wildcat linebacker Chris Burch, and Central marched 99 yards in 11 plays, capped by a 5-yard touchdown pass from Reilly to tight end Kevin Schmidt.
Western fumbled again on the following series, and the Wildcats moved 36 yards in four plays, with Will Bennett rushing in from 22 yards with 59 seconds left in the second period. The extra point failed, giving Central a 27-10 halftime lead.
The Wildcats then extended their lead to 34-10 in the third quarter. Following an interception by free safety J.R. Jamerson, one of two for him in the game, Central moved 93 yards in 11 plays, capped by an eight-yard pass from Reilly to wide receiver Brandon Robertson.
The two teams combined for 942 yards of offense, with Western holding a 475-467 edge in yardage, but Central had a 34:06-25:54 advantage in time of possession.
Western opened the scoring 10 minutes into the first quarter. After a missed 46-yard field goal by Central's Coby Sadler, the Vikings took over at their own 29 and scored in just three plays - a 13-yard pass from Monrean to Andy Olson (Sr., Chehalis/W.F. West), a 46-yard run up the right sideline by running back Jake Carlyle (Sr., Olympia/Capital), and a 12-yard scoring toss from Monrean to tight end Nick Yoney (Sr., Arlington).
Central responded with two touchdowns created by special-teams fumbles. First, a Sadler punt hit a Western blocker on the heel at the 10-yard line, and Chris James recovered in the end zone for a Wildcat touchdown. On the following series, Western punter Corbin Anderson (So., Veradale/University) bobbled the ball and was forced to fall on it, giving Central possession on downs at the Viking 34. Reilly then hit wide receiver Nate Brookreson for 30 yards, and connected with wide receiver Brian Potucek in the right corner of the end zone for a 4-yard touchdown, giving the Wildcats a 14-7 lead with 1:16 left in the first quarter.
Olson, who had missed the last two games with a knee injury, had seven receptions for 116 yards, including a 5-yard touchdown pass from Monrean with 1:21 to play. The touchdown catch was the 30th of his career, tying the school record held by Chris Nicholl and Greg Dykstra. He also moved into second in school history in career receptions (174), and had the 14th 100-yard receiving game of his career.
Potucek, already Central's all-time career leader in receptions and receiving yards, had six receptions for 87 yards and a touchdown and became the Wildcats' career leader in all-purpose yards with 4,465.
Central now holds a 2-1 lead in the Battle in Seattle. Western claimed a 28-21 victory last year after the Wildcats won the inaugural game, 29-20, in 2003. The two teams meet again in Bellingham on Oct. 29.
The Vikings travel to Western Oregon for a GNAC contest on Sat., Oct. 15 (2 p.m.).
SCORING SUMMARY Western Washington 7 3 0 7 --- 17 Central Washington 14 13 7 3 --- 37
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