Central Takes "Battle in Seattle", 50-28 - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Central Takes "Battle in Seattle", 50-28

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SEATTLE, Wash. -- Central Washington University senior quarterback Mike Reilly (Kalispell, Mont./Flathead HS) threw for a season-high 371 yards and four touchdowns, leading the 11th-ranked Wildcats to a convincing 50-28 victory over archrival Western Washington at the Sixth Annual Wells Fargo Battle in Seattle on Saturday night at Qwest Field.

The Wildcats improved to 6-1 overall and 5-0 in Great Northwest Athletic Conference play with their 22nd consecutive victory over a current GNAC member. Western Washington's record evened at 3-3 overall and the Vikings fell two games behind Central in the GNAC standings at 3-2 in conference action.

Reilly, who set four records in Saturday night's victory, completed 36 of 47 passes for four touchdowns to go with his 371 yards. The yardage total was the second-highest of his career, and 25 more than his previous season-high of 346 at Dixie State in the season opener.

Central raced out to a 16-0 lead after the first quarter, scoring the game's first points on a safety after the snap to Western punter Josh Lider sailed high and into his own end zone. Lider than ran out of the back of the end zone for the two-pointer -- Central's first since Oct. 15, 2005 against Humboldt State -- and a 2-0 lead. The margin reached 9-0 late in the quarter after Reilly's first touchdown pass of the contest, a 10-yard toss to junior Sam Togar (Tacoma/Lakes HS) for his first touchdown in a Wildcat uniform. The scoring strike was also the 100th TD pass of Reilly's career, breaking Jon Kitna's school record. Following a Western fumble on the Wildcats' kickoff, Reilly connected on Jamal Weems (Seattle/Cleveland HS) on a 30-yard pass play that gave Central a commanding 16-point lead.

Western scraped its way back in the second quarter, getting on the scoreboard on a one-yard run by quarterback Adam Perry. After Central's Garrett Rolsma (University Place/Curtis HS) kicked a 25-yard field goal midway through the period to make it a 19-7 score, the Vikings responded with a two-yard touchdown pass from Perry to Travis McKee that cut the Wildcats' lead to five at 19-14. Rolsma then kicked a 30-yard field goal with one second left in the half to give Central a 22-14 halftime advantage.

On the opening possession of the third quarter, junior running back Jerome Morris (Los Angeles, Calif./Jefferson HS) scored from 15 yards out -- the first of his two touchdowns in the half -- to give the Wildcats a 29-14 lead. True to form, however, Western came right back and used a big passing play -- a 56-yard toss from Perry to Pat McCann -- to make it a one-score margin. However, the Wildcats reeled off three consecutive touchdowns and forged ahead by a commanding 29 points with just over five minutes remaining in the game. Junior Johnny Spevak (Edgewood/Puyallup HS) scored a pair of receiving touchdowns, sandwiched around Morris' second touchdown of the game.

Western capped the game's scoring on its final possession, with running back Randall Eldridge scoring from two yards out.

In addition to the passing touchdown record by Reilly, he also set a new school record for most career rushing yards by a quarterback. Now with 1,111 career yards, he passed Jon Martin (1976-78; 1,056 yards) in that department. At a conference level, Reilly extended his streak of consecutive pass attempts without an interception to 184 before being intercepted by C.J. Green in the fourth quarter. That mark was a new GNAC standard, topping the previous mark of 167 by Jason Baughman of Humboldt State in 2004. Reilly's 36 pass completions were also the second-most in school history for a single game.

Reilly's touchdown toss to Togar in the first quarter also set a new NCAA record for all divisions, marking the 41st consecutive game in which he has thrown a touchdown pass. Reilly, who broke the Division II record in last Saturday's win over Dixie State, broke the all-divisions record held by Bill Borchert of Mount Union (Ohio) from 1994-97.

Spevak was again the top target for Reilly, grabbing a career-best 13 passes for 148 yards and the two second-half touchdowns. He also broke the 100-yard receiving plateau for the fifth consecutive game, marking the 14th time in his career with 100 or more yards.

Defensively, Central was led by junior safety Jerome Williams (Seattle/Ballard HS) with a season-high 10 tackles. Junior defensive tackle Mitch Reffett (Moses Lake) added six tackles including 1 1/2 quarterback sacks and two tackles for loss. The Wildcats, who came into the game ranked second in the NCAA Division II in quarterback sacks, added 4 1/2 sacks in Saturday's victory.

Western Washington, which managed just 372 yards of offense including 320 through the air by Perry. The senior completed 22 of 36 passes for two touchdowns, completing passes to nine different receivers. Eldridge finished as the Vikings' top rusher (79 yards on 16 carries) and their top receiver (63 yards on five catches).

Central Washington totaled 531 yards of offense including season-high totals for rushing yards (160) and passing (371). The Wildcats also had the ball for more than 36 minutes of play, and they took advantage of two Viking fumbles and a second-quarter blocked punt by Williams.

The Wildcats play on the road once again next week, traveling to Humboldt State for an Oct. 18 night matchup with the Lumberjacks. Central's next home game is an Oct. 25 Homecoming contest against Western Oregon at Tomlinson Stadium.
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