Central Washington Football rolls to Senior Day win over Texas Permian Basin | CWU Sport

ELLENSBURG — Central Washington’s offense showed no signs of his previous struggles on Senior Day at Tomlinson Stadium.

The Wildcats scored four touchdowns in a game for the first time in six weeks — and that’s just in the first 19 minutes. They kept clicking on all cylinders before slowing down in the second half to earn a season-ending 49-14 win over Texas Permian Basin.

A consistently strong defense matched that energy, helping with three turnovers in the first half, as many as they’d forced in their last three games combined. Four high-ranked starters on either side of the ball prevailed 6-4 in Central’s first season as a member of the Lone Star Conference.

“It was nice to see (the offense) moving the ball and putting some momentum into the game,” said Christian Penny, senior defensive tackle. “Of course it’s just contagious, it helps us get the ball rolling, gets everyone going.”



Football in central Washington

Central Washington’s Sonny Fuavai snatches the ball away from Texas Permian Basin quarterback Gabe Herrera on Saturday, November 12, 2022 at Tomlinson Stadium in Ellensburg, Washington.



The Wildcats wasted no time getting to the end zone, thanks largely to two runs from Cameron Daniels for 60 yards. He rushed for 142 of his 222 yards and scored twice in the first half, and Tre’ Henderson added 99 yards and a touchdown.

Coach Chris Fisk presented senior offensive lineman Raymond Schalk with a cue ball for his efforts on a zone read play down the left side that Fisk estimated the Wildcats rushed for at least 200 yards more than 20 times. Despite significant injury woes this season, Central still managed to average nearly 166 rushing yards per game, topping a season-high 323 on Saturday.



Football in central Washington

Central Washington’s Cameron Daniels is hoisted into the air while celebrating a touchdown with teammate Kent Powell on Saturday, November 12, 2022 at Tomlinson Stadium in Ellensburg, Washington.



“We ran the ball into a full box all day today,” Fisk said. “Hats to the running backs, but hats to the O-line and tight end group who blocked for them all day because there were a lot of big holes.”

Quarterback JJ Lemming ran for two touchdowns and found hits in the air when needed thanks to some spectacular catches from his wide receivers. He completed 14 of 23 passes for 179 yards and two touchdowns and an interception that both Fisk and Daniels thought was a touchdown when Demonte Horton jumped up to fight UTPB defenseman Kamren Amao for a catch in the fourth quarter.



Football in Central Washington

Central Washington’s Marcus Cook catches a pass against Texas Permian Basin on Saturday, November 12, 2022 at Tomlinson Stadium in Ellensburg, Washington.



Horton also made two more dive grabs in the end zone, including one that came just three games after Marcus Cook caught a 45-yard reception in tight man-to-man coverage. The Davis graduate caught six passes for 108 yards to finish the season with 450 yards and led a group that had its fair share of ups and downs along with injuries to starters Tai-John Mizutani and Darius Morrison late in the season Season.

“It was fun to watch,” Fisk said of her catches against UTPB. “You wish you’d see it a little more often and of course we’ll be working towards that next year.”

Central’s defense allowed a goal on opponents’ first possession for the first time this year, except for a touchdown by West Texas A&M which was triggered by a 91-yard kickoff return. But it required 19 plays and 75 yards, including two fourth-down conversions, and the Wildcats responded by forcing three turnovers while keeping the Falcons scoreless for the rest of the first half.



Football in Central Washington

Central Washington’s Tre’jon Henderson scores a touchdown against the Texas Permian Basin on Saturday, November 12, 2022 at Tomlinson Stadium in Ellensburg, Washington.



Just when it looked like the Wildcats were about to give up touchdowns on two straight possessions in the third quarter, Jahleel Breland forced a fumble that was recovered by senior Sean Gordon at the 1-yard line. Senior Daeon Hudson finished his career with seven tackles, matching Penny’s two tackles to lose for a defense that kept seven of 10 opponents under 20 points.



Football in Central Washington

Central Washington’s Demonte Horton catches a touchdown pass against Texas Permian Basin on Saturday, November 12, 2022 at Tomlinson Stadium in Ellensburg, Washington.



“They are the heart and soul of the program,” Fisk said. “They had a bit of flex, but they never broke.”

The win guaranteed Central a share of second place behind just undefeated Angelo State in the Lone Star Conference. Penny and Daniels said the Wildcats proved they could handle the tougher schedule and compete with players from Texas, a state far better known for its football than Washington.

But the trip proved critical as Central went 2-0 in Texas and 3-0 in Ellensburg against Texan teams, something Fisk said he wanted to investigate more in the offseason. Those losses and a loss at home to Western Oregon cost the Wildcats a shot at the Division II playoffs, but Daniels said the young group gained a lot of valuable experience.

“We have a lot of guys in my class who are stepping up and making plays,” said Daniels, a sophomore who has rushed for 407 yards in his last three games. “It will be exciting to see how everyone gets their money’s worth next season.”



Football in Central Washington

Central Washington’s Cameron Daniels scores a touchdown against Texas Permian Basin on Saturday, November 12, 2022 at Tomlinson Stadium in Ellensburg, Washington.



UTPB=7=0=7=0=—=14

CWU=14=28=0=7=—=49

CWU – JJ Lemming 4 run (Ashton Wolff Kick)

UTPB – Gabe Herrera 1 run (Michael Mayfield Kick)

CWU – Demonte Horton 13 Pass by JJ Lemming (Wolff Kick)

CWU – Cameron Daniels 12 Rush (Wolff Kick)

CWU – Horton 5 pass by Lemming (Wolff Kick)

CWU – Daniels 24 run (Wolff kick)

CWU – Tre’ Henderson 11-run (Wolff kick)

UTPB – MJ Link 27 run (Mayfield kick)

CWU – Lemming 5 Run (Wolff Kick)

CUSTOM STATISTICS

RUSHING – UTPB, Link 12-103, Nathan Tilford 13-46, Keewa Grismore 6-20, Herrera 3-10, Jalen Thompson 1-(minus-1). CWU, Daniels 25-222, Henderson 16-99, Lemming 9-2.

OVER – UTPB, Link 9-23-0-83, Herrera 7-16-1-48. CWU, Lemming 14-23-1-179.

RECEIVED – UTPB, Funnar Abseck 6-55, Tilford 1-21, Link 2-18, Marcus Molina 1-14, Davis 1-11, Johnson 1-5, Wiggins 2-4, Grismore 2-3. CWU, Marcus Cook 6-108, Horton 4-40, Payton Glasser 3-28, Daniels 1-3.

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