Wildcat offense loses shootout with West Texas A&M, 49-35 - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Wildcat offense loses shootout with West Texas A&M, 49-35

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By Jonathan Gordon
 
CANYON, Texas  -- Junior quarterback Jose Mohler (Cardiff, Calif./La Costa Canyon HS) threw for a career-high 358 yards and four touchdowns, but the Central Washington University football team was unable to keep pace with the high-powered offense of 20th-ranked West Texas A&M University on Saturday night, falling to the Buffaloes 49-35 on Happy Bank Field at Kimbrough Memorial Stadium.

The Wildcats fell to 3-5 overall and must win their final two games to avoid the program's first sub-.500 record since 2001. West Texas A&M improved to 6-2 overall with Saturday's win.

Mohler, making his second start as the Wildcats' quarterback, had the highest passing total by a CWU player since Mike Reilly's 420-yard passing effort inside the same facility in the 2008 NCAA Division II playoffs. On Saturday, Mohler completed 31 of 53 passes and had a pair of 100-yard receivers on his side in senior Justin Helwege (Sammamish, Wash./Eastlake HS) and redshirt freshman Leon La Deaux (Port Orchard, Wash./South Kitsap HS), who finished with 124 and 101 yards, respectively. That duo also accounted for three of the Wildcats' four offensive touchdowns, with La Deaux's 56-yard TD grab opening the scoring in the first quarter.

Behind the efforts of Mohler, as well as the CWU defense, the Wildcats stayed ahead or even with West Texas A&M in the first half. Central Washington did not trail until midway through the third quarter, as Mohler threw for two first-half touchdowns and senior Matt Mosley (Phoenix, Ariz./Corona del Sol HS) scored the Wildcats' third TD of the half with an eight-yard fumble return.

WT went ahead for the first time at the 8:38 mark of the third quarter, with the first of three second-half touchdown grabs by Brittan Golden, and the Buffaloes did not trail the rest of the way. Golden had his second scoring catch just 3 1/2 minutes later to make it a two-score game, but Central Washington fought back with consecutive scoring tosses from Mohler to Helwege, covering 22 and eight yards, and the score was again tied with 12:29 to go in the game.

After the final Helwege touchdown, West Texas responded with a quick-strike score, capped by a 14-yard TD run from Khiry Robinson, and a 70-yard pass from Dustin Vaughan to Golden 2 1/2 minutes after the Robinson score sealed the two-touchdown victory for the hosts.

Central was unable to score on its final four possessions of the game, which resulted in a pair of three-and-out series and an interception. They then got the ball back with 18 seconds remaining but lost yardage on its only play of that possession.

The Wildcats finished with their highest single-game offensive yardage total of the season with 438 total yards, and were one point shy of their season-high in that department as well.

West Texas totaled 549 offensive yards, marking the second time in the past three games that Central Washington has allowed 500 or more yards in a game. Vaughan completed 32 of 42 passes for 430 yards and four touchdowns, while the Buffaloes' running game accumulated 119 yards on 30 carries. Golden finished as the game's top receiver with 170 yards on nine catches.

The CWU defense was led by junior safety Genesis Fonoimoana (Long Beach, Calif./Long Beach Poly HS) with 10 tackles and an interception, while sophomore linebacker Stetson Shearer (Burlington, Wash./Burlington-Edison HS) had nine tackles for the second consecutive week.

Central Washington will play its final away game of the 2011 season next Saturday (Nov. 5) at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, B.C. The Wildcats are currently 3-3 in Great Northwest Athletic Conference play, where they sit in third place. Game time next week is 2 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time.
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