From the gridiron…..

Plenty of headline-worthy news about our Valley boys on the college gridiron yesterday and last night, so here’s a full wrap.

Azusa Pacific 44, Central Washington 7: Mount Si grads were on both sides of this one as Azusa won the GNAC crown with the home win under the lights last night in southern California. For Central, redshirt freshman Jonathan “JoJo” Hillel, from North Bend and a 2015 MSHS’er, was 9-19 under center with one touchdown and two interceptions, and also ran the ball 11 times for 69 yards. Hillel’s one touchdown toss came late in regulation, a 16-yard connection for six with receiver Jesse Zalk that accounted for the Wildcats’ lone scoring of the contest. On Azusa’s side of the gridiron, senior defensive back Hunter Malberg, from Snoqualmie and a 2013 alumnus of scarlet and gray, had no tackles but broke up three passes, one of which was a Hillel offering. Central drops to 5-3 overall, 4-2 in conference play, and Azusa moves to 8-1 overall, an unbeaten 7-0 in GNAC action.

Linfield 50, George Fox 14: As was the case in the Azusa-Central game, Mount Si alums saw action for both teams as the Wildcats blasted the visiting Bruins at home in McMinnville, OR, to move to 6-1 on the season. Senior Stephen Nnabue, from Snoqualmie and a 2013 Mount Si HS grad, saw action working on the offensive line for Linfield, while receiver Trevor Daniels, a junior from North Bend who graduated from MSHS in 2014, caught one pass for five yards aiding Fox, who dropped to 3-2 on the season with the loss.

Eastern Washington 35, Montana 16: In future years, this perennial battle between the best teams in the Big Sky will have a real Mount Si flavor, as three grads are on the two teams’ rosters. For this year, though, just one of those saw action – EWU starting offensive lineman Chris Schlicting, a redshirt freshman from North Bend and 2015 MSHS alum. The other two – Eastern’s Colton Swain and Montana’s Caleb Mitchell, both freshmen – are redshirting this fall and did not play in yesterday’s regionally-televised contest, won easily by the Eagles in Cheney. Both are 2016 alums, with Swain from Snoqualmie and Mitchell from North Bend.

Concordia-MN 40, Carleton 3: The Cobbers’ defense got ‘er done again, as the home side rolled to the win in Moorhead, MN. Leading that defense was none other than senior Hank Van Liew, from Snoqualmie and a 2013 MSHS grad. He recorded 10 total tackles leading Concordia. Teammate – and fellow Valleyite – Andrew Thompson, a sophomore from North Bend and 2015 MSHS grad, recorded two total tackles, but his big moment was collecting the Cobbers’ only fumble recovery of the day and taking that ball back 27 yards for his first college touchdown in the third quarter. Tremendous stuff – and for good measure, the two of them worked together on one tackle later in that quarter, stopping a rushing effort from the visitors. Good stuff. Concordia is now 6-2 on the season.

Berry 22, Millsaps 19 (OT): Another MSHS alum recorded his first college touchdown, and it proved key in helping the Vikings move to 7-1 with the dramatic overtime home win in Rome, GA. Senior Methus Weldon, from Snoqualmie and a 2013 Mount Si grad, caught a 10-yard pass in the end zone from Berry QB Slade Dale for that historic personal achievement, and that fourth quarter score put the Vikings in front, only to see the visitors rally to re-take the lead with a touchdown later in that frame. A dramatic 98-yard return of a blocked extra-point kick attempt on that Millsaps score by Berry tied the proceedings at 19-19, forcing overtime, then a field goal won it in the extra session. Weldon caught four passes for 34 yards and that TD, and most importantly, got to share his special moment with his brother, Colby, a sophomore and 2015 MSHS’er also from Snoqualmie, who did not play in the contest.

Washington 31, Utah 24: A perfect day for Fall City’s finest helped the Huskies themselves remain perfect with another win. Senior kicker Cameron Van Winkle, a 2013 Mount Si HS grad, was 4-4 on extra points, and converted his lone field goal attempt, from 41 yards out in the fourth quarter, as the UW moved to 8-0 on the season with the road victory over the Utes in a nationally-televised clash in Salt Lake City. Also participating for the Huskies in the game on special teams was junior Luke Hutchison, from Carnation and a graduate of Seattle’s O’Dea High School.

Pacific Lutheran 31, Puget Sound 20: The Tacoma city battle went to the host Lutes at Sparks Stadium in Puyallup; freshman Jeff Hepner, from Duvall and a 2016 Cedarcrest HS grad, saw action with no stats of note for UPS, while Logger teammate Jake Smith, a sophomore from Snoqualmie and 2015 MSHS alum, did not play.

Rhett Workman

About Rhett Workman

Rhett Workman is the editor of the Snoqualmie Valley Sports Journal. Workman is a veteran sports journalist, having covered Snoqualmie Valley sports for nearly a decade with the Snoqualmie Valley Record newspaper before starting up the SVSJ. Workman's coverage has earned the support and respect of Valley coaches, players, parents and fans, and the SVSJ continues the standard of coverage that Workman brought to the Valley Record.
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